For potential interns
The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative acts as a hub for synthetic 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 then we have internal opportunities:
- Knowledge Transfer Internships: We are investigating open source approaches to biology, from promoting off-patent technologies to developing new legal tools for material transfers to reviewing potential business models. Internships could be practical e.g. building software solutions or research-driven via literature reviews, surveys and interviews.
- Policy Internships: Current policy foci include topics such as gene drive, de-extinction and conservation,sustainable agriculture and the circular economy. Internships in this area would typically involve developing briefing papers and planning policy fora with key individuals and organisations.
- Public Engagement Internships: We are developing low-cost protocols and open educational materials for use in schools and with adult groups. Interns would lead the development, documentation and design of public engagement activities.
We do not currently have funding for internships, but if you don't have your own source of funding (e.g. PIPS), we are happy to help seek and apply for funding with you.
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.
For organisations offering internships
The SRI 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%.
- The Santander Universities Work Placement Programme provides £1000 to fund a prefinalist to undertake 4 weeks work experience, with no expectation of matched funding.
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 SRI Coordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.
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