Bookmark and Share

This article is in the news archive.

University of Cambridge Wellcome Trust Senior Internships for Interdisciplinary Research

University of Cambridge Wellcome Trust Senior Internships for Interdisciplinary Research

Fourth Round

Call details and the application form can also be found on the University of Cambridge’s Research Strategy Office Website

Introduction and aims of the Scheme

Applications are invited for the next round of University of Cambridge/ Wellcome Trust Senior Internships

The scheme is aimed at suitably qualified post-doctoral candidates with backgrounds in the physical sciences (incl. engineering, mathematics and computer sciences) who wish to gain experience in the application of their research to solve problems in the basic biological and biomedical sciences.

The internships are intended to provide opportunities for award holders to gain experience in applying biological approaches, and/or apply novel theoretical or experimental techniques from the physical sciences to address biological problems.  In addition, it is hoped that this scheme will foster longer-term collaborations between Principal Investigators from the physical and life sciences disciplines within the University of Cambridge.

Research projects must fall within the broad remit of the Wellcome Trust. The research must be undertaken in laboratories within the School of Biological Sciences ( or the School of Clinical Medicine ( 

Exceptionally, applications from post-doctoral candidates with a background in the life sciences wishing to gain experience working in the physical sciences may also be considered.  However, this is not the core focus of the Scheme and it is expected that the host lab has a proven track record of life/physical sciences interdisciplinary research.  A non-exclusive list of such labs can be found here: Any interested applicants that fall into the above category will need to discuss their application with Dr Sumi David before applying (see note regarding funding below).

The departments in which the posts will be based, will depend on the nature of the projects, however, the roles will be based within the University of Cambridge.


Successful candidates will have a PhD in the physical sciences, mathematics, computing or engineering (or exceptionally the life sciences as noted above) and a strong track record appropriate for their career stage.  Prior knowledge of biology is not required, but a willingness to work closely with biologists or clinical scientists is essential.

It is anticipated that each intern will work with two Principal Investigators at the University of Cambridge, one in the physical sciences (broadly defined to also include mathematics, computing, or engineering), and the other in the life sciences, who will each provide appropriate guidance and support. 

For successful candidates not currently eligible to work in the UK a Tier 2 certificate of sponsorship will need to be applied for by the University.  In this instance, applicants are expected to pre-discuss their case with their host group leader and departmental administrator/HR support to ensure that they are likely to fulfil the relevant UKBA requirements.  Amongst other things please check that you score enough points  to qualify for a Tier 2 visa.  


Senior Internships will be awarded for periods of 3-12 months.  The salary will be in the range of £27,854-£36,298 depending upon experience. 

This Scheme is funded jointly between the Wellcome Trust and the University of Cambridge and please be aware that the cost of the internship (including on-costs) will be funded as follows: 50% by the University of Cambridge Wellcome Trust award and 25% by the Host School (Clinical or Biological).  The remaining 25% of the internship is expected to be provided as a contribution from the Host Department or group (in which the internship is to be held).  It is the applicant’s responsibility to pre-agree this 25% contribution with their future department or supervisor.  Only in exceptional circumstances, and on receipt of a compelling case as to why no contribution can be made, will other funding mechanisms be considered.   In instances where a candidate from the life sciences wishes to carry out an internship in a physical sciences group, the host department is expected to provide 50% of the funding.

Please note, that under this call only funding for the candidate’s salary is provided.  No other funding such as for example equipment, travel or consumables is provided under this scheme

Assessment Criteria

Applications will be evaluated by a scientific panel and the following criteria will be taken into account

·         Track record of the candidate (taking into account the career stage of the applicant)

·         Suitability of the project

·         Inter-disciplinarity of the project and novelty of collaboration

·         Appropriate linkages to Principal Investigators from different disciplines

·         Supportiveness of the environment


How to apply

This is a rolling programme.  The next deadline for applications is Tuesday 3rd December 2013 (12pm)

To apply, interested candidates should submit the following documents

·         A completed application form (attached)

·         A short CV (as pdf if possible, max 3 pages, it should include relevant publications)

·         A statement by the Host department or group in support of the proposed project, including confirmation of the provision of 25% of the funding  (or 50% if the internship is to be hosted within a physical sciences group) and a description of the host’s involvement in the project

·         The application form asks for the details of two referees who are familiar with the candidate’s research. Applicants should arrange for their referees to email references directly to Dr Sumi David in time for the application deadline.  

·         A completed CHRIS6  cover sheet for CVs

Application deadline:  Please send your application and supporting documents by email to Dr Sumi David by noon (12pm) on Tuesday, 3rd December 2013. Please copy the application to the Departmental administrator of your host department as well as the leader of your host group.

Project start date:  Due to the end date of this particular Wellcome Trust award, any 12 months internships must commence on or before 1st April 2014. A later start date, will result in a shorter internship duration.

Contacts and guidance

If you have any queries about this call, please contact:

Dr Sumi David


External: 01223 766528

Internal: 66528

Posted on 31/10/2013

Further news

Go to the news index page.