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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

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…

[Closes April 20] 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

[Closes April 20] 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 12 Mar 2018] OpenPlant and SynBio SRI seek new Coordinator - apply now!

[Closes 12 Mar 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 12 Mar 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…

[Closes 31 Jan] Apply now to PULSE: Programme for Up and coming Life Sciences Entrepreneurs

PULSE is a new, three day leadership and entrepreneurship training programme developed by the BIA and the Francis Crick Institute. The programme is for aspiring entrepreneurs and new CEOs looking for advanced practical advice, support and feedback from leading entrepreneurs, renowned professionals and CEOs.

[Closes 31 Jan] Apply now to PULSE: Programme for Up and coming Life Sciences Entrepreneurs - Read More…

[Closes 31 March 2018] EPSRC IAA Postdoctoral Placements

Funding is available to allow EPSRC-funded postdocs to take up short term placements in a partner organisation in industry, the public sector or third sector (not at other Universities). The funding is intended to enable the postdoc to apply their research-based knowledge and expertise in a different context, helping the partner organisation innovate and the postdoc to gain valuable work experience.

[Closes 31 March 2018] EPSRC IAA Postdoctoral Placements - Read More…

[Closes 5 March 2018] 2018 CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships

The CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBioFSP) is pleased to announce the opening of the second round of CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships. The scheme aims to attract outstanding national and international early-career post-doctoral researchers (equivalent to Australian Academic Levels A and B, or in exceptional circumstances, Level C) to expand Australian research capacity in synthetic biology. A key element of the SynBio FSP is establishment of a collaborative community of practice extending across CSIRO and Australia more broadly, and linking into international efforts in the field. Research projects must demonstrate an ability to build Australian capacity in synthetic biology.

[Closes 5 March 2018] 2018 CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellowships - Read More…

Essex Synthetic Biology Summer School: 2-6 July 2018

Essex Synthetic Biology Summer School: 2-6 July 2018

The Essex Synthetic Biology School (ESBS) is an intensive 5-day summer course targeting students and early career scientists interested in learning cutting edge experimental and computational methods to design and build biological systems directly from world-renowned experts, working with bacterial, yeast, plant and mammalian systems, in fields such as cancer and healthcare research, as well as industrial, agricultural and environmental synthetic biology.

Essex Synthetic Biology Summer School: 2-6 July 2018 - Read More…

[Closes 28 March 2018] HFSP 2019 Research Grant

HUMAN FRONTIER SCIENCE PROGRAM (HFSP) supports international preferably intercontinental collaborations in basic life science research. Applications are invited for grants to support innovative approaches to understanding complex mechanisms of living organisms. Applicants are expected to develop novel lines of research distinct from their ongoing research. Preliminary results are not required.

[Closes 28 March 2018] HFSP 2019 Research Grant - Read More…

[Closes 14 March 2018] NSF-USDA-BBSRC Joint Funding Opportunity to Develop Breakthrough Ideas and Technologies to Advance Crop Breeding and Functional Genomics

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have established a joint funding opportunity to support the development of breakthrough technologies that will enable significant advances in crop breeding. This opportunity aims to make high impact changes in the ability to translate basic knowledge of plant genomics to practical outcomes in crops of economic importance to the participating countries.

[Closes 14 March 2018] NSF-USDA-BBSRC Joint Funding Opportunity to Develop Breakthrough Ideas and Technologies to Advance Crop Breeding and Functional Genomics - Read More…

Cambridge Consultants: Senior Scientist – Synthetic Biology

The next technology revolution is coming: the engineering of biology. Cambridge Consultants wants to be at the forefront. They are building a team to work in synthetic biology: applying engineering principles to the design and build of biological systems to create completely new products and services by combining biology, chemistry, engineering, and maths skills.

Cambridge Consultants: Senior Scientist – Synthetic Biology - Read More…

[Closes 29 Jan 2018] PhD in synthetic bioremediation at Newcastle University

Climate change due to anthropogenic deterioration of the environment is a major threat to the biosphere. One way to address this problem comes from bioremediation through synthetic biology. This project aims to abstract ecosystems into sets of compounds, reactions and connections. Such ecological templates will then be mathematically formalised, and experimentally reproduced, to allow their integration into the rational design of genetic circuits

[Closes 29 Jan 2018] PhD in synthetic bioremediation at Newcastle University - Read More…

[Closes 1 Feb 2018] PhD in Microbial Cell Factories Anticancer Drug Production at Edinburgh University

Taxol (paclitaxel) is one of the most important anticancer drugs and applications are encouraged for a PhD Studentship in microbial synthetic biology, focusing on the development of novel cell factories for the efficient and environmentally sustainable production paclitaxel, to help meet increasing demand for this key pharmaceutical.

[Closes 1 Feb 2018] PhD in Microbial Cell Factories Anticancer Drug Production at Edinburgh University - Read More…

[Closes 26 Feb 2018] The Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellowship Programme

The Borysiewicz Fellowships will take outstanding Cambridge postdocs and develop them into motivated, strategic future leaders ready to pursue a range of global questions and problems. The programme will provide a unique mixture of purposeful and outcome-driven engagement opportunities for postdocs both within and outside their area of expertise, which will develop their skills as leaders and lead to a chance to pursue truly independent work on novel ideas.

[Closes 26 Feb 2018] The Borysiewicz Biomedical Sciences Fellowship Programme - Read More…

[Closes 31 Jan 2018] Research Associate in Synthetic Biology at Imperial College

The Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London is seeking to appoint a highly motivated and dynamic Research Associate to join the Imperial Centre for Synthetic Biology (IC-CSynB), on a fixed-term position. The appointee will provide theoretical modelling and design expertise within the centre.

[Closes 31 Jan 2018] Research Associate in Synthetic Biology at Imperial College - Read More…

[Closes 10 Jan 2018] Synthetic Biology Senior Research Laboratory Technician (Part Time, Fixed Term)

The Department of Plant Sciences is seeking to appoint a technician to carry out experimental work within Professor Alison Smith's research group, supporting several projects in algal synthetic biology and biotechnology. The successful candidate will be involved with generation, maintenance and characterisation of transgenic micro-algae lines.

[Closes 10 Jan 2018] Synthetic Biology Senior Research Laboratory Technician (Part Time, Fixed Term) - Read More…

[Closes 12 Jan 2018] BBSRC Industry Placement Grants

The University of Cambridge has been awarded a Flexible Talent Mobility Account (FTMA). The FTMA is targeted at talented early-career (postdoctoral or equivalent)* researchers who have the potential to be the next generation of leaders within UK academic and industrial research; it is intended to support the exchange of personnel, perspectives and knowledge, skills and expertise between the academic and industrial sectors.

[Closes 12 Jan 2018] BBSRC Industry Placement Grants - Read More…

[Closes 2 Jan 2018] Postdoc in Synthetic Biology at Newcastle University

Newcastle University are seeking a highly motivated experimental synthetic biology researcher to join Dr Angel Goñi-Moreno’s team at the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) group and the Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy of Newcastle University. You will work on the project “SynBio3D: Establishing the engineering fundamentals of three-dimensional synthetic biology”.

[Closes 2 Jan 2018] Postdoc in Synthetic Biology at Newcastle University - Read More…

[Closes 5 Jan 2018] Two post-doctoral fellowships in plant synthetic biology at Colorado State University

The Antunes and Medford Research groups at Colorado State University are looking for two (2) post-doctoral fellows to work on a new plant synthetic biology project to produce useful, living biomaterials

[Closes 5 Jan 2018] Two post-doctoral fellowships in plant synthetic biology at Colorado State University - Read More…

Call for Proposals: 5th International Synthetic & Systems Biology Summer School - SSBSS 2018

The Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) is a full-immersion five-day residential summer school on cutting-edge advances in systems and synthetic biology with lectures delivered by world-renowned experts. The 2018 Summer School will take place July 25-29, 2018 at Certosa di Pontignano in Tuscany, Italy.

Call for Proposals: 5th International Synthetic & Systems Biology Summer School - SSBSS 2018 - 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.