You are here

Industrial & Summer Placements

Industrial Placements

Some universities have year long industrial placements built into their bioscience degree courses. Under the watch of an assigned supervisor they allow students to build upon skills learnt through their degree as well as learn new ones which can help them in the future.

Universities may help their students look for industrial placements, especially when they are built into their course.

GlaxoSmithKline run an industrial placement scheme.

AstraZeneca offer an industrial placement also known as a ‘sandwich’.

Merck, Sharp and Dohme offer a number of industrial placements for undergraduates looking to gain experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Summer Placements

Even if work placements are not integrated into your degree you can still apply for summer internships which can range in length from 1-12 weeks over the summer.

Some summer placements are unpaid, others offer to repay travel expenses whilst a few are paid. It depends on how big the organisation is, how long the placement is for and what type of work you will be doing. Unpaid placements are still good opportunities for students to gain new skills, network and show future employers that they are dedicated and committed to their degree subject and (more importantly) have the relevant work experience to back up their claims.

Your university careers service should be able to provide you with more details of companies which offer internships over the summer. Some Member Organisations and Supporting Members of the Society of Biology also offer placements and information about them can be found below.

The Royal Society of Biology (RSB), in partnership with Defra, runs the Plant Health Undergraduate Studentship Scheme , which allows students to undertake a 8-10 week paid summer studentship in plant health. 

Rudgwick Medical Centre are searching for a post/undergraduate student for an unpaid placement, in Machine Learning for Healthcare. 

The medical centre has developed software for healthcare and for all aspects of general practice. The dataset, collected over 20 years, has the possibility for significantly improving healthcare if integrated with newer machine learning and AI strategies. With access to full text records and coding for approx. 50,000 patients and integrated into an environment which can provide automated feedback for training of neural networks along with actively utilised monitoring of clinician activity and human provided feedback.

This is a project where pure data-analytics and life-sciences backgrounds are both independently relevant – however our data usage goals require that a project must target improved care for patients. In addition a fairly large portion is “work in progress” – which gives scope for student level experimentation and “whole pathway” input.

Some modules of the project are very “life-science” based eg medication, diagnostic or health care analytics and delivery. Others are more “pure” generic data analytics – eg geographical population mapping or simulation, or perhaps even workflow/project management and design.
It can pipe data direct into python (and this should work with R, Jupyter or other software) - so there is scope for analytics and analysis of rapidly prototyped neural networks and other projects. We can also create a synthetic dataset based on real data.

Interested candidates should send a CV to Dr David McKenzie, Project Lead and cc Dianne Vander Cruyssen, Project Development.

Cancer Research UK runs a Graduate Scheme.

IAESTE is a scheme backed by the British Council which arranges paid international work experience placements. These normally last for 12 weeks over the summer with initial registration for the scheme open from September to December of the academic year.

The Wellcome Trust runs a series of paid summer internships for undergraduate students in areas such as science funding, policy and public engagement.

Queen’s University Marine Laboratory run placements for undergraduates, recent graduates who are interested in gaining more experience in marine science.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute run three month placements between June and September for first degree level students (including medical and veterinary students) who are seeking research/work experience.

Unilever offer 12 week summer placements in Supply Chain, Research & Development, Customer Development and Human Resources. It is for undergraduates in the penultimate year of their degree.

Labs at the John Innes Centre offer undergraduates the opportunity to work on research projects during the summer for around 8 weeks. It is particularly useful for undergraduates who may be considering taking up a PhD studentship.

Merck, Sharp and Dohme offer summer placement opportunities for undergraduates looking to gain experience of working in the pharmaceutical industry. To be considered for a student placement at MSD, students should: be studying for a degree that is relevant to the placement they wish to apply for; have achieved at least a 2.1 in the first year of the course, have obtained good A-level grades or equivalent; and be able to demonstrate a range of interpersonal and communication skills, drive and initiative.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan, Department of Biostatistics is running a funded summer placement scheme for undergraduates on big data, human health and statistics, it is called "Transforming Analytical Learning in the Era of Big Data: A Summer Institute in Biostatistics".

Step provides paid work experience for undergraduates and recent graduates, generally in smaller businesses across the UK, giving you the opportunity to gain practical experience and develop work related skills all companies, large and small, are looking for in their graduate recruits.

Useful websites: