The LMB offers a variety of work experience placements for students in Years 10 to 13 (aged 14 and above). Our placements provide hands-on experience of working in an academic research institute. Placements may be within an LMB research group, scientific facility or support services, highlighting the variety of roles that underpin our cutting edge research.
We have partnered with In2scienceUK to offer in-person placements to Year 12 students at the LMB this summer which have now been allocated for 2022. Additional placements will be advertised via this webpage when they become available.
We also support Nuffield Work Experience placements.
If you are an undergraduate student, you may be interested in our Student Placement Scheme.
Electronics Workshop Placement
An electronics-based work experience placement in the LMB Electronics Workshop.
The In2scienceUK programme provides disadvantaged Year 12 students (or equivalent students, aged 16+) with the support, skills and experience needed to achieve their potential and progress to degrees, apprenticeships and careers in STEM.
In partnership with In2scienceUK, we host in-person placements during the summer school holidays (end of July/August). Placements will last one or two weeks, and will be under the supervision of the LMB host to whom the students are matched with by In2scienceUK.
The In2science application deadline is usually around April each year, please see the In2science website for further details including how to apply: https://in2scienceuk.org/students/apply/
Nuffield Research Placements
Nuffield Research Placements give students in their first year of a post-16 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) course the opportunity to work in leading STEM-focused industries, research institutes and UK Universities. Projects last 4-6 weeks during the summer holidays and involve working alongside practicing STEM professionals.
We strongly recommend that students check whether you meet our entry requirements using our eligibility tool and read our guide for applicants before completing an application
Applications for Nuffield Research Placements are administered regionally throughout the UK, and should not be sent directly to the LMB. Further details on how to apply for a Nuffield Research Placement can be found here.
Our 2017 Nuffield Research Placement student, Amy, said:
Why did you apply for a Nuffield Research Placement?
“My chemistry teacher/head of post-16 recommended I apply to a research placement to gain experience to put on my personal statement to show my interest in biology as I am hoping to do a biology degree at university. I love the variety in biology but it also means it is difficult to decide what kind of career I want to pursue and what area of biology I wanted to follow so by applying for a placement I hoped it would provide me with some guidance as to what a career in research is like and how I would spend my days should I want to become a researcher.”
What was your project about and did you know anything about the area before you started the placement?
“My project title was: ‘Generation of a human knock-out cell line using CRISPER/Cas9’. I was assisting my supervisor on her current projects, the first of which was looking at the effect of knocking out a certain DNA repair protein in the replication of structured DNA. The second project was trying to replicate already published research into mapping the origins of DNA replication. Prior to my placement, I had no idea what molecular biology involved, let alone what any of my project was about. My supervisor was incredibly supportive and provided me with scientific papers to read that helped me develop my knowledge on the subject and gain an understanding of the project theory.”
Was the placement what you expected it to be?
“Going into the placement I didn’t really know what to expect as I had never been to a real lab before so when I walked in the doors of the LMB I was shocked. It was a beautiful building to be working in, the people were amazing and they all taught me something about their projects when they had time. I learnt more, did more and had more fun than I could have imagined. I got to try so many different protocols with a wide range of apparatus that I didn’t even know existed!”
How did your supervisor help you with your project?
“When I first started, I was nervous about the fact that I knew nothing about molecular biology but my supervisor was incredibly supportive and we spent my first day going through the theory of the project and she gave me some papers to read (which we discussed later in the week once I read them). Leticia explained things as many times as I needed her to and didn’t mind me asking the same questions until I completely understood. She showed me how to do the practical side of things and let me practice on my own, giving me tips on how to improve next time. She also reminded me that every mistake I could make she had done already and that I had to make mistakes to learn. Leticia was also a great help when it came to writing my report, I wrote what I had done and she corrected it if I had forgotten a step or gotten a value wrong.”
Did you gain any new skills, both scientific and general work skills, from undertaking your placement?
“I gained so many skills I didn’t expect over the four weeks, some I didn’t even expect – my ability to decipher train and bus timetables greatly improved! In terms of scientific skills, I can’t count how many new things I tried. I was in tissue culture one day, making an agarose gel and loading it another day then working with bacteria the next. I also learnt basic lab etiquette, how to keep my work space tidy when I’m working with a lot of materials, communication between the people working in the lab, how to give a lab meeting and how to keep a lab book. In terms of work skills, I found I was using my time as effectively as possible to finish my report and have time to complete the day’s experiments. I think my language skills greatly benefitted from writing the report – I developed my scientific vocabulary and learnt how to structure my report to demonstrate what I had done at my placement clearly.”
Has your experience helped you to decide on a career path?
“I discovered that I really love molecular biology and that DNA is way cooler than A-levels make it seem. My placement has proven I definitely want to study biology and given me a clear idea of what research is like on a day to day basis.”
What advice would you give to students applying for a Nuffield Research Placement?
“To future research placement applicants, I would say to just go all in! Definitely apply if you have an interest in STEM subjects. Me telling you about my experience is just one example of what you could be doing, the opportunities within STEM are hard to come by when you are under 18 so take every chance you get (and Nuffield is an amazing opportunity!!) If you do get a placement do as much as you can because although four weeks seems like a long time it goes so quickly! Ask questions and don’t be afraid to ask again if you don’t fully understand as your supervisor has had to do the same to get to where they are.”
What are your future plans?
“In the not so distant future I hope to study biological sciences at university and continue education, get my PhD and conduct my own post-doc research! Should I be able to, I also want to provide another student with the same opportunity Nuffield Research Placements and the LMB provided me with and become a supervisor myself!”
Meet our work experience students
One Year 12 student, Shannon, came to spend a couple of days in the Schafer group with Denise Walker to see the research first-hand and get an experience of what it’s like to work as a scientist: “Although never really considering neuroscience as a subject, seeing Denise’s passion and dedication made me want to know more about it; at which point I was lucky enough to receive two days of work experience in the lab!”
After her visit to the LMB, Shannon commented, “I study English Literature, Psychology, Business and Dance for A-Level, so not exactly the standard ‘Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology’ subjects. However, I think that this experience has really aided my decision on what I want to do in later life (there are endless choices) as I have always been torn. In respect to a Psychology degree and which road of specialisation, following these two days I am now considering a neuroscience path as these researchers have made me want to know more and have really helped me have a taste into the real-life situation.”
Previous work experience students also commented,
“I just wanted to say thank you so much for giving me the wonderful opportunity to do work experience at the LMB. I found it incredibly useful especially since I am making uni applications now, and it was also a very enjoyable week as I got to see and be involved in so much current work in the fields that I want to pursue.”
“I know a lot of people considering biomed/biochem and we are all quite wary of lab work, because our perception of it is based off very artificial science practicals (which never work or produce any form of useful data!) so it was invaluable experiencing real lab work and realizing that curiosity and caring about the results can override any risk of monotony!”
“Thank you so much for the opportunity to spend a week at the LMB! I found out a lot about what a (biochemistry) research job entails, and I’ve learnt that I am most interested in the more chemistry related aspects of biochemistry… Seeing people at the LMB do such impressive research has really inspired me to go for an MSc (and maybe even a PhD!).”