Funding, placements, CVs, careers

This is a collection of links about sources of funding (placements and postgraduate) and career advice I have collected, mainly to be able to send students who ask me about this to this central place. I have tried to make it a bit more UK-centred than what is available on the web already. PRs welcome!

Start here

These links should give you a good idea on what these resources are about.

Dieter Lukas’ academic life and career thoughts. Dieter Lukas is an old pal of mine and I like what he says :-)

Dieter Lukas’ massive lists of funding opportunities, with focus on early-career researchers (scroll down to “Resources” section).

“Into Biology” list of placements and advice, dedicated to undergraduates, UK-centered.

– If you’re thinking of an academic research career with the goal of being a lecturer, think again - the academic research career has become an alternative career: most students do not become lecturers. Read the paper by Taylor, J. Q. et al. Avoiding a lost generation of scientists. eLife 5, 1–5 (2016) and this report from the League of European Research Universities on comparison of different academic career structures and opportunities in different European countries.

– Always prepare for the fact that your next position may not be in academia: a very good point of view from Michael Whitehead.

– Interactive academic research career flowchart which maps various grant application programmes from some (but not all) funding bodies in the UK. Also good for mapping several academic career pathways.

Local resources at the University of Huddersfield

University of Huddersfield’s career office.

The Huddersfield Undergraduate Programme.

Bionow jobs “Bionow supports business growth, competitiveness and innovation within the biomedical and life science sectors across Northern England.” University of Huddersfield is a member of this organisation and therefore has access to its regional (and beyond) job offers.

– Annual HUBS Careers Day for biology and chemistry, typically in April.

– Annual seminar on “How to be(come) an academic” run by Dr Nathan Patmore from the Department of Chemistry (but applicable to all life sciences’ students and highly recommended for the final year undergraduates and PhD students).

– There is also a local (Kirklees-based) Tinker Fisher Awards scheme for summer placements’ funding and an internal funding available to support travel expenses for undergraduates at the University of Huddersfield.


“Into Biology” list of placements and advice, dedicated to undergraduates, UK-centered.

Health and Safety Executive is having a large recruitment drive later this year (2020). Register your interest on that page.

Dieter Lukas’ massive lists of funding opportunities, with focus on early-career researchers (scroll down to “Resources” section).

Resources for undergraduates from the British Ecological Society.

Advice on placements resources at the University of Nottingham.

Stephanie Hicks’s advice on academic careers with further links, centred on post-PhD careers.

– If you don’t know what you could be doing with your degree, Researcher Development team at the University of Sheffield runs a great weekly column with profiles of non-traditional careers of life scientists. (I note here again that “non-traditional career” name is misleding, as the vast majority of life science students do not end up being lecturers; the academic career is an alternative career - see the Taylor et al. 2016 paper in eLife mentioned above ).

– Richi De-Kayne, a PhD student in Bern, has a blog in which he interviews PhD students from all around the world. It’s an excellent resource to figure out what PhD is, how to get there and what’s next. Highly recommended.

– Prospects Luminate has several reports on the gradaute job market, particularly: What do graduates do? Regional edition.

– Do not miss this bit for a little laugh (through the tears): What is a graduate job?.

– Last but not least: Top N Reasons To Do A Ph.D. or Post-Doc in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology by Casey Bergman.


Undergraduate Research Opportunities at the University of Reading and at King’s College London (there is one at Imperial College London as well).

– List of undergraduate vacation scholarship funding opportunities from the University of Edinburgh (but not limited to Edinburgh).

Biomedical Vacation Scholarships funded by Wellcome Trust: “These awards provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the summer holidays, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research.”

The Genetics Society summer studentships: “grants are available to provide financial support for undergraduate students interested in gaining research experience in any area of genetics by carrying out a research project over the long vacation, usually prior to their final year.”

British Ecological Society summer school (check also their career development resources)

Medical Research Scotland summer research placements funding programme.

Summer Vacation Studentships with Biochemical Society.

Summer Vacation Studentships with British Society for Cell Biology.

Leverhulme Trust’s study abroad studenthips (update - UK students are no longer elligible due to Brexit).

The Spanish National Research Council’s JAE Programme “is focused to university students with an excellent academic record interested in starting a research career, making possible the realization of a period of fellowship in one of the research groups that develop their work in the CSIC institutes, their mixed centres and their units” (I believe this is an imperfect English translation, but the programme is not limited to Spanish students).

Industral Summer Placements with the Royal Society of Biology.

Summer Vacation Work at Syngenta. Syngenta also runs an apprenticeship scheme and of course they have a factory here in Huddersfield.

Research Assistant Placement at Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich.

Research internships at Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology.

Amgen Scholars Programme.

Kirklees Apprenticeship Event (the date changes yearly, but it’s usually around February).

European Commission Traineeships: “twice a year, the European Commission offers 1800 paid, 5-month administrative or translation traineeships. Starting on 1 March or 1 October, trainees gain hands-on experience in EU policymaking in a multicultural environment.”

– Presentations from the annual Royal Society of Biology Bioscience Careers Day. Lots of advice there on different career paths for broadly-defined bioscience students.

Presentations from careers’ fair in Manchester 2018 from the Royal Society of Biology (even more resources than the link above).

Industrial Biotechnology Careers Fair, yearly event in Manchester aimed at early career researchers who are interested in future careers in the industrial biotechnology and bioenergy (IBBE) sector.

Careers conference for undergraduates by the British Ecological Society.

Science careers outside the lab from the University of York.

Non-academic Careers for PhD Holders from the good people at findaphd.

Non-Academic Career Options After your PhD from the good people at

– Melisa Wilson’s list of resources: Industry Internship Opportunities (check the other spreadsheets from her lab as well).

Genetic Counsellor Registration Board for those considering becoming a genetic counsellor.

British Ecological Society Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology fellowship (BES POST): the BES POST Fellowship is an outstanding opportunity to gain an insider’s view of how Parliament works and hone your ability to communicate scientific issues to a wider audience (aimed at PhD students; they also have other policy-related schemes). The Fellowship lasts for three months, and is based at the Houses of Parliament in London.

British Science Associacion Media Fellows programme: “The British Science Association Media Fellowships provide a unique opportunity for practising scientists, clinicians and engineers to spend two to six weeks working at the heart of a media outlet such as the Guardian, BBC Breakfast or the Londonist.”

Data Scientist Internship Programme at the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.

NHS Scientist Training Programme

NHS Scientist Training Programme, including Entry requirements 2019, Job description - 2019, Person specification - 2019, Trainee clinical scientist advert - 2019, Applicant Recruitment Process Guidance for 2019, Competition ratios for the recruitment years of 2014-2018, Open days, University providers and FAQ.

NHS Scientist Training Programme recruitmet procedure video explainer

NHS Scotland has a different STP programme recruitment process, as do Wales and Northern Ireland.


All of the below conferences and meetings are undergraduate-friendly:

The Mammal Society 7th Student Conference.

Manchester Molecular and Genome Evolution Symposium.

Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics Symposium in Cambridge.

– We also have a local bioinformatic/computational biology group, which meets 3-4 times a year and where students are very welcome: NorthernBUG.

In addition to that:

– Funding for conference travel for PIs who are members of the British Society for Cell Biology.

Career advice

– Interactive academic research career flowchart which maps various grant application programmes from some (but not all) funding bodies in the UK. Also good for mapping several academic career pathways.

Dieter Lukas’ academic life and career thoughts. Dieter Lukas is an old pal of mine and I like what he says :-)

The Baskett Lab: Grant and job resources US-centred but a lot of career advise resources that are generally applicable.

– Aerin Jacob’s massive list of funding & awards sources (multiple career stages).

– Very useful 2014 report on comparison of different academic careers structure and opportunities in different European countries if you’re thinking of an academic research career.

– Two articles in Science: These studies offer a realistic view of postdoc life—and guidance for making career decisions that work for you and How to find the right place for your Ph.D. or postdoc.


22 tips for writing academic cvs and covering letters. Prof. Gillian Rose from Oxford University shares her hard-earned experience on CVs and cover letters (as a member of hiring panels).

–’s CV templates.

–’s How to write a CV.

How to read a scientific paper

How to read and understand a scientific paper by Jennifer Raff.

How to seriously read cientific paper from Science.

What is Research Misconduct?,a multi-part blog post by Elisabeth Bik.