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MRC DiMeN Doctoral Training Partnership

Discovery Medicine North

Internship Opportunities

Internship Opportunities

All our DTP DiMeN PhD students have access to unique internship opportunities with a range of non-academic organisations, including industry, science communication and policy agencies. Through these opportunities you will gain:

  • Valuable job experience and transferable skills to enhance your CV and post-PhD employability
  • Improve and gain technical skills/knowledge of your chosen field
  • Exploration of the wider implications and impact of your research area
  • Knowledge of the different postgraduate career options open to you
  • Links with potential future employers and/or collaborators

During your internship, you will continue to enjoy the benefits of being a DiMeN student, with a tax-free stipend, and travel/accommodation costs covered.  If the work completed on internship does not contribute to your thesis submission, an extension to your funding period and submission deadline will be granted in line with your host institutional regulations.

Have a look at what some of our students had to say about their internship experience:

Amy Ball: Placement at at GlaxoSmithKline, Ware

“This placement has allowed me to perform a thorough assessment of the clinically-derived cell models that I have generated at the University of Liverpool. This has been possible not only because of the high throughput and high quality facilities available at GSK, but has also afforded the opportunity for collaboration with industry-led toxicologists, many of whom I am still in contact with. As well as benefiting my own research, the knowledge I have from this placement will be disseminated to other members of the Centre for Drug Safety Science at the University of Liverpool as part of a departmental seminar series.”

Rosamund Clifford: Sheffield Hallam University Centre for Mass Spectrometry Imaging

“The placement was a great learning experience, both in terms of mastering new techniques and equipment, but also with regard to career aspirations. My highlight of the placement was an internal conference on imaging within Sheffield Hallam. It was fascinating to learn about the diverse scientific questions and approaches being used to answer them. It also struck me as a very collaborative and encouraging research environment.”

Jack Paveley: Internship at APIS Assay Technologies Ltd.

"The technical development and training provided at APIS has been invaluable, not only will it benefit my future experiments and analyses but it has also added value to my thesis research and been of interest to other PhD colleagues and our lab.  As well as inspiring me to work outside academia, APIS provided a vast number of insights I would not normally have expected to acquire during my PhD journey, and for which I am very thankful."

For more testimonials have a look here:


If you are a DiMeN student interested in applying to any of these opportunities, please contact us at


Current Internship Opportunities:

Singer Instruments

The Research team aims to use Science! to achieve “A Responsibility to Science”. This means actively enquiring, and devising experiments that prove that our equipment facilitates, automates and accelerates scientific research - more so these experiments should be rigorous enough to reveal truth, free from investigator bias.

Singer Instruments is a fast paced SME environment. As such projects are subject to change as required by business need. Generally speaking, each project includes:


  • Working with a robotic instrument to test its capabilities and investigate its restrictions. Previous examples involve producing bioart with colony pickers, investigating the use of fluorescent strains, and testing new detection algorithms.
  • Collaborating with Engineering and Software on numerous projects, gaining and consulting with expertise. This has involved; coming up with hardware and software solutions to problems, QC of brand new software packages and production spec machines and also affecting the look, feel and function of new products.
  • A desk based research piece. This is usually heavily tied to new product development, and hence tends to be the most secretive. Previous examples have included market research, as well as investigating how scientists perform work, and how this may change in the future.
  • It’s should be noted that no knowledge of engineering, software development or marketing is required. However, if the student does have an appropriate background, and wishes to investigate these skills further, cross departmental projects can be arranged.


Skills Developed

  • Project Management
  • Working heavily with robotic laboratory equipment, from early development prototypes to market ready instruments.
  • Cross departmental communication (Software, Engineering, Marketing)
  • Industry research processes.

For more information click here:


C4X Discovery

C4X Discovery is a virtual biotech company based in central Manchester (with offices also in central London). They aim to become the world’s most productive drug discovery and development engine by exploiting cutting-edge technologies to design and create best-in-class drug candidates. C4X Discovery has two proprietary and synergistic software platforms "Taxonomy3®" and "Conformetrix" that provide a significant competitive advantage when combined with an experienced management team. "Taxonomy3®" is a human genetics analysis platform that utilises a unique mathematical approach to discovery and validation of drug targets for the treatment of a variety of diseases. "Conformetrix" determines the 3D shape of drug molecules from experimental in vitro data that enables the rapid design and discovery of novel and potent drugs for diseases with high unmet medical need across broad therapeutic areas. They have a hybrid business model of wholly-owned programmes and partnerships with pharma, biotech and academics. 

Project Outline

“Drug target reviews: learn how to select the next generation targets for curing intractable diseases“

In this project, you will make a vital contribution to real-world drug discovery programs at their initiation, helping us to decide which targets to pursue next in our pipeline. The key aim of the project is to undertake reviews of potential drug discovery targets identified either by C4X’s proprietary genetic analysis method (Taxonomy3) or from analysis of published literature. You will assess the strength of linkage to disease, the mechanism of action of existing compounds and the competitor landscape by reviewing and evaluating publicly available information in scientific journals, patents and databases. You will be exposed to target evaluation across a broad range of disease areas such as oncology, inflammation and neurodegeneration and will be expected to regularly present your findings in both written reports and slide presentations. This is an exciting opportunity to be trained in how to conduct target reviews in the pharmaceutical industry and select the best targets for drug development – key skills sought after in today’s competitive life-sciences workplace. 

Essential Skills

  • Sound knowledge of biochemistry and cell biology
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer literate - comfortable with word-processing, powerpoint etc.
  • Organisational skills
  • Hard-working & goal-oriented
  • High level of attention to detail

Skills Developed

  • Project planning
  • Data analysis and evaluation
  • Report writing and presentation skills
  • How to conduct target reviews
  • How to select the best targets for drug development

Possible Timeframe

3 months internship

April - June/July 2020: closing date for applications 29/02/2020

September/October - December 2020: closing date for applications 29/05/2020


The Royal Institution

The Royal Institution is an independent charity dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to think more deeply about science and its place in our lives. For over 200 years, the Royal Institution has been home to some of the most eminent scientists in history, and they have hosted more public events in the past year than ever before. They provide science education and heritage activities for people of all ages and backgrounds across the UK and around the world. These activities include the world-famous CHRISTMAS LECTURES; public talks from the world’s greatest thinkers in our historic lecture theatre; a national programme of Masterclasses for young people in mathematics, engineering and computer science; hands-on science workshops in our L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre; animations and films from our award-winning video production team and the preservation of our scientific legacy through the Faraday Museum and archival collections.


  • Digital Media Interns

The Royal Institution is world-renowned as the home of science and are now looking for 3 PhD students to take on an internship as Digital Media interns. Successful applicants will join the Royal Institution's creative team of media producers and digital communication professionals for a 3-month placement to gain experience of digital media and science communication. There will be 3 different start dates to cover the period from April 2020 to December/January and there may be flexibility for the right candidate. The role is based in Central London so students will be expected to base themselves within or near to London for the period of the placement. The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight on Monday 16th March.

About the team

This placement will be based in the Digital Team, where the Ri sees digital as much more than just a way to market themselves online, but also as a way to bring thought-provoking science and our rich heritage to audiences online, many of whom may never set foot in the Institute. Through our YouTube channel, which has a global audience of over 700,000 subscribers, they have already established themselves as a world-leader in in-depth, longform science video. Their monthly podcasts are growing fast, and they are working to develop their online communities to reach new audiences across all their digital platforms. They have embarked on an exciting project to build a new website for the organisation, where they will be taking a data-driven, audience lead approach. And they continue to nurture our existing audiences, whilst reaching out to new ones, experimenting with alternative formats for their video and multimedia content. These roles will focus on creating, shaping and developing their science engagement and heritage content, helping to manage their digital channels and working as part of the Ri’s new website project team.

Main duties of the role

Working closely with all members of the Digital team, the Digital Media Interns will support the Ri’s digital production and platforms. There will be some flexibility in the roles, depending on the successful candidates’ interests and experience. We will provide some basic training in audio and video production. Every day will be different, but potential tasks and responsibilities may include: 

  • Creating science engagement content for our social media platforms
  • Helping manage our YouTube channel
  • Help creating podcasts
  • Marketing and promotion of our digital content
  • Creating and editing heritage and collection content for the Ri’s new website 
  • Writing for our website and social media channels
  • Monitoring our YouTube and podcast statistics and using this to make recommendations on how we can grow and develop our audiences
  • Identifying under-performing content and finding ways for them to reach new audiences
  • Helping develop new ideas for digital science engagement content
  • Being involved in all aspects of video production
  • Helping to test and evaluate our digital content
  • Assisting with digital marketing campaigns

As part of this placement, there may also be opportunities to work with other Ri departments, such as conducting market research for our business Development Team and helping steward public events.

Who are we looking for? 

These placements would be ideal for anyone interested in learning more about digital media and discovering the potential for using digital media to communicate science to diverse and global audiences, whilst working collaboratively in a small, and creative digital team. There is no need to have any formal experience in this area, but a passion for digital media would be ideal. The following experience and personal attributes are also highly desirable, and when applying you should demonstrate how you meet them in your supporting statement:

  • A strong understanding of how online science content can encourage an audience to ‘think more deeply about science and its place in our lives’
  • Ability to develop engaging content for a non-academic audience
  • An understanding of the needs and requirements of website and digital users
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a creative team with a passion for science communication


We are looking for 3 people in total to join our team for 3-month placements on a selection of dates from April 2020 with flexibility for the right candidate. The internship will be based within the Digital team at the Royal Institution in Mayfair, London. The placement is full-time, 35 hours per week, Monday to Friday with occasional weekend or evening hours. 


  • Education Programmes Assistant

Since 2016, the Royal Institution's ‘Science in Schools’ programme has offered a unique package of science shows for students, CPD for teachers, and community science shows for families. We are now seeking to evaluate the programme as it continues to grow, in order to help diversify our audiences and better serve our target communities.

This placement will involve joining the Education team at an exciting time, as they launch their new schools show for 2020. The Royal Institution is the largest national provider of school science shows in the UK, and in 2019, 50% of their shows were delivered to schools in the most deprived areas of the UK.

The role of the Education Programme Assistant

The Education Programme Assistant will lead on the evaluation of the Royal Institution's Science in Schools work and will be a key member of the outreach team assisting with the development and roll out of our new Science in Schools show.

As the successful intern, your main role is expected to be creating a survey to send to teachers and collating responses, analysing existing data held in the Royal Institution's Salesforce database, and presenting the findings and recommendations to key stakeholders. You will also help to source equipment for demonstrations in their new show and assist in preparing kit and training resources for our presenters as they expand the team to reach a wider audience.

You will be provided with opportunities to work with and shadow staff working in other departments so that you will end your placement with a full understanding of how the Royal Institution meets its mission. This may include roles in planning and delivering our popular Family Programme events, and the annual Royal Institution Youth Summit.

Who are we looking for?

This placement would be ideal for anyone interested in education outreach and science communication. There is no need to have any prior experience working with schools, but the following experience is highly desirable:

  • Experience of managing and analysing large data sets, including qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Experience in social science research methods, or previous use of surveys to collect data.
  • Experience of working on projects with a rigid timetable.
  • Experience of sourcing kit for demonstrations and communicating science to a range of non-expert audiences.


This is a three-month placement running from the beginning of May to the end of July. It will be based at the Royal Institution in Mayfair, London and the intern will be supervised by the Schools Programme Manager. The placement is full-time, 35 hours per week, Monday to Friday and may involve occasional weekend or evening working.


  • How to Apply

These opportunities are only open to PhD students who are eligible to undertake an internship as part of their studentship and receive a stipend from their Doctoral Training Programme (DTP). You will need to obtain the grant holder’s written permission to undertake the placement, outlining any funding arrangements, before a position can be offered. 

To apply please send your CV to, along with a short supporting statement, no longer than 500 words, to explain why you are interested in the internship and how you meet the experience set out above. Please also complete the Recruitment Monitoring Form and return this along with your application.

For more information about the Royal Institution, the internship programme, relevant dates for this internship, and to download the monitoring form, please see the Royal Institution's website at