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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 2020 will be part of the University of Cambridge’s Widening Participation programme.

Please note that applications are now closed for the work experience programme 2019. Applications for the 2020 programme will be posted online soon. Please check back for updates.


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. 

Student Comments from 2018 & 2019

"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." 

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

2019 cohort week 2


Please reach out to Naomi at with any questions.

Application Form


Applications for 2019 are now closed.



If you have any questions, please ask Naomi at