What is Pathways to Scientific Laboratories?

*Update on Professional Pathways programme - March 2020*:

Students shortlisted for the 2020 Professional Pathways programme will be notified accordingly of any changes we are making. If you are interested in applying for the 2021 programme, please register your interest here and we will be in touch later in the year with further details. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the team at professionalpathways@exeter.ac.uk Please be aware that during these exceptional circumstances, there may be a delay in the team responding to enquiries and we thank you in advance for your patience.

Do you want to gain experience supporting scientific analysis, investigation, research and development in one of the University of Exeter’s laboratories? Employers value pre-entry experience in a laboratory, as it not only demonstrates your familiarity with lab procedures but shows your commitment and interest in the field. The Pathway to Scientific Laboratories offers the opportunity for students across all disciplines to gain valuable experience supporting one of the Laboratories in the College of Life and Environmental Science. If you are accepted onto the programme, you will attend a 4-day training course where you will learn the essential skills and knowledge in Health and Safety and what to expect when working alongside scientists and technicians. There will also be the opportunity to gain an insight into the career paths available in this industry plus learn about topics prevalent in the industry.  You will then spend a week completing a paid internship in one of the University's laboratories.

The interactive programme comprises of 3 key elements: 

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of intensive technical and employability training; Monday 15th - Thursday 18th June 2020.
  • Group project - You will work in small groups to apply your learning to a real life business project during the training period.
  • Paid internshipYou will undertake a 1 week paid internship within one of the University's laboratories between Monday 22nd - Friday 26th June 2020. Internships are available in the following laboratories: 

Living Systems Institute – LSI Building,  Exeter Campus
Aquatic Resources Centre (ARC) – LSI Building, Exeter Campus
Medical Mycology – Geoffrey Pope, Exeter Campus
Research Laboratories in Sports Health Science – St Lukes Campus
The Geography and Archaeology Laboratories – Amory / Hatherly, Exeter Campus
Environment and Sustainability Institute – Penryn Campus
Penryn Home Office Licensed Fish Lab - Penryn Campus

Applications for the 2020 Pathways to Scientific Laboratories programme are now closed

  • Gain an insight into working in a laboratory 
  • Increase knowledge of sector specific activities
  • Learn in an interactive and experiential environment
  • Work with students from different year groups, subjects and levels of degree
  • Be inspired by experienced professionals
  • Gain confidence in your abilities
  • Develop your career plan
  • Apply newly acquired learning to a group project as part of the training
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship within a University laboratory
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate and reference

You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for the programme. We welcome applications from all disciplines and levels of study from first year to final year, undergraduate or postgraduate as long as you can demonstrate a keen interest in this subject area. Students from any campus can apply for this pathway.

You must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the professional pathways i.e. it covers both the training and the internship week. If you are called to the selection assessment centre you will be asked to bring evidence of your right to work status.

Applications are now closed.

It is important to note that information you provide on your application form will be shared with the internship hosts as part of the internship matching process.

Shortlisted students will be invited to attend an interview in the last two weeks of March. You will be notified if you have been called to interview or not by early March 2020. Interviews will be held on both the Exeter Streatham campus and Penryn campus. 

If then selected onto the programme, you will undertake a one-week paid internship within one of the University's laboratories between 22nd - 26th June 2020.

The application process is highly competitive and therefore only the best performing students will be selected for an interview and subsequently for inclusion on the programme.  Any students not successful in the application process will receive feedback for their performance, and will be signposted to resources and support available.

If you are interested in applying for the 2021 programme, please register your interest here and we will be in touch later in the year with further details.

The training week will take place 15th - 18th June 2020.

Students selected onto the programme will undertake 4 days of intensive training delivered at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus. For successful Cornwall based students only, paid accommodation in Exeter will be available for the duration of the training as well as up to £50 contribution to cover travel expenses to and from Cornwall to Exeter.

The training should equip you with vital industry knowledge and preparatory support before undertaking your paid week-long internship.

As this is a new programme, sessions are still being decided however are likely to include:

  • Career talks from alumni and current staff 
  • Health and Safety training
  • Lab etiquette
  • Maintaining sterile conditions
  • Working in an animal facility
  • Quality control

Please note these are subject to final confirmation and may change.

Group Project

Working within small groups, you will apply your training to a laboratory-based challenge during the training week. On the final day of the programme your group will deliver a presentation to a panel of judges.

If selected, you will undertake a week-long paid internship in one of the University's laboratories. These internships will take place after your training has been completed.

Opportunities are available in the following laboratories: 

  • Living Systems Institute - LSI Building, Exeter Campus
  • Aquatic Resources Centre (ARC) - LSI Building, Exeter Campus
  • Medical Mycology - Geoffrey Pope, Exeter Campus
  • Research Laboratories in Sports Health Science - St Lukes Campus
  • The Geography and Archaeology Laboratories - Amory / Hatherly, Exeter Campus
  • Environment and Sustainability Institute - Penryn Campus
  • Penryn Home Office Licensed Fish Lab - Penryn Campus

The salary of £10.42 per hour (inclusive of holiday pay) for this week long (35 hour) internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. You will need to fund the accommodation and travel expenses for the internship week.

On the application form you will be asked to select two preferences of laboratories you would like to work in. You will need to consider your travel and accommodation arrangements when choosing your preferences as we cannot cover accommodation costs. At the shortlisting stage you will then be considered for both selected opportunities. You will be expected to make contact with your internship host prior to starting your internship.

If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the team on professionalpathways@exeter.ac.uk