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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

The Trinity Bradfield Prize returns for 2021. Up to £10,000 cash prize for Cambridge students and early career researchers keen commercialize their science and technology research.

Several postdoc, technician and scientist positions available in the new Synthetic Biology team at Stellenbosch University. Working with the labs of Dr Heinrich Volschenk (Department of Microbiology) and Prof Johann Görgens (Department of Process Engineering) on high-throughput (HTP) design-build-test-learn cycles/microbial bioprocess development for production and purification of valuable enzymes and proteins.

Funded PhD position available at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) under the supervison of Prof. Morten Otto Alexander Sommer and Dr. Ruben Vazquez Uribe in the Bacterial Synthetic Biology section at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Using synthetic biology to develop engineered bacterial therapeutics for the gut microbiome.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Dr Lucia Marruci at the University of Bristol. Using molecular biology, systems/synthetic biology, microfluidics devices, time-lapse microscopy and external feedback control to design novel drug combination therapies for non-small cell lung cancer.

Postdoc-level position available at Cambridge Science Park startup Nuclera. Working to develop a cell-free protein  synthetis platform for a desktop bioprinter.

Senior postdoc-level position available at Cambridge Science Park startup Nuclera. Working to develop enzymatic DNA synthesis technology for a desktop bioprinter.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Prof. Berger-Schaffitzel at the University of Bristol. Using structural biology, protein engineering and display technology to generate high-affinity nanobodies as antivenom for snake toxins.

The team at Biodesign Challenge, in collaboration with Google are please to announce the first ever Biodesign Sprint, giving participants the opportunity to reimagine the future of biotech in industry

Various positions available for applicants at postdoc-level and above at Cambridge-based startup Evonetix. Working to develop a desktop-based gene synthesiser. Current openings in Molecular/ Synthetic Biology and Integration, Automated Gene Synthesis, Enzymatic DNA Synthesis, Enzymatic Gene Synthesis and Formulation & Quality Control.

Various internship opportunities available for Masters and undergraduate students interested in bioinformatics and computational biology.

6-12 month paid internship opportunity available at Cambridge-based startup Oxcitas. Working on analysis on omics datasets, bioinformatics and the AI/ML drug discovery process.

SynBioUK is partnering with Hummingbird Ventures (HV) to offer a nation-wide Venture Fellowship allowing participants to learn more about the synthetic biology and biotechnology market.

Postdoc-level position available at Coventry-based startup NanoSyrinx. Working to develop protein 'nanosyringes', to encapsulate and deliver therapeutics.

Postdoc position in the lab of Jurgen Lassak at LUM, Munich. Working on genetic code expansion and evolution of a tRNA-synthetase. Using microbial genetics and biochemistry to develop a molecular tool to generate artificial proteins.

Group leader positions available at the Genome Institute of Singapore, in the areas of Precision Medicine and Population Genomics, Spatial and Single Cell Systems, Epigenetic and Epitranscriptomic Regulation, Genome Architecture and Genome Design.

Tenure track assistant professor position available at the Center for Synthetic Biology and Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Up to £1500 funding for University of Cambridge researchers to undertake innovative public engagement with research activities.

eureKAWARDS is a science-based pitch contest aimed at discovering and supporting ambitious synthetic biology projects from accross Europe.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Dr. Diana Fusco. Working to develop a new CRISPR-based technique for gene editing of bacteriophage T7 to better understand and manipulate phage-host interactions.

Two synthetic biology faculty positions available at Rice University, Houston, Texas. Preference to candidates at the assistant professor level. Applications can be made to the Biosciences and/or Bioengineering Departments.

3 Year bursary for students currently enrolled on a PhD programme. Subjects include: computational neuroscience, health research, machine learning and systems and networking.

Up to £500,000 funding for outstanding early-career researchers to support them to become future research leaders in engineering.

£5,000 plus living allowance for young people (18-30) to develop creative and ground-breaking business ideas.

Up to £125,000 for breakthrough ideas in engineering biology. Projects accepted in three key areas: bioinspired design, novel materials, bioengineered cells and systems.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Dr Baojun Wang at the University of Edinburgh. Working on developing synthetic biology enabling tools, and the design and testing of synthetic protein and gene circuits.

Sagentia Innovation are recruiting a commercial-savvy and scientifically capable individual to facilitate the growth of their Life Science ‘Practice’ within the R&D Consultancy Division.

Postgrad or postdoc position at chemicals company Croda. Working to develop microbial bioprocesses at lab and pilot, and potentially industrial scale.

Two-year residency/postdoc position availible in the Micorsoft Research Cambridge Health Intelligence team. Recruiting researchers and engineers in in machine learning, healthcare, biology, human-computer interaction, or related fields.

CS Genetics are recruiting molecular biologists of all levels for development of next generation sequencing technologies.


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.


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