skip to content

Synthetic Biology in Cambridge


Funding, job and studentship opportunities in synthetic biology both within Cambridge and externally.

Opportunities by Category

Funding Opportunities: internal and external grant funding opportunities and other sources of funding.

Job Opportunities: a list of current and past postdoc, lecturer and senior academic roles as well as roles in Cambridge-based companies and other members of the SynBio SRI network.

Internships: placements outside of academia in industry, policy organisations and other environments. 

Postgraduate studentships: PhD studentships, Masters courses and other postgraduate placement opportunities.

Undergraduate placement opportunities: if you are looking for a summer placement or Part II or Part III project, we can signpost to relevant synthetic biology labs based on your interests. Please email .

Opportunities with the SynBio SRI

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

All Opportunities

Postdoc postion available in the lab of Professor Dek Woolfson at the University of Bristol. Working to construct semi-synthetic and synthetic analogues of the natural apparatus responsible for controlling the morphologies of eukaryotic cells

Postdoctoral position available in the lab of Dr Baojun Wang at the University of Edinburgh. Working on novel computational methods for facilitating design of synthetic cellular logic circuits.

Opportunity available for postdoc with commercialisation experience. Cambridge-based biotech start-up working on DNA synthesis.

Opportunity to join a biotech startup in Cambridge working to develop a next generation therapeutic synthetic biology platform using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). PhD prefered but not required

Up to £1.2 million funding to support postdoctoral researchers who aim to become independent scientists leading their own groups.

Up to £300,000 funding available for salary enhancement, research costs and potential PhD studentship. Funding will enable UK universities and research institutions to strategically recruit and attract outstanding research leaders to the UK from overseas.

Opportunity for academics and postdocs to undertake short (up to 6 month) secondments with industry partners. Funds a basic salary and £100 research expenses.

The Biochemical Society wishes to support scientific outreach activities that communicate the excitement of molecular bioscience to young people and the community. Funding available up to £1000.

Incubateur Descartes and partners are organising “the Aggregator 2020”, an International Start-Up vs Covid-19 Matchmaking Competition between Europe, Africa and India

A new project launched by the University of Cambridge aims to connect young people, researchers, and creatives to address the challenges and opportunities of developing a sustainable future.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Dr Neil Dixon at the University of Manchester. Working on new methods for lignin valorisation to generate high value chemicals such a flavors, fragrances and active pharmaceutical ingredients. This project is part of a consortium of nine academic and industry partners split between the UK and Brazil.

1:1 support and training available for innovators and SMEs looking to develop the next wave of technologies that could be deployed in 2030-50 to make a substantive impact in meeting the UK and global Net Zero ambitions. Applications encouraged in areas including synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology.

Up to 3 year fellowships availble for PhD students representing the future of research in areas including computational neuroscience, heath research and machine learning. Includes a bursary and assigned Google mentor. Internal application process via the Research Strategy Office.

Generous funding for researchers moving to another country. Fellowships are available in any discipline for researchers with a doctoral degree or at least four years’ full-time research experience.

Postdoctoral position available in the lab of Prof. Luke Mackinder at the University of York. Working on developing the first complete protein spatial interactome for a photosynthetic organism.

Postdoctoral position available in the lab of Dr John Heap at the University of Nottingham. Working on a synthetic biology approach to overcoming product and feedstock inhibitions in industrial gas fermentation.

A position is available for a highly motivated post-doctoral research associate working on the regulation of photosynthesis gene expression at single cell resolution in the lab of Prof. Julian Hibberd.

Two postdoctoral associate positions available in the lab of Dr Ledesma-Amaro at Imperial College London. Working on using the industrial yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for the production of highly valuable chemicals.

Post-doctoral senior research associate position available in the lab of Prof Natalio Krasnogor, Newcastle University. Working on engineered information processing in cells.

Postdoctoral position available in the lab of Dr Baojun Wang at the University of Edinburgh. Working on developing synthetic biology-enabled biosensors and customized hydrogel-based biomaterials for achieving noninvasive sweat biomarkers detection and wearable health monitoring.

The EPSRC has announced a new fellowship open to post-doctoral reserachers in the strategic priority area of Synthetic Biology. Applicants can apply for fellowships of up to 3 years. The fellowship includes a fully-funded salary as well as acess to facilities, training and funding for equipment, consumables, travel and subsistance.

The awards provide up to £25,000 over one year to support collaborations between developing countries and the UK and to hold networking events aimed at addressing global challenges. 

Large-scale funding available for long term projects that support the development of a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe. Call open to all sectors including academia and industry.

Competition to win up to £80,000 funding for early-stage, human-centred design projects to reduce plastics’ harm to the environment, increase productivity and grow the UK economy.

Young people (18-30) can apply for an award to make their business idea a reality. The Award includes a £5,000 grant, tailored business support and a living allowance.

Call for research proposals addressing COVID-19 in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs). Up to £1m funding supported by NIHR and UKRI.

Applications open for an 8 month training programe to develop scalable engineering solutions to local challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Prize money of £25,000 for one winner, and £10,000 for three runners-up.

Applications are invited for a full-time Senior Research Associate who will play a key role as Executive Director of the Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy (MCTD) at CRASSH, University of Cambridge.

Applications open for Global Future Council Fellows 2020-2021, part of the World Economic Forum. Open to postdocs in several areas including "Harnessing and disseminating the new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Synthetic Biology".

Three-month internship for final year PhD students in the area of food science and technology. £5000 funding available to cover extension to PhD award, maintenance and accommodation.


The Synthetic Biology Interdisciplinary Research Centre provides a hub for anyone interested in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, as well as commercial partners and external collaborators.

We promote interdisciplinary exchange in the field of synthetic biology through a regular event series and by funding projects at the intersection of biology, engineering, computing and design. Find out more about SynBio IRC events and opportunities below.


Subscribe to our mailing list for a monthly round-up of news, events and notices from across the Synthetic Biology SRI.