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Sixth Form Work Experience at the Gurdon Institute

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.

Selected students will spend time in a lab and in hands-on workshops about topics central to research at the Gurdon Institute. In addition, students will prepare and deliver a presentation at the end of their work experience week. 

Our Work Experience Programme for summer 2019 will be part of the University of Cambridge’s Widening Participation programme.


For one week, students will:

  • spend 3 hours in a lab each day, learning and practicing research techniques
  • attend four 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 scientists to talk to them about their jobs and get advice about careers and educational opportunities


This programme is for students in state (non-fee paying) schools, ages 16+ who are currently pursuing A-level or IB qualifications in biology 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. 


Students who are selected to participate are eligible to receive free lunch at the Gurdon Institute (up to £10 our day) and reimbursement for transportation (up to £50 per week, receipts required).

We will also provide accommodation for a limited number of work experience students. If your application is successful, we will let you know if you have been selected for accommodation coverage. Priority will be given to students who meet more widening participation criteria as outlined on the application form and who live furthest from Cambridge.

We will provide all of the other materials and equipment needed for the work experience.

How to apply 

1. Read through the available job descriptions (listed on the right side of this page) and decide which labs are of particular interest to you.

2. Check with your parents and your school to be sure that you are free and able to attend the work experience for all of the dates listed on the job descriptions.

3. Look around online to find out more information about the labs that interest you and the work they do.

4. Complete an application form (also found on the right side of this page):

  • Read and complete pages 1-7 yourself
  • Forward the entire application form to a current or previous A-level science or maths teacher who is willing to complete the last 2 pages for you. (Please ask your teacher ahead of time to check that they are happy to do this for you and make sure you give them plenty of notice in advance of the deadline!)
  • Have your teacher send the completed job application form to Naomi at by 29 March 2019 at 5pm.

Important notes:

We will only consider completed application forms that are sent by teachers.

If you are selected for the work experience programme and are age 17 or older, you will be required to provide proof of your right to work in the UK. This means you will have to provide an official document (such as a passport) to be checked before you can begin the work experience with us. More information about the sort of documents you can bring to fulfil this requirement can be found here and here.


Student Comments from 2018

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

"Interesting, informative, enjoyable week."

"It gave me an experience hard to find elsewhere."




Please reach out to Naomi at with any questions.

Job Descriptions


Please review these job descriptions before completing an application form.

8-12 July

Brand Lab

Gallop Lab

Gurdon Lab

Miska Lab

Surani Lab

15-19 July

Ahringer Lab

Jackson Lab

Ma Lab

St Johnston Lab

Zegerman Lab


Application Form

Download the application form here. (You will only need to complete one application form even if you want to apply to work in multiple labs). 

Before you complete the application form, you will need to check:

  • With your teacher to ensure he/she is happy to complete the last two pages of the form and submit it on your behalf
  • With your parents and school to ensure that you are available and allowed to attend the work experience on the dates specified in the application form

Note: Only application forms that are sent by an A-level/ IB science or maths teacher will be considered for the programme.




If you have any questions, please ask Naomi at