skip to content

School of the Biological Sciences

‘Widening Participation’ refers to the national agenda aiming to increase the proportion of students entering higher education from under-represented groups.

Admissions to the University of Cambridge follow the fundamental principle to "admit students of the highest intellectual potential, irrespective of social, racial, religious and financial considerations". Widening participation initiatives in the School of Biological Sciences and across Cambridge aim at increasing the number of students from under-represented groups to apply to Cambridge, as well as more broadly, encouraging young people to consider higher education.

The School of Biological Sciences is working closely with the University's dedicated widening participation team on a range of initiatives to support this commitment, such as PhD Studentships specifically aimed at under-represented groups and an internship programme for undergraduate students.

Experience Postgrad Life Sciences - Internship Programme


The School recently worked with a range of partners to coordinate an 8-week, paid, residential internship programme which aimed to help biological and biomedical sciences undergraduates - including those studying medicine and veterinary medicine - develop research skills, get lab experience, and discover what postgraduate study involves. The programme is jointly organised with the School of Clinical Medicine.

The 2021 programme was highly successful, with 15 students selected from 355 applicants. The training programme was designed to prepare them for postgraduate study, with interactive workshops ranging from communication skills, to statistics training, careers discussion and interview coaching. The support offered extends beyong the 8-week programme through ongoing mentorship from lab supervisors and a waiver of application fees.

The programme will run again from 4 July to 26 August 2022.

Find out more about the Experience Postgrad Life Sciences internship.

Funding Support

Alexander Crummell Scholarships 2022 (PhD and MPhil)

In collaboration with Queen’s College, Cambridge, the School of Biological Sciences is inviting applications for the fully funded Alexander Crummell Scholarships, aimed at UK-domiciled students with Black or Black-Mixed ethnicity. The awards include a stipend, University fees at the home rate and recipients will become members of Queen’s College. More information about the Scholarships can be found on the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences website.

School of Biological Sciences Masters Bursary

Applicants to taught MPhil courses based in the School of Biological Sciences, who have received a conditional offer of admission to start in October 2022, are eligible to apply for a School of Biological Sciences Master’s Bursary Award in support of their studies here at Cambridge, subject to eligibility criteria. The Bursary Awards, which are aimed at applicants from low-income households with experience of educational disadvantage, provide a top-up maintenance grant (c.£5,000) to support living expenses when a postgraduate Master’s loan or grant is taken with Student Finance England, Student Awards Agency Scotland, Student Finance Wales or Student Finance NI.