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Opportunities Overview

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

[Apply by 2 Sept 2019] The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund - 2019 Call for Applications

The Fund supports pairs of researchers (post-doctoral level and above) from the University of Cambridge (or an affiliated institution such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Babraham Institute and NIAB) and sub-Saharan African institutions, across all disciplines, to initiate and/or strengthen research collaborations.

[Apply by 2 Sept 2019] The Cambridge-Africa ALBORADA Research Fund - 2019 Call for Applications - Read More…

OpenCell London seeking up to three people to join the team with an equity package + pension + salary in the range of £40-50K/anum

45 shipping containers in Shepherd’s Bush London, with offices, workshops and biology labs for early stage startups and designers. We don't believe in long winded business plans. We want residents to build things people want. By hosting expensive infrastructure we are able to offer a low cost environment for biotech prototyping. Our community of like minded innovators can help you prototype inventions faster.

OpenCell London seeking up to three people to join the team with an equity package + pension + salary in the range of £40-50K/anum - Read More…

[Apply by 25 June 2019] Facility Manager at Edinburgh Genome Foundry

Are you keen to develop you project and people management skills in one of the most fast moving areas of biomedical research: lab automation and synthetic biology? We are looking for a molecular biologist, with extensive project and people management skills, to drive forward an automated genome assembly platform – Edinburgh’s Genome Foundry.

[Apply by 25 June 2019] Facility Manager at Edinburgh Genome Foundry - Read More…

[Apply by 3 July 2019] Wellcome Sanger Institute seeking Postdoctoral Fellow in Synthetic Genomics (Manchester)

A postdoctoral position is available at the Wellcome Sanger Institute (WSI) to advance research in human genome synthetic genomics. This position will be led by Prof. Patrick Yizhi Cai (University of Manchester, www.cailab.org) as part of the Institute’s new Synthetic Genomics Initiative working within the Institute’s Cancer section. The role will coordinate with ongoing research in cancer genomics, and new research in designing and implementing synthetic genomics methods for the human genome. This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to develop and demonstrate state-of-the-art methods for using genome engineering and genomic synthesis to synthetically design, synthesize and characterize synthetic mitochondrial genomes. As the goal is focused on showcasing technology development, there will be substantial freedom for the postdoc to guide the research of the project.

[Apply by 3 July 2019] Wellcome Sanger Institute seeking Postdoctoral Fellow in Synthetic Genomics (Manchester) - Read More…

[Apply by 8 July 2019] BBSRC funding for postdocs to build relationships with industry

The BBSRC Flexible Talent Mobility Account (FTMA) ‘Industry Introductions Fund’ provides early career researchers, working within the BBSRC remit, with up to £3,000 to make initial contacts with industry, with a view to forging longer-term relationships. The activities supported by this fund include: participation in conferences with a high proportion of industry delegates, attending industry-led events, such as trade fairs, and visiting a company (or multiple companies) to explore potential avenues for collaboration.

[Apply by 8 July 2019] BBSRC funding for postdocs to build relationships with industry - Read More…

Start-up Evonetix in Cambridge seeking Synthetic Chemist

We are seeking highly innovative organic chemists with the experience and drive necessary to develop our ground-breaking new platform for DNA synthesis. As a member of the chemistry team, you will play a key role in the design and synthesis of the highly novel organic molecules required for the synthesis of DNA in a massively parallel fashion. You will also be involved in the development of the automated chemistry processes that will underpin our technology. These are very exciting roles at the cutting edge of biotechnology and synthetic biology. You will be working as part of a closely knit multidisciplinary team of engineers, physicists, surface chemists, software engineers and biologists, and so will possess a willingness to rapidly learn the new skills required to develop this radical new technology.

Start-up Evonetix in Cambridge seeking Synthetic Chemist - Read More…

[Apply by 21 June 2019] Nuclera DNA synthesis company in Cambridge seeking synthetic biologist

We are seeking a synthetic biologist highly experienced in DNA and gene assembly techniques. You will join the growing team developing our enzymatic DNA synthesis technology, based in the Cambridge Science Park. This role would suit a keen and enthusiastic, recently qualified PhD graduate who is energised by solving biological and biochemical problems, as well as an experienced researcher who is looking for challenges. To thrive in this role you should be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, willing to take on responsibility, and excited to engage with the team to solve important challenges.

[Apply by 21 June 2019] Nuclera DNA synthesis company in Cambridge seeking synthetic biologist - Read More…

[Apply by 20 May 2019] Forrest Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowships

The Forrest Research Foundation attracts outstanding minds to Western Australia to undertake high quality research with the potential to change the world. Forrest Post-doctoral Fellows will reside in Forrest Hall and provide valuable mentoring to Forrest Scholars and provide leadership to the Forrest Research Foundation. They will carry out their research over a 3 year period to meet the requirements and expectations of their host university.

[Apply by 20 May 2019] Forrest Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowships - Read More…

Opportunities for plant genetic engineers and bioinformaticians at Empyrean Therapeutics, Cambridge

Empyrean Therapeutics, headquartered at the Babraham research campus in Cambridge, is seeking to recruit a team of scientists to help establish and lead our crop genetic engineering efforts as part of a new endeavour. Our company’s core research involves developing novel cell therapies for the treatment of cancer and rare disease and the translation of these to the clinic. Our primary expertise is within the gene editing and engineering of immune cells to seek out and destroy tumour cells and we have extensive experience in developing new CRISPR and viral based approaches for immunotherapy.

Opportunities for plant genetic engineers and bioinformaticians at Empyrean Therapeutics, Cambridge - Read More…

[Apply by 2 May 2019] Postdoctoral Fellow in Synthetic Genomics at The Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton

A postdoctoral position is available at the Wellcome Sanger Institute to advance research in human genome synthetic genomics. This position will be led by Tom Ellis and David Adams as part of the Institute’s new Synthetic Genomics Initiative working within the Institute’s Cancer section. The role will coordinate with ongoing research in cancer genomics, and new research in designing and implementing synthetic genomics methods for the human genome. This is an exciting opportunity for the successful candidate to develop and demonstrate state-of-the-art methods for using genome engineering and genomic loci synthesis to synthetically probe the effects of mutation and rearrangement on a major cancer gene. As the goal is focused on showcasing technology development, there will be substantial freedom for the postdoc to guide the research of the project.

[Apply by 2 May 2019] Postdoctoral Fellow in Synthetic Genomics at The Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton - Read More…

[Apply by 28 April 2019] Biomaker Challenge Africa Coordinator (May-July)

The Global Challenges Research Fund is supporting a pump-priming programme to take the Biomaker Challenge to centres in Africa. Biomaker is an interdisciplinary programme that brings together multiple teams to build low-cost sensor devices and instruments for biology (https://www.biomaker.org). The Biomaker Africa programme is co-organised by the Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative, the BBSRC-EPSRC OpenPlant, Centre for Global Equality and OpenBioeconomy Lab in Cambridge. We are looking for a Challenge Coordinator for 12 weeks during May-Jul 2019 to take responsibility for coordinating participating teams and managing online communications and social media. This includes organising and publicising events and highlighting interesting projects online through writing and multimedia presentations, coordinating training and connecting teams who might be able to share knowledge and skills.

[Apply by 28 April 2019] Biomaker Challenge Africa Coordinator (May-July) - Read More…

[Apply by 13 May 2019] Laboratory Research Technician in Prof. Jim Haseloff/OpenPlant Laboratory at the Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University

Applications are invited for the position of Laboratory Research Technician in the research group of Prof. Jim Haseloff at the OpenPlant Laboratory at the Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University. The group focuses on the development of technologies to establish Marchantia polymorpha as the model plant in Synthetic Biology, and protocols for working with this plant, such as transformation, production of spores and CRISPR mutagenesis, are well established.

[Apply by 13 May 2019] Laboratory Research Technician in Prof. Jim Haseloff/OpenPlant Laboratory at the Department of Plant Sciences, Cambridge University - Read More…

[Accepting applications until filled] OpenCell in London seeks lab manager

OpenCell has established biotech labs in 70 shipping containers in Shepherd’s Bush London. This is a non-conventional way of providing ultra low-cost biotech labs for startups. OpenCell is managing and building more labs and need someone to join the team who wants to rethink how the lab is designed. This is a unique way to interact with early stage business and applied biotechnology. Consisting of a small team from diverse backgrounds, the OpenCell community is always looking for unusual solutions to difficult problems.

[Accepting applications until filled] OpenCell in London seeks lab manager - Read More…

[Apply by 22 April 2019] EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering recruiting 5 PhD students

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering aims to train the next generation of leaders at the interface of biology, engineering and data science. The CDT will have an integrative training programme that covers experimentation, automation, coding, data science and entrepreneurship applied to the design, realisation and optimisation of novel biological systems for diverse applications. The CDT is being led by Imperial College with the University of Manchester and University College London as partners. All students will undertake the MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology at Imperial College in their first year, with an extended project at the lead-supervisor institution, followed by a 3 year PhD registration in that host institution. Our aim is to build an inclusive cohort of students with diverse skillsets from life sciences, engineering and physical/computational backgrounds. We therefore encourage applications from students that reflect this diversity.

[Apply by 22 April 2019] EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in BioDesign Engineering recruiting 5 PhD students - Read More…

[Open until filled] Postdoc Synthetic Biology/Biochemistry at University of Minnesota

The Schmidt-Dannert Laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and the BioTechnology Institute University of Minnesota (USA) has open postdoc positions for synthetic biologists/biochemist with a background in molecular biology, genetic/protein engineering or biochemistry. Postdoctoral positions may start immediately and will be for up to three years, following the successful completion of a one-year probationary period.

[Open until filled] Postdoc Synthetic Biology/Biochemistry at University of Minnesota - Read More…

BBSRC Follow-on Fund Synthetic Biology Highlight [10 July - 9 Oct 2019]

BBSRC Follow-on Funding (FoF) supports the translation of research into practical application, including commercialisation. The aim of the programme is to help researchers maximise the societal and economic benefits of their research. The FoF is a proof-of-concept programme to support bioscience innovation and provide funding where further work on an idea will take it through to a stage at which the route to application is clear, which may include a spin-out, licensing opportunity or the creation of a social enterprise. The programme enables researchers to conduct activities essential to preparing a robust business plan and to secure, where appropriate, further funding and support to progress the project. The FoF aims to bridge the funding gap between BBSRC-funded research and the point at which other non-BBSRC funding becomes available. By supporting early-stage projects, it also seeks to reduce the risk for future investors. The FoF should not duplicate other sources of public and private funding.

BBSRC Follow-on Fund Synthetic Biology Highlight [10 July - 9 Oct 2019] - Read More…

[Apply by 30 April 2019] Development Engineer at Synoptics, Cambridge

Synoptics is a Cambridge-based company producing hardware and software for the life sciences sectors. We are looking for a bright and enthusiastic software developer to work on both new and existing software packages, working with various cameras and bespoke hardware. Our products are mainly written in C# (.Net 2.0 to .Net 3.5) utilising our range of .Net components (written in C++).

[Apply by 30 April 2019] Development Engineer at Synoptics, Cambridge - Read More…

Two-year Wellcome Trust Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship opportunity at the University of Cambridge (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology)

We are seeking a posdoctoral chemist, chemical engineer or materials scientist who wishes to gain experience in the application of their research to solve problems in the basic biological and biomedical sciences. They will develop open technologies to increase access to biological research tools for scientists in low-resource contexts. The ideal candidate will have prior experience with hydrogels and nanocomposite materials.

Two-year Wellcome Trust Junior Interdisciplinary Fellowship opportunity at the University of Cambridge (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) - Read More…

[Open until position filled, priority to applications submitted before 4 April 2019] Programme Leader Track in the Division of Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry, MRC, Cambridge

The PNAC Division of the MRC LMB invites applications for a tenure-track Group Leader position. We seek an outstanding colleague whose work will complement current research themes in the Division, which include molecular mechanisms of infection and immunity, signalling, DNA repair and replication, synthetic biology, and chemical biology.

[Open until position filled, priority to applications submitted before 4 April 2019] Programme Leader Track in the Division of Protein & Nucleic Acid Chemistry, MRC, Cambridge - Read More…

[Apply by 7 May 2019] Up to £8.5 million available to support interdisciplinary proposals seeking to work across the food system to reduce the global double burden of malnutrition

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Collective Programme, is pleased to announce investment of up to £8.5 million to support interdisciplinary proposals that seek to work across the food system to reduce the global double burden of malnutrition. This programme aims to consolidate existing evidence and synthesise new evidence for sustainable, multidisciplinary approaches that address the challenge of chronic global malnutrition. This will encompass both under-nutrition (too few calories) and over-nutrition (too many calories), both of which are associated with inadequate micronutrient intakes, otherwise known as the ‘Double Burden of Malnutrition’.

[Apply by 7 May 2019] Up to £8.5 million available to support interdisciplinary proposals seeking to work across the food system to reduce the global double burden of malnutrition - Read More…

[Apply by 30 March 2019] Hardware Engineer for Cytera CellWorks, London

Designing systems that grow human cells means creating elegant multidisciplinary solutions that interweave mechanical, electronic, and fluidic systems. We are looking for an exceptional individual who has demonstrated an ability to design from scratch hardware solutions combining mechanical and electronic systems, while keeping in mind short-term and long-term manufacturing strategies. Someone who'd be willing to continuously learn the new knowledge needed to design hardware for non-typical use cases.

[Apply by 30 March 2019] Hardware Engineer for Cytera CellWorks, London - Read More…

[Apply by 30 March 2019] Bioengineer for Cytera CellWorks, London

We are looking for an exceptional individual who has demonstrated an ability to bring together deep biological expertise with novel engineering solutions. Someone who'd learn the new skills needed to break down a tough problem into a solvable one.

[Apply by 30 March 2019] Bioengineer for Cytera CellWorks, London - Read More…

[Apply by 29 March 2019] Turing AI Fellowships

The Alan Turing Institute is launching this first call for Turing Senior AI Fellowships and Turing AI Fellowships in partnership with the Office for AI and UKRI. Fellowships will cover a broad view of AI, including applications of foundational disciplines across mathematical sciences, statistical sciences, computational sciences and engineering. Consideration may also be given to AI work that interfaces with the life sciences, social sciences or humanities. Fellows will be expected to collaborate as appropriate across disciplines, and will have the opportunity to collaborate with academia, industry, government and the third sector.

[Apply by 29 March 2019] Turing AI Fellowships - Read More…

[Apply by 3 April 2019] Research Associate/Fellow- Synthetic Biologist/Metabolic Engineer at University of Nottingham

The Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SBRC) at the University of Nottingham is seeking creative and motivated metabolic engineering scientists and/or synthetic biologists to work on developing gas-fermenting microbial chassis for sustainable bioproduction of chemicals and fuels.

[Apply by 3 April 2019] Research Associate/Fellow- Synthetic Biologist/Metabolic Engineer at University of Nottingham - Read More…

ECM High Tech Recruitment Experts seeking Molecular Biochemist/Synthetic Biologist

Are you completing your PhD or post-doc, and looking to make your first steps into industry? We’re looking for an Applied Scientist to work on multidisciplinary projects, providing expertise (both theoretical knowledge and practical lab skills) in molecular biochemistry, conjugate-fluorescence chemistry and enzymology.

ECM High Tech Recruitment Experts seeking Molecular Biochemist/Synthetic Biologist - Read More…

[Apply by 1 April 2019] Research Associate in Mammalian Synthetic Biology at The University of Edinburgh

A fixed term postdoctoral appointment is available within the School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh to work on the automatic (re)design of synthetic promoters, primarily for mammalian cells, focusing on the control Chimeric Antigen Receptors expression. As part of this project, the successful candidate will develop a microfluidics-based platform to perform high-throughput cell screening and will liaise with the Edinburgh Genome Foundry to build, and automatically model, large libraries of synthetic inducible promoters.

[Apply by 1 April 2019] Research Associate in Mammalian Synthetic Biology at The University of Edinburgh - Read More…

[Apply by 3 April 2019] Postdoctoral Research Associate in Synthetic Biology at University of Oxford

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work under the supervision of Dr Michael Booth on a research project funded by OxSyBio for a period of 12 months in the first instance. The project involves the development of light-activated synthetic cells for drug delivery into mammalian cells.

[Apply by 3 April 2019] Postdoctoral Research Associate in Synthetic Biology at University of Oxford - Read More…

Deep Learning Researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge

Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK) is looking for exceptional Researcher candidates in deep learning. Microsoft AI and Research works with the world's best researchers, moving with the current of technology as it rapidly evolves. Together we share the motivation to seek innovative solutions to the world's toughest challenges and improve the lives of people everywhere. The successful applicant would be expected to develop a program of research in deep learning methods, enabling new applications in processing of images, text or other structured data. This is an exceptional opportunity to drive ambitious research while collaborating with product teams in one of the largest software companies in the world.

Deep Learning Researcher at Microsoft Research, Cambridge - Read More…

Computational Biology Internship at Microsoft Research

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.

Computational Biology Internship at Microsoft Research - Read More…

[Apply by 5 July 2019] Masters 2 in Systems & Synthetic Biology at University of Evry-val-d’Essonne, France

The vigorous development of Systems and Synthetic Biology constitutes a huge challenge that must be met both from the research and education perspectives. mSSB represents the first step towards nurturing a new brand of researchers and engineers to face up to the challenge. The aim of mSSB is to provide students from the Life Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, Chemistry, Physical and Computer Sciences a mean to fruitfully engage in collaborative work across disciplinary boundaries, with applications in Systems & Synthetic Biology. Students undertaking the course will gain hands-on experience in experimental Biology, modelling and designing. They will also enhance transversal capacities including planning a project, giving a seminar, perceiving the industrial, economical and ethical issues associated with these developing fields.

[Apply by 5 July 2019] Masters 2 in Systems & Synthetic Biology at University of Evry-val-d’Essonne, France - Read More…

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