I'm in my second year of a Biological Sciences degree, and my main interests are behaviour, ecology, biodiversity and evolution. I would love to do some related work over this summer - in a lab, museum, or ideally outdoors - but I don't know how to go about looking for placements, paid or unpaid. Do you know of any good places I can start looking? Thank you!

First, I would suggest asking your tutor or lecturers, especially if their area of research particularly interests you, they may be able to find a summer project for you in their lab (or might know a colleague who has a suitable project). These would usually be unpaid, though I think sometimes there is research council funding that can be used for undergraduate bursaries.

Also have a look at the Society of Biology website here: http://www.societyofbiology.org/educati … udentships - there are some funding opportunities and paid placements that might interest you.

(edited to fix link)

Last edited by SarahByrne (9th Feb 2013 11:10:02)

Hi Poppy,
If you enjoy working outdoors, then you might consider bolstering your skills by getting involved in some of the many surveys that are run. The Open Air Public Laboratories project (OP) is doing some amazing work.


You might also try contacting the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and Wetlands Trust. The RSPB doesn't just do birds these days.

Some other bodies, such as the National Rivers Authority, Defra and the Environment Agency also have a requirement for ecologists and biologists.

It would also help us to help you if we had some idea where you would want to be based.

"Hope is a duty from which palaeontologists are exempt."
David Quammen

Some university departments post advertisements for summer interns on their web-sites (for example, my department http://www.ncl.ac.uk/ion/involved/internships.htm , which includes some behavioural ecologists by the way). These sometimes come with funding attached but not often, though as Sarah mentioned above, research councils do offer some funding opportunities for interns.