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Work Experience at the Gurdon Institute

The Gurdon Institute is a world-leading centre for research into the biology of development and how normal growth and maintenance can go wrong in diseases such as cancer. Many of our scientists have made pioneering contributions to the fields of basic cell biology, cellular reprogramming, epigenetics, and DNA repair.

Our Work Experience Programme for summer 2019 will be part of 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.

We will offer a diverse and interesting work experience programme that will help students stand out in University applications and interviews. 

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. 


There are many factors involved in selecting participants for our work experience programme and we review applications holistically, considering all of the information contained in the application when making our decisions. 

Our programme will only be open to students aged 16+ in years 12 or 13 studying biology at A-level/IB (or equivalent) at UK state schools/colleges/sixth forms/academies. 

We will not accept applications from students who are studying at private schools (including students holding scholarships). 

We will prioritise students based on the criteria below. Students do not need to meet all of the criteria listed here to be considered, but we will prioritise students who meet more than one of these criteria:

  • High academic attainment at GCSE (or equivalent) – Grades 7, 8, 9 for the new GCSEs
  • Acorn rating– a classification of residential neighbourhoods which measures the socio-economic wealth of the area in which you live. This takes in to account the attributes of households in your area and covers health, retail, and leisure. We will prioritise applicants who come from ACORN 4 or 5 areas. You can check which category your postcode comes from using the Acorn Website.
  • POLAR measures the rate of progression to higher education in your area. We will prioritise applicants who come from areas with lower rates of progression to HE, classified as POLAR quintiles 1 or 2. You can check what category your postcode is in using the OfS website.
  • We are interested in students whose parent(s)/guardian(s) have not attended university.
  • We are also interested in students who:
    • Currently receive or have received Free School Meals or Pupil Premium in the past 6 years
    • Are caring for a family member or friend
    • Are currently in local authority care 

Due to limited availability, please note that spaces will be competitive and completing an application form does not guarantee you a placement.

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."


How to apply 

Application forms will be published in early 2019.


Please reach out to Naomi at with any questions.

Job Descriptions

Will be published in early 2019. 


How to Apply

When it's available, you'll need to download the application form.

You will need to check:

  • With your teacher to ensure he/she is happy to complete the last page 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.




If you have any questions, please ask Naomi at