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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 university's laboratories. 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 complete a 35 hour internship in one of the university's laboratories.

The interactive programme comprises of 2 key elements: 

  • Employer-led training - 4 days of technical and employability training (20 - 23 June 2022).
  • Paid internship - You will undertake a 35 hour paid internship within one of the university's laboratories (27 June - 8 July 2022) 
Please note, accommodation and travel expenses are not available on this programme. 

  • 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
  • Culminates in an essential work experience, undertaking a paid internship within a laboratory
  • This activity counts towards the Exeter Award
  • Receive a certificate

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. However, please see full eligibility criteria below: 

Student status

  • You must be a current University of Exeter student when you apply for and take part in the programme (please note, students graduating in Summer 2022 are eligible to apply).
  • Students from any campus can apply for this pathway, however when reviewing the available internships, please take into consideration your current location and the campus the labs are located on.
  • If you are an interrupted student, you will not have current student status and are therefore ineligible to apply for Professional Pathways.
  • If you are a full-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 6 hours per week, however if you are able to gain supervisor approval to complete both the training and the 35 hour internship, you will be able to undertake the Pathways programme. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.
  • If you are part-time Postgraduate student, you are limited to working a maximum of 18.25 hours per week, so would need to split your 35 hours across two weeks, unless you get supervisor approval to work full-time (35 hours) in one week. You will need to seek approval if you are successful at the assessment centre stage.

Right to Work (RTW)

  • You must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of Professional Pathways, i.e. it must cover both the training and the internship. 
  • You will be asked to provide your Right to Work evidence at the application stage. Please refer to the List of acceptable RTW docs 2021.
  • If you have been employed by the University within the last 12 months and provided your Right to Work evidence, this should still be up-to-date and you would not need to provide it again. You can declare this to us at the application stage.
  • For more information about Right to Work please see the eClaims webpages. 

International, EU and EEA students

  • You must have the right to work in the UK and depending on your visa restrictions, if you are successful onto the programme, we will advise the lab managers to accommodate part-time hours across two weeks, if needed.

Please note, applications for our 2022 Pathways to Scientific Laboratories programme are now closed. Once confirmed if running in 2023, details will be available here on how to apply.

Students selected onto the programme undertake 4 days of training delivered at the University of Exeter, Streatham Campus. 

The training will equip you with the skills, specialist knowledge and preparatory support needed for undertaking your paid 35 hour lab-based internship.

Training topics will be confirmed nearer the time and are subject to change, but may 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, accommodation and travel expenses are not available on this programme. 

If selected onto the programme, you will undertake a paid 35 hour internship in one of the university's laboratories, supporting the laboratory managers, academic staff and research students. Duties will vary depending on the lab you are based in. Internships will take place between 27 June and 8 July 2022, after your training has been completed. All work will be undertaken in-person on the relevant campus. Internships are available in a range of laboratories across the Streatham, St Luke's and Penryn campuses, plus Exeter Science Park. 

Opportunities are available in the following labs and you can find further information on each lab and their work by selecting their names:

Streatham Campus:
Harrison Mechanical Workshop - Please note, this workshop currently does not have a webpage due to the space recently being refurbed and the webpage currently being updated also. The workshop supports students and academics by designing and manufacturing components and test rigs for their research. They work closely with academics, understanding their requirements and then creating solutions to support their research. The team are also responsible for another workshop which carries out very similar work and you can find information on this here.
St Luke's Campus:
Penryn Campus:
Exeter Science Park:

The salary of £11.09 per hour (inclusive of holiday pay) for this 35 hour internship will be paid by the University of Exeter. 

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 current location and the location of the lab internships on offer when choosing your preferences as we are unable to provide support in funding and sourcing accommodation. At the shortlisting stage you will then be considered for both selected opportunities. You will be expected to make contact with your line manager prior to starting your internship.

If you would like to ask any questions, please contact the Pathways team at: