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Engineering Biology in Cambridge


Internships are a great way for students to get hands-on experience of synthetic biology-related research and development and in related areas such as policy, science communication and intellectual property. The IRC can help connect students in Cambridge and local or national providers.

For potential interns

Internal Opportunities

The Engineering Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre acts as a hub for synthetic and engineering biology activities at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with corporate partners, policy organisations and NGOs. We coordinate a broad set of activities exploring the implications of applying formal engineering principles to biological systems and developing novel biological functions. This stretches from development of foundational tools and technologies to exploring global policy and regulation to establishing outreach and educational activities. If you are interested in biological engineering and particularly novel forms of IP, open source technologies, regulation of emerging biotechnologies, responsible research and innovation, public engagement and related topics, please feel free to get in touch and we will aim to direct you toward any relevant opportunities.

External Opportunities

We also have a wide network in local companies and organisation and we're happy to facilitate links for external opportunities, in addition to advertising existing vacancies and calls on the site.

The University of Cambridge Faculty of Biology provide an excellent list of internships and work experience opportunities, as does the Royal Society of Biology.

In the computational biology field, Microsoft Research Cambridge often offer 12-week paid interships targeted primarily at Masters and PhD students.

For organisations offering internships 

The IRC advertises internships both within the University and at external institutes and companies:

  • directly through our website, newsletter and Twitter feed
  • specifically to BBSRC-DTP students to undertake their funded PIPS internship (more info)
  • via other means such as the University Careers Service and through the Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society.

The SRI can help connect you to a pool of bright, talented and academically excellent undergraduates and graduates at the University of Cambridge with an interest in synthetic biology. In general, internships should be paid but students occasionally have their own funding. Specifically, all BBSRC-DTP PhD students are expected to undertake a total of 3 months internship work and are funded through their studentship (more info). There are also schemes in place to help fund interns:

  • The Santander Internship Scheme for SMEs funds 50% of a final year or graduate's intern salary for three months, with the SME contributing the other 50%.

If you are interested in offering a synthetic biology or related placement e.g. an interdisciplinary placement that connects biology and engineering, please contact the IRC Coordinator on and we will be happy to assist.

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Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK is leading the way in applying techniques from diverse fields such as biology, machine learning, human-computer interaction, systems, security and programming languages to explore new domains of research in areas such as healthcare, cloud computing, and programming biological systems.

We are looking for an intern to join us in the last of these. Our Biological Computation group in Cambridge is developing theory, methods and software for understanding and programming information processing in biological systems. Our research currently focuses on three main areas: Molecular Programming, Synthetic Biology and Stem Cell Biology. We need someone who can develop and apply computational methods to help us transform our experimental data into a mechanistic understanding of biological processes, helping create the foundations of a platform for programming biological systems.

There is no closing deadline for this post. The post will be filled once suitable candidates are found so if you are interested please apply as soon as possible.