Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Work Experience

Due to social distancing restrictions in place at the University currently we are not able to accept applications for work experience placements.
School of Life Sciences offers short-term, unpaid laboratory and non-laboratory work experience placements to those aged 16-18.

Applications can only be made through our online application form.


A short-term placement may help you gain practical experience and find out what it’s really like to work in the field you are interested in. The type of work you’ll be expected to do will vary depending on the placement, but may involve observation or work ‘shadowing’, alongside assisting with day-to-day tasks and duties.

You will be in a professional work environment and working with staff members on a planned work experience programme, with some tasks and outcomes that may support the research and administration of School of Life Sciences.

Placements will last a maximum of one week.

How to apply

Due to social distancing restrictions in place at the University currently we are not able to accept applications for work experience placements.

Once you apply we will contact staff and look for a suitable placement for you. We will inform you by email if a placement is available.

Make sure you apply in advance of when you’re hoping to start, so we have time to organise dates and work out the formalities. If you give little notice, it is unlikely we will be able to find you a placement.

We are not able to offer lab-based work experience between May and mid-June.

Alternatives to work experience placements

We cannot guarantee a placement for work experience. You may also be interested in our laboratory experience days. We also contribute to the University Widening Participation and Outreach.

Expectations while on placement

You must demonstrate the professional behaviours of:


You will be given emergency and safety information prior to starting any work. You must listen carefully and ask questions if you are unsure of anything. You must take reasonable care for your own health and safety and that of others, follow all safety instructions given by your supervisor, correctly use facilities and equipment provided for general safety and report any accidents, however minor.

Working in laboratories in the School of Life Sciences

Working in a laboratory can involve standing for long periods of time, therefore it is important that you are comfortable.

Shoes: Wear shoes which completely cover your feet and which have flat soles. This is to keep you comfortable and protected should you spill anything

Clothing: Wear comfortable clothing that covers your legs, to protect your skin from injury should you spill chemicals that might be hot, corrosive or irritant.

Hair: Wear long hair tied back or up.

Labcoats and gloves: You will be given a clean lab coat to wear while working in the lab. You may also be asked to wear disposable safety gloves.

Phones: Mobile phones must not be used in laboratories.

Remember no food, drink or chewing gum is allowed in laboratories. You must also highlight any medical conditions such as asthma or allergies to your supervisor.

Additional information

If you are offered a placement you will be asked to complete some additional forms to agree the placement, share your emergency contact information with us and confirm that you have read and understood the safety information which will be sent to you. These forms must be completed, signed by you and your parent/guardian and returned to SLS before your placement begins.

Working hours

You will work a maximum of 8 hours a day between 09:00 and 17:00.

About the School of Life Sciences and Gibbet Hill Campus

The School of Life Sciences has two sites: at Gibbet Hill Campus and at the Wellesbourne Crop Centre. The majority of placements offered will be at Gibbet Hill Campus.

Gibbet Hill Campus has a café where you can purchase food and drink, or you can bring lunch with you each day. Drinking water is provided.

'An absolutely transforming experience that highlights the path to becoming our future’s scientific minds. Made infinitely better by the friendly, intelligent and inspiring staff and students.'

'I now have a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge about not only the life sciences but also university as a whole.'

Information for staff about hosting work experience placements in SLS is available on the SLS intranet.