Aspiring Scientists Training Programme
Not just an ordinary work experience! The ASTP is designed to give A-level biology students a chance to experience what a career as a biologist entails, from bespoke workshops with experts in the sector, to networking opportunities with scientists and the chance to explore life at a world-renowned research university.
Online applications for ASTP 2024 are now open!
The project team will only accept applications submitted via the online form. The documents linked below are to help you to plan your answers. Please do not send them to the team.
New for 2024
The ASTP has expanded!
This year we will host students at the following Cambridge University institutes & departments:
This programme is for students in state (non-fee paying) schools, ages 16+ who are currently pursuing A-level/IB/Higher level (or equivalent) qualifications in biology, maths and either chemistry, physics or further maths, and who are interested in higher education or a career in science.
Please see the Guidance Document for full eligibility information.
Due to limited availability, please note that spaces will be competitive and completing an application form does not guarantee placement.
For one week, students will:
- spend afternoons in a lab each day, learning and practising research techniques
- attend four bespoke, interactive workshops with experts
- research a scientific topic or technique and create and deliver a presentation to peers and researchers
- meet and network with PhD students and other scientists to talk to them about their jobs and get advice about careers and educational opportunities
- explore Cambridge University, with the opportunity to ask questions and get advice from staff and students
Please ensure you have thoroughly read all of the information and programme documents and planned your answers before starting the online application as you will not be able to save your progress.
When you are ready, use the link below to start the application.
Thank you to our funders and collaborators
ASTP will be expanded once again in 2024 due to generous funding from the Isaac Newton Trust Widening Participation and Induction Fund.
This funding has allowed the Gurdon Institute to collaborate with St Catharine’s College (programme lead), Pembroke College, the Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge Institute for Medical Research, MRC-Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Wellcome-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science and the Department of Pharmacology.
…it’s really fun, and is one of the few opportunities before university where you will get to live in your own, in a different city, and experience this with other people your age!2019 ASTP Student
Having experienced what the daily work of a researcher is like has made me feel more confident in choosing this as a potential career path in the future. Moreover, being exposed to the various lab techniques has made me appreciate and enjoy what I learn in Biology even more.2019 ASTP Student
…it gave me a good insight into what life in this industry may look like and has given me the confidence to do a degree that is heavily lab based.2019 ASTP Student
…it benefited me as it showed me how interesting a career in research is. It also helped me in my personal statement as I could link the work experience to the degree I wanted to do.2019 ASTP Student
It has helped me in personal development, scientific skills, gaining an understanding of the career and enhanced my university application.2018 ASTP Student
[The programme] assured me I wanted to study Biology and gave me an insight into the career. Also strengthened my application, as I could show I have relevant skills.2018 ASTP Student
Get in Touch
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com and a member of the project team will get back to you.