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Vacation research opportunities and funding available

The information on this page applies specifically to Undergraduates already at Cambridge. Please see the work experience page  if you are not a Cambridge undergraduate and wish to work in a Lab

Lab experience

Hands-on experience will give you an advantage if you are trying to get a foot in the door in research. There are various opportunities in this Department, and several sources of financial support, allowing students who have completed Part 1B to work on research projects during the summer vacation prior to their Part II year.

Interested students should approach Group Leaders directly to find out if they have research opportunities in their Labs. See our listing of labs. Obviously the earlier you apply, the better. Some closing dates for funding are as early as February.

Department of Genetics Bursaries

  • S P H Johnson Summer Vacation Bursaries : These provide a stipend of £200 per week for a maximum of 10 weeks, plus some research costs for the host laboratory. The research must be carried out under the supervision of a Principal Investigator who is a member of the Department of Genetics. These bursaries have been funded by former Part II student, Stephen P H Johnson, who graduated in 1978.
    The application deadline for 2020 is 11 May
    >> Further Johnson Bursary information to download
  • J R S Fincham Bursary : Provides limited support for students undertaking vacation research, in the Department of Genetics or elsewhere. It is available to 1B students intending to take Part II Genetics.
    The application deadline for 2020 is 11 May
    >> Further Fincham Bursary information to download

General Bursaries

In addition, there are general bursary schemes, open to all students. For example:

  • Genetics Society : Funding of £200 per week for up to 8 weeks to the student plus a grant of up to £750 to cover expenses incurred by the host laboratory. Applications must be made by the Group Leader of the lab you wish to work in. The deadline for paperwork to be submitted to the Genetics Society is always 31 March.
    >>  Further information on
  • Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Studentships : Scholarships for Undergraduates part-way through their first degree are available for up to 8 weeks. The stipend is up to £250 per week [2016]. The closing date is usually early February for the coming summer vacation
    >> Further information on the Wellcome Foundation website
  • Amgen : Support for students participating in the Amgen Scholars Programme. Information tends to go live in November.
    >> Further information on
  • Colleges : Many Colleges provide funding to support students wishing to gain lab experience during the summer vacation

Collated information about vacation funding can also be found at:

Our Open Day for Part II Genetics will be held on Thursday 14 March, between 2:30-4:30. If you are interested in vacation research, you can talk to teaching staff about the possibilities then.

In this useful piece in Varsity, Bethan Clarke talks about the value of her experiences on an informal placement in the Steventon Lab during the summer between Part 1A and Part 1B.

Please refer to our list of labs for information on research undertaken in the Department