Student holds two plates in the air to compare the growth on each

ASTP Selection

Enabling 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.

Three students and a researcher sit around a bench in the institute garden, chatting and laughing,

Widening Participation

The University of Cambridge is committed to widening participation to higher education. As part of this work, we would like to work with and support students who may have experienced either educational disadvantage or belong to a group that is statistically less likely to progress to higher education.

First priority on this programme will therefore be given to students according to the following criteria:

  • Are in care or care-experienced
  • Are eligible for free school meals or pupil premium
  • Belong to an underrepresented ethnic group
    • Black African or Black Caribbean
    • Pakistani or Bangladeshi
    • Roma, Gypsy or Traveller
  • Have experienced disruption in their education such as:
    • Medical/health issues (including mental health),particularly those that have resulted in long or extended periods of absence (over 8 weeks) from school in the last 6 years
    • Bereavement of a close family member (e.g. parent/carer) in the last 6 years
    • Being a young carer
    • Becoming a parent
    • Being an asylum seeker or refugee
    • Becoming estranged from close family members (e.g. parents/carers)
    • Moving schools two or more times in the last 6 years
    • Other (to be specified)
  • Are the first in their family/close network to go to university
  • Are resident in areas with relatively low participation in higher education (using POLAR4) or in areas with less advantaged socio- economic characteristics (using IMD)
Student and researcher looking at microscope slides at the lab bench


There are some criteria that applicants must meet if they plan to apply for the programme.

Applicants must:

  • attend a state/non-fee paying school or college
  • be aged 16+
  • be pursuing A-level/IB/Higher/Advanced Higher Biology, Maths & either Chemistry, Physics or Further Maths
  • have achieved a 7 or above in GCSE maths and two GCSE sciences OR a B or above in National 5 maths and two National 5 sciences

Isaac Newton Trust

This project is funded by the Isaac Newton Trust Widening Participation and Induction Fund.

The Isaac Newton Trust is a charity established in 1988 by Trinity College. The Trust promotes learning, research and education in the University of Cambridge, primarily by providing support to early career researchers and by making research grants to departments and programmes within the University and its constituent Colleges.

Isaac Newton Trust Logo with black text on a white background. The letter C has a stalk and leaf to represent Newton's apple.
Student pipetting at a lab bench overseen by a smiling researcher in the background

Contact us

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any of the eligibility or selection criteria used for the ASTP, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with the team at