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Working in a laboratory allows students to experience how science progresses in the real world.

It is particularly useful for those thinking about working in the field of research; not only offering a chance to develop practical skills, but also providing an opportunity to work alongside established scientists, meet new people and share ideas.

The information provided here is largely for Undergraduates. For those seeking funding for an MPhil or PhD in Cambridge, please visit the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences website.

General Information

All individual bursary schemes have their own specific eligibility criteria; it is wise to read these carefully.

Application deadlines vary, but if you are considering applying to a scheme abroad, be mindful of the time it takes to obtain a visa, especially if you are planning to visit the USA.

Most schemes are highly competitive.


Funding, Scholarships and Competitions

The following is far from an exhaustive list of the available research funding, but gives an idea of the opportunities available. If you are interested in attending a particular institution it is always worth checking if they run their own programmes.

Institution Deadline Information
The British Society for Plant Pathology (BSPP) 5th April 2024

An undergraduate vacation bursary that will provide modest support for work on specified research projects during the summer vacation.

Further details can be found on the BSPP pages for Undergraduate Vacation Bursary.

The Genetics Society 31st March 2024

Grants for undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in genetics by carrying out a research project over the long vacation, usually prior to their final year.

Further details can be found on the Genetics Society pages for Summer Studentships.

British Division of the
International Academy of Pathology (BDIAP)

End of May

Support for training in pathology in the UK including:
  • BDIAP student elective scholarships for undergraduate election or vacation studies in histopathology or related areas.

Further details can be found on the BDIAP website on Student Electives.

The Sanger Institute As advertised

Sandwich-year, summer and work experience placements available via application throughout the year.

Further details can be found on the Sanger website.

Society for Endocrinology

3 deadline per year 

Several grants/awards including:

Information on all grants and awards can be found on the Society for Endocrinology website.

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) 16th February 2024 

A paid undergraduate summer scholarships offering undergraduate students a chance to gain hands-on cancer research experience.

Further details can be found on the ICR website.

Association of Clinical Pathologists (ACP)

No deadline

Funding of up to £5000 to support medical students in laboratory medicine-related intercalated degrees.

ACP Student Research Fund Website

Royal College of Pathologists, Pathology Summer School


A free two day Summer School held in London.

This is not a revision course but a chance to learn more about the role of pathology in healthcare, including current research and future advances. The content will be relevant whether you are considering a career in pathology or not; all doctors use pathology services and benefit from a greater understanding of the speciality.

RCPath Summer School website

Amgen Scholarships

1st February 2024

The Amgen Scholars Programme will welcome scholars from universities across Europe. European Programme applicants myst have a strong record of academic performance and an interest in pursuing a Ph.D. Apply at:

Amgen Scholars Europe Programme

UK Stroke Research Workshop 30th June 2024

A full bursary funded by the Jane White Stroke Research Fund (covering registration fees, accommodation and dinner as well as £100 towards travel) is available for medical students. Additional partial bursaries may be available. Applications can be submitted by medical students, including those in their final year who will be doctors at the time of the meeting. 
To apply, submit a one page abstract of a research project in stroke you have carried out – you should be prepared to present this orally or as a poster.

UK Stroke Workshop website

Experimental Psychology Society

1 March 2024

UG Research Bursary for to support undergraduates studying psychology or a related discipline in the summer vacation immediately prior to their final year. Awards will be made to members of the Society and will provide up to 10 weeks’ support (a £375 per week stipend) for their nominated undergraduate. It is intended that the bursaries be targeted at undergraduates who are planning a research career in experimental psychology (as defined by the content of the Society’s journals).

Undergraduate Research Bursary webpage on the EPS site.


Funding within the School of Biological Sciences For specific departments at Cambridge University, please visit their individual websites.  Some opportunities are listed below:


Evelyn Trust Summer Studentship  

For pre-clinical medical students wishing to pursue a clinical research project in Cambridge over the Summer Vacation. Three bursaries of £1,000 each are available for 6 week long projects.  These studentships are organised by the Clinical School if you would like further information please email:

UKRI MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology 31st March 2024

The LMB Student Placement Scheme is aimed at undergraduate students who are considering a future in academic research and wish to gain hands-on experience of research and a true feel for what it is like to work in a lab. Each year, up to 12 internships are available for 8 to 13 weeks, usually between July and September.  You will join one of the research groups at LMB and carry out original research, working alongside LMB scientists with full access to our world-class research facilities.

MRC LMB Student Placement Scheme website

Sainsbury Laboratory 1st March 2024

The Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) Undergraduate Summer Research Programme offers undergraduate students the opportunity to take part in an 8-week research project within one of the research groups of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

The programme is aimed at undergraduate students who are considering a future in scientific research and wish to gain hands-on experience of research in a lab. All projects involve the planning, assimilation, interpretation and presentation of research data.

You will contribute to research in wet lab and/or modelling teams integrating biology, physics and mathematics. We welcome students studying any relevant science background, including biology, mathematics, physics, genetics, biochemistry, animal science or computational modelling.

SLCU Undergraduate Summer Research Programme website

Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute  

Our eight-week Undergraduate Summer Research Programme aims to inspire bright and ambitious undergraduates to start their careers in cancer research.

The programme provides immersive hands-on research experience, with students able to work on their own research project in one of our world-leading Research Groups.

CRUK Undergraduate Summer Research Programme website

Finding Other Sources of Funding

Your project supervisor or Director of Studies may know of other sources of funding. It could be worthwhile to ask them about:

  • various national bodies for academic disciplines (Royal Societies, British Councils etc)
  • industry contacts associated with the project area you intend to embark on

For example:

Whilst without financial reward, volunteering can be incredibly fulfilling for you as an individual and can change the lives of those involved with the organisation you volunteer for.