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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 16 Sept 2018] Centre for the Study of Existential Risk: Postdoc Position in Bio-Risk

The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) invites applications for a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in bio-risk. CSER's approach to the study of extreme and existential risks emphasises interdisciplinarity and engagement with policy and technology communities.

[Apply by 16 Sept 2018] Centre for the Study of Existential Risk: Postdoc Position in Bio-Risk - Read More…

[Apply by 13 August 2018] Contractor for Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK

The biological computation group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge is building a platform for programming biology by developing the software, hardware, and biological tools required to improve the workflows for engineering biological systems. In our biological wet lab we are performing synthetic biology experiments in order to understand how genetic devices function in bacterial cells. We are looking for an experienced biological laboratory technician to perform biological experiments and support the work of a team of world-leading researchers and engineers.

[Apply by 13 August 2018] Contractor for Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK - Read More…

[Apply by 8 July 2018] Summer internships available! Biomakespace biology and engineering programmes

Biomakespace is a not-for-profit social enterprise establishing a community laboratory for lifelong learning, curiosity driven research, entrepreneurship and public engagement at the interface of biology and engineering. We are offering 10-week paid internships in our Biology and Engineering Programmes to help build the foundations for our work and get involved with technical projects, public engagement, training and business development in this innovative environment. The successful candidate will be highly motivated and proactive with excellent communication skills and have some experience in a biology lab or engineering workshop respectively. Interests in informal science education, maker spaces, open science, DIY science and public engagement are all desirable.

[Apply by 8 July 2018] Summer internships available! Biomakespace biology and engineering programmes - Read More…

[Apply by 10 July 2018] Post Doc Researcher - Platform Design and Development at Microsoft

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position based at Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK, to work on a platform for biological modelling and automated laboratory experimentation. The successful applicant will extend computational methods being developed in the Biological Computation group and collaborate with scientists in leading academic institutions. The goal of the project is to accelerate biological research by integrating automated liquid handling, data tracking and computational modelling, to increase biological understanding through iterative cycles of modelling and experimentation. This methodology will be applied to research on understanding the formation of bacterial biofilms.

[Apply by 10 July 2018] Post Doc Researcher - Platform Design and Development at Microsoft - Read More…

[Apply by 1 July 2018] Ensembl Plants Project Leader at EMBL-EBI

The EMBL-EBI is seeking a project leader to join the Non-vertebrate Genomics Team at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), located on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus. The appointee will be responsible for the development of the Ensembl Plants resource.

[Apply by 1 July 2018] Ensembl Plants Project Leader at EMBL-EBI - Read More…

[Appy by 11 June 2018] Research Associate - CRISPR Genome Editing Development at CRUK CI, University of Cambridge

At CRUK Cambridge Institute, we perform world leading science which focuses on positively impacting cancer patients' lives. In the Pre-Clinical Genome Editing team, our mission is to make meaningful advances to understand and treat cancer. We use cutting edge technologies to create authentic models of disease for study, and to gain novel biological insight. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate, you will expand the capability of our specialised Genome Editing team, allowing us to develop novel technologies and to deliver a broad spectrum of User-driven projects. You will aggressively drive the innovation and application of Genome Editing technologies in translational research. A key focus will be to establish and translate emerging or novel technologies to an in vivo setting, prototyping and working up new methodologies in vitro, and building upon our functional genomics capabilities.

[Appy by 11 June 2018] Research Associate - CRISPR Genome Editing Development at CRUK CI, University of Cambridge - Read More…

[Apply by 29 June 2018] Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards

Entries are now open for the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards, supporting and celebrating inspirational young people from all over the world who have initiatives, products or services that tackle the planet’s biggest sustainability challenges.

[Apply by 29 June 2018] Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards - Read More…

Venture Creation Weekend: BIOTECH AND HEALTHCARE 1-3 JUNE

Do you have an idea for a biotech or healthcare venture that you’d like to develop? Would you like to work on that idea with a group of like-minded peers? Are you interested in joining a startup team? The next Venture Creation Weekend (VCW) offers an exciting opportunity to translate your idea, application or innovation into a real venture with the support of mentors from AstraZeneca and industry experts from the Cambridge ecosystem.

Venture Creation Weekend: BIOTECH AND HEALTHCARE 1-3 JUNE - Read More…

[Apply by 28 May 2018] Call for applications! Second Latin American Summit of Young Leaders in Biotechnology

Allbiotech is looking for young Latin American biotechnologists between 18 and 35 years to submit their application to be part of the Second Latin American Summit of Young Leaders in Biotechnology. We are going to select the 100 most outstanding applications to attend the Summit, which will be held in Guanajuato, Mexico in November 2018.

[Apply by 28 May 2018] Call for applications! Second Latin American Summit of Young Leaders in Biotechnology - Read More…

Postdoc Opportunity in Synthetic Biology in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London

This challenging and innovative project aims at manipulating microorganisms in order to create synthetic communities or ecosystems with enhanced capacities for bioproduction and biotechnology. The project will combine the creation of novel synthetic biology tools to generate emergent behaviours at population level as well as their use for industrial applications. The project is BBSRC funded for 36 months, and we are aiming to start by 20th August.

Postdoc Opportunity in Synthetic Biology in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London - Read More…

[Call webinar 15 May, Registration deadline 22 June 2018] BBSRC Strategic Longer and Larger grants: Frontier bioscience

The 2018/19 strategic Longer and Larger (sLoLa) call invites proposals focused on frontier bioscience: leading-edge discovery research that addresses significant fundamental questions in bioscience. The indicative budget for this call is up to £16 million, subject to the quality of applications received. Proposals must be over £2 million (100% FEC project value) and can be up to five years in duration.

[Call webinar 15 May, Registration deadline 22 June 2018] BBSRC Strategic Longer and Larger grants: Frontier bioscience - Read More…

Cambridge Display Technology seeking life scientist in Godmanchester

CDT currently requires a Scientist to support its technology scouting and innovation team in identifying new research themes and projects within the field of Life Sciences.

Cambridge Display Technology seeking life scientist in Godmanchester - Read More…

[Closes 29 April 2018] Postdoc Fellow position in Pre-Clinical Genome Editing

The CRUK Cambridge Institute performs world leading science which focuses on positively impacting cancer patients' lives. The Pre-Clinical Genome Editing team focuses on making meaningful advances to understand and treat cancer, using cutting edge technologies to create authentic models of disease for study, and gaining novel biological insight.

[Closes 29 April 2018] Postdoc Fellow position in Pre-Clinical Genome Editing - Read More…

[Closes 20 May 2018] Applications open for Gathering for Open Science Hardware 2018 in Shenzhen, 10-13 Oct

The Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) is a diverse, global community working to enhance the sharing of open, scientific technologies. Apply to join the third annual meeting in Shenzhen, China, 10-13 October 2018!

[Closes 20 May 2018] Applications open for Gathering for Open Science Hardware 2018 in Shenzhen, 10-13 Oct - Read More…

[Closes 17 May 2018] Dear Colleague Letter: Rules of Life (RoL): Design and Engineering of Synthetic Cells and Cell Components (DESYN-C3)

NSF seeks proposals that jump-start the de novo design of complex, synthetic biological components and cells. This DCL intends to engage scientists and engineers in the application of Design-Build-Test-Learn and experiment-modeling cycles to create synthetic cells. It is anticipated that the research will lead to new rules relevant for cell metabolism, epigenetics, interaction networks, and organelle function; molecular components and organelles of cells; and strategies for the design and synthesis of cells.

[Closes 17 May 2018] Dear Colleague Letter: Rules of Life (RoL): Design and Engineering of Synthetic Cells and Cell Components (DESYN-C3) - Read More…

[Closes 6 June 2018] BBSRC Call: Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the Developing World

BBSRC is pleased to announce a total of £5 million for Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the Developing World and aims to support a number of collaborative research projects addressing challenges relating to industrial biotechnology and bioenergy in the developing world.

[Closes 6 June 2018] BBSRC Call: Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in the Developing World - Read More…

Start-up Opportunity for Recent Engineering Grad

An exciting opportunity for a recent Engineering grad to work with a young and up-and-coming start-up company. As part of research development, POM is interested in creating an IoT demo device for insect tracking an quantification and could use some engineering help.

Start-up Opportunity for Recent Engineering Grad - Read More…

Invitation to the Science Media Centre Introduction to the News Media - Bristol 12th June 2018

Jun 12, 2018 from 01:00 PM to 05:00 PM Priory Road Lecture Theatre, University of Bristol,

Are you a scientist or engineer with little or no media experience? Are you working in a field which can provoke media controversy? Are you interested in how the media works – and how to help journalists report your subject better? Come to our next Introduction to the News Media event. It’s a hugely informative, entertaining and popular afternoon. And it’s FREE.

Invitation to the Science Media Centre Introduction to the News Media - Bristol 12th June 2018 - Read More…

[Closes 6 April 2018] Hamied Foundation UK-India AMR Visiting Professorships

The Academy of Medical Sciences is delighted to announce the inaugural call for applications to the Hamied Foundation UK-India Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Visiting Professorship Scheme. The scheme will support the travel and subsistence costs of UK researchers wishing to visit India to develop long-term collaborations in this highly-important and topical field of biomedical research.

[Closes 6 April 2018] Hamied Foundation UK-India AMR Visiting Professorships - Read More…

[Apply by 18 April] Seeking Bioengineering Readers/Professors at Imperial College, London

Are you an exceptional academic with expertise in the area of Bioengineering? Would you like to join a department which is leading the bioengineering agenda both nationally and internationally? If so, then this exciting, challenging and rewarding opportunity may be the next career path for you.

[Apply by 18 April] Seeking Bioengineering Readers/Professors at Imperial College, London - Read More…

[Closes 1 March] Science Survival Kit Summer Semester in Croatia: June 4th - August 26th, 2018

Rhizome Association are pleased to announce the opportunity to join the Science Survival Kit Summer Semester (SSKSS), a 12 week long summer program taking place at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences, Split, Croatia.

[Closes 1 March] Science Survival Kit Summer Semester in Croatia: June 4th - August 26th, 2018 - Read More…

Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) in Paris seeks group leaders to join the Collaborary

Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) in Paris seeks group leaders to join the Collaborary

The Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) experiments and spreads new ways of learning, teaching, conducting research and mobilizing collective intelligence in life, learning and digital sciences. The CRI is seeking candidates at different career stages, from postdoctoral young investigators to tenured scientists. Calls are now open for Core (5 year), Long-term (1-3 years) and Short-term (3-6 months fellows).

Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (CRI) in Paris seeks group leaders to join the Collaborary - Read More…

Biomaker Challenge Coordinator - 10 week summer placement

The Biomaker Challenge is a four-month interdisciplinary programme with multiple teams building low-cost sensors and instruments for biology, co-organised by OpenPlant and the Synthetic Biology SRI. We are looking for a coordinator for 10 weeks Jun-Sep 2018 (the long vacation period) to take responsibility for supporting the participating teams and managing online communications and social media

Biomaker Challenge Coordinator - 10 week summer placement - Read More…

[Closes 22 March] New Lectureships in Biological Sciences - Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology : Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The University of Edinburgh is an exciting, vibrant, research led academic community offering opportunities to work with leading international academics whose visions are shaping tomorrow's world.

[Closes 22 March] New Lectureships in Biological Sciences - Lecturer or Senior Lecturer in Synthetic Biology : Edinburgh, United Kingdom - Read More…

Postdoc representatives sought for University's Open Research Working Group

Postdoc representatives sought for University's Open Research Working Group

The Open Research Working Group will convene in 2018 to define and develop the University’s approach to open research, including open access to publications and open research data. The working group is seeking two postdoc representatives with some background or interest in open research, one from STEM and one from AHSS.

Postdoc representatives sought for University's Open Research Working Group - Read More…

Apply now for eLife Innovation Sprint - bringing cutting-edge technology to open research

Apply now for eLife Innovation Sprint - bringing cutting-edge technology to open research

The eLife Innovation Sprint is a two-day challenge on 10-11 May 2018 for developers, designers, technologists and researchers to collaboratively prototype innovations that bring cutting-edge technology to open research.

Apply now for eLife Innovation Sprint - bringing cutting-edge technology to open research - Read More…

[Closes 30 May 2018] OpenPlant and SynBio SRI seek new Coordinator - apply now!

[Closes 30 May 2018] OpenPlant and SynBio SRI seek new Coordinator - apply now!

The University of Cambridge is seeking a Co-ordinator for two Synthetic Biology research initiatives. The role-holder would work 50% to support the OpenPlant Synthetic Biology Research Centre and 50% with the Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative (SynBio SRI).

[Closes 30 May 2018] OpenPlant and SynBio SRI seek new Coordinator - apply now! - Read More…

[Closes 16 April] Accepting applications for the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology

We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology. We encourage you, your colleagues, and/or your trainees to apply if…

[Closes 16 April] Accepting applications for the 2018 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Summer Course in Synthetic Biology - Read More…

[Closes 20 Feb 2018] Synthetic Biology Postdoc at Earlham Institute

OpenPlant PI Dr Nicola Patron is looking for a Postdoctoral Research Scientist to work on a European Research Area (ERA) CoBioTech collaborative project based in the Patron Lab at the Earlham Institute.

[Closes 20 Feb 2018] Synthetic Biology Postdoc at Earlham Institute - 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, including researchers, commercial partners and external collaborators.