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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

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.

Lonza are recruiting scientists of all levels in the areas of cell and molecular biology, mammalian cell culture, recombinant protein  expression, protein engineering, and cell engineering.

Postgrad or postdoc position at London biotechnology company. Working on engineering plasmid DNA for biomolecule manufacture.

Postgrad or postdoc positions available at AstraZeneca. Seeking three scientists with a strong background in molecular and cell biology to join the Oncology Safety Sciences team in Cambridge.

Opportunity for a scientist with an interest in health policy to work with a world-class think tank at the cutting edge of biomedical science in healthcare.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Prof. Michele Fabris at the University of Southern Denmark. Working characterization of the microalgae metabolism and genetics, and strain engineering for bioproduction.

5 months training programme, lab space and £10,000 cash prise for 5 life science start-ups.

Professorship position available at University of York. Recruiting a new Professor who will take a strategic lead in developing Engineering Biology at York.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Prof. Patrick Cai at the University of Manchester. Working with chromosome synthesis, directed evolution and nanopore sequencing for engineering synthetic genomes.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Prof. Patrick Cai at the University of Manchester. Working on developing computational assisted design for engineering synthetic genomes.

Deep-tech therapeutics discovery and development startup XAI-BiO are recruiting for two positions: 1) Quantitative Biologist,  2) Computational Systems Biologist.

Grants of £2 million plus for proposals focused on frontier bioscience. Applications are welcome for cutting edge, innovative and ambitious research across all biological scales.

Postdoc position available in the Howard Lab at the Universty of Newcastle. Examining the potential to use cell-free systems to monitor insect vectors of plant pathogens.

Colloaborator sought to help test and optimise sustainable waste-based alternatives to LB and complex media.

Technician position available for proficient Python programmer in the Biocompute Lab of Dr Thomas Gorochowski. Working to programme Opentrons automation robots for synthetic biology applications.

Visiting fellowships of up to £125,000 for overseas researchers coming to the UK.

Up to £4 million for collaborative research projects promoting universal health coverage, ensure healthy lives, and wellbeing for all at all ages. Consortia must include institutions in low-to-middle income countries.

Up top £300,000 funding for early career researchers working at the interface of economic/social sciences and the wider sciences.

Lab manager position available at synthetic biology start up at Norwich Research Park. Company specialises in the plant-based expression and production of proteins, metabolites and complex natural products.

Up to €100,000 funding for science and deep tech entrepreneurs. Areas include: data and AI, digital health and medical devices, energy and environment, food and agriculture, industrial biotech and new materials and medical biotech and pharmaceuticals.

University of Cambridge Awards recognising outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in devising and implementing ambitious engagement and impact plans.

Postdoc position available in the lab of Prof. Guy-Bart Stan at Imperial College London. Working on theoretical design and analysis of biomolecular control systems in synthetic biology.


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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