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What is Pathways to Scientific Laboratories?

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.

Pathways 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 (mid June).
  • Group project - You will work in small groups to apply your learning to a real life business project during the training period.
  • Paid internship - You will undertake a 1 week paid internship within one of the University's laboratories (late June).

Please note, due to the internships physically needing to take place within one of the university's laboratories, we are currently unable to confirm if this programme can go ahead in 2021. As the situation with COVID-19 becomes clearer over the next few months, we hope to be able to confirm if the programme will run. If you are interested in applying, please register your interest here and we will be in touch in due course with any updates.

  • 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.

If you are interested in applying for the 2021 programme, please register your interest here and we will be in touch in due course with any updates.

Please note, due to the internships physically needing to take place within one of the university's laboratories, we are currently unable to confirm if this programme can go ahead in 2021. As the situation with COVID-19 becomes clearer over the next few months, we will be able to confirm either way and will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Please note, due to the internships physically needing to take place within the labs, Pathways to Scientific Laboratories is still to be confirmed if it will be running in 2021. 

If the programme goes ahead, the training week is likely to take place mid June 2021. 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.

Please note, due to the internships physically needing to take place within the labs, Pathways to Scientific Laboratories is still to be confirmed if it will be running in 2021. 

In 2020, opportunities were available in the following laboratories, however due to COVID-19, unfortunately the programme could not go ahead:

  • 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 £10.65 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 Pathways team on professionalpathways@exeter.ac.uk