Student filling a beaker in the lab

Aspiring Scientists Training Programme

Not just an ordinary work experience! The ASTP is designed to give students studying A-level biology (or equivalent) 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.

Five students standing outside smiling with the ASTP logo above and a white line border

Apply for 2022

Online applications for the 2022 are now closed.

If you applied for the programme before April 1st, you will hear whether or not your application was successful by 31st April.



This programme is for students in state (non-fee paying) schools, ages 16+ who are currently pursuing A-level or IB qualifications in biology (or equivalent) and who are interested in higher education or a career in science.

Please see the application form for additional eligibility information.

Due to limited availability, please note that spaces will be competitive and completing an application form does not guarantee placement.
Four sixth form students standing in front of the green lawn at Pembroke College


For one week, students will:

  • spend 3 hours in a lab each day, learning and practising research techniques
  • attend four bespoke, interactive workshops
  • research a scientific topic or technique and create and deliver a presentation to work experience colleagues
  • meet and network with PhD students and other scientists to talk to them about their jobs and get advice about careers and educational opportunities
  • spend an afternoon exploring Cambridge University, with the opportunity to ask questions and get advice
Student pipetting in the lab while scientist looks on
Student in lab with lab coat at microscope with the ASTP logo and a white line border

How to Apply

1. Read through the job description document.
2. Read through the application guidance document. NOTE: this document is only to help you plan your responses to our online application form. We will not accept any applications that are submitted outside of the online application system (see step 5 below).
3. Check with your parent(s)/carer(s) and your school to be sure that you are free and able to attend the work experience during the dates listed on the application form.
4. Look around online to find out more information about the labs that interest you and the work they do.
5. Complete an application form online.

Widening participation

The programme is funded by the University of Cambridge’s Widening Participation programme. Our aim is to enable students with an interest in pursuing a career or higher education in science to get first-hand knowledge of an academic research environment when they may not ordinarily have the opportunity to do so.

ASTP logo showing the programme title with a magnifying glass showing cell organelles in teal inside
Students sat at a bench for lunch with scientists

It is a great experience to meet new people and discover what life in the lab is really like.

ASTP Student
Five students smiling and showing thumbs up in front of large scientific artwork at the institute

Interesting, informative, enjoyable week.

ASTP Student
Students looking at the Pembroke College building

I learned that it’s possible for me to become a scientist.

ASTP Student
Logo banner showing the University of Cambridge crest, the Wellcome Trust logo, the Gurdon Institute logo which has a graphic of cells and the ASTP programme logo which features a magnifying glass with cell organelles inside

Get in Touch

If you have any questions, contact the team at

Student and researcher talking in in the lab with the ASTP logo and a white line border