Opening up research

Opening up research

Opening up research

Eight life sciences undergraduate students entering their final year of study from under-represented groups will join the Institute for a virtual five week placement within one of the Institute’s strategic research areas; epigenetics, cell signalling and immunology.

Running during summer 2021, the Research Access Programme will provide students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience and insight as a member of one of the Institute’s research groups or scientific facilities. In addition to undertaking a project relating to the work of their host group, teams across the Institute will introduce students to life as a PhD student, provide information about scientific careers, and help them to develop skills beyond the lab. The hope is that students will be able to attend the Institute for a visit in autumn if circumstances allow.

The placement programme launched last year with groups across the Institute hosting the programme’s inaugural students. Speaking about their experience, Gabriel said: “At first, I was sceptical in starting the data analysis research as I was not able to work in a lab due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this project was extremely rewarding and has provided me with some amazing experience under my belt and some great connections!” You can read about Gabriel’s experience on our blog page.

The Research Access Programme is part of the Institute’s commitment to being an open and accessible organisation, providing opportunities for all to engage in its work. The Institute also recognises and seeks to address the lack of diversity of applicants to its PhD studentship programme and wishes to help break down barriers that some students may encounter in obtaining opportunities to progress in an academic research career. Students can view eligibility criteria and find out how to apply on the Research Access Programme page. The deadline for applications is Monday 29th March. 

We believe that for an undergraduate scientist, gaining experience in a research environment provides an opportunity to develop their skills, confidence, networking and enjoyment of research, as well as a significant advantage when applying to postgraduate programmes.

Dr Tacita Croucher, Public Engagement Manager, is looking forward to working with the successful applicants: “We are excited to welcome a new cohort of students this summer. We hope that students will come away from their placement not only with a greater understanding of ageing research but with a clearer idea of what a career in research is like and what their next step might be.”



Honor Pollard, Communications Officer,         

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Related resources:

Blogs by former Access Programme students: ShaaezmeenAmelia and SamahGabriel 

More information and videos, about careers at the Babraham Institute 

About the Babraham Institute

The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation, immunology and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through Institute Strategic Programme Grants and an Institute Core Capability Grant, and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.