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Our placements

Salary: £21,000 (£20,000 base plus £1,000 allowance as cash or for additional benefits)

Duration: 12 months, full time

Location: Edinburgh or Stevenage

Functions: biology, chemistry, diagnostics and data science

Duration: 12 months

Applications reopen September 2025


Join us and you’ll support our teams working across a number of areas in the drug discovery and diagnostic development process. You’ll work closely with our expert team members to gain valuable experience in areas such as:

Drug discovery in Stevenage

  • Molecular biology
  • Protein expression and purification
  • Biophysical characterisation
  • Assay design, optimisation and automation
  • High throughput screening
  • Medicinal and synthetic chemistry
  • Chemical, analytical and purification technologies
  • Identification of therapeutic leads
  • Pharmacokinetic and metabolism studies
  • Target validation studies (gene editing, pharmacology, bioinformatics)
  • Cellular models of disease supporting small molecule and/or antibody programmes
  • Antibody discovery
  • Antibody engineering
  • Antibody screening and optimisation

Data sciences in Stevenage

  • Computational chemistry
  • Cheminformatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Machine learning, AI
  • Data engineering, data visualisation
  • Practical programming, software development

Diagnostic development in Edinburgh

  • Assay development
  • Nucleic acid extraction (DNA, RNA)
  • PCR optimisation (qPCR, RT-qPCR and digital PCR) and evaluation of novel PCR technologies
  • Application of next-generation sequencing for progressing diagnostic opportunities
  • Running of clinical studies, obtaining clinical samples and associated processes that comply with necessary ethics and regulatory requirements
  • Data science (clinical data analysis, RNA-seq, Microarray, Blast, sequence alignment)
  • Machine learning/AI – in relation to clinical data sets
  • Molecular microbiology (cell culture, bacterial culture)
  • Working in accordance with ISO 13485 – the industry standard for quality management systems for in vitro diagnostics
  • Working as part of a cross functional team to progress cutting edge diagnostic projects to patient benefit

Data sciences in Edinburgh

  • Clinical/health records data analyses
  • Machine learning, AI, statistics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Data engineering, data visualisation
  • Practical programming, software development

During your placement, we’ll expect you regularly present your experimental results and conclusions to the project team, while maintaining high quality written lab notebook records of your research. In return, you will have the opportunity to use the work you do here to assist with your degree submission and gain true research experience.


You must be studying for your first (undergraduate) degree and in your 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of study. You must be available to start a 12-month placement from September 2024 as part of your degree course and it must be approved by your university. You must be studying one of the following disciplines:


  • Biological sciences 
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Natural sciences
  • Molecular biology 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Immunology


  • Chemistry or Medicinal Chemistry (BSc/MSci/MChem)
  • Natural Sciences (with chemistry modules)


  • Biochemistry
  • Biological sciences
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Data sciences
  • Life sciences
  • Medical science
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular biology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Neuroscience
  • Statistics

Data science

  • A life or physical science course that involves a significant analysis/computational component
  • A life or physical science course with significant personal interest/experience in data sciences, computer programming
  • Data sciences
  • Health data sciences
  • Biomedical informatics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Statistics
  • (Bio)Medical statistics
  • Computational biology
  • Artificial intelligence, machine learning
  • Mathematics

Skills and strengths we are looking for

  • Relevant degree subject (see above) and on track to achieve at least a 2:1
  • Collaboration
  • Drive and determination
  • Analytical mindset
  • Accountability
  • Adaptability
  • Desire to learn
  • Effective communication skills

In line with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, you must also have the right to work in the UK. Find out more.

What we can offer you

Because we understand everyone has different requirements, our flexible benefits allow you to choose which are important to you. We can offer you a pension scheme which offers employer contributions of up to 12%, private health insurance and 31 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays.

Join us, and you’ll have the scope to be creative and take measured risks. You’ll be rewarded for your curiosity, for working as one team, and for learning fast. And you’ll have everything you need to be your best every day. We all have potential. At LifeArc, you’ll discover what you can really do with it.

Application process

If you applied, and your online application form is successful, you will be invited to complete a short strength-based video interview, known as Snapshot.

Full instructions and guidance on how to approach and prepare for a strengths-based assessment will be provided.

We are also proud to be using Rare Recruitment’s Contextual Recruitment System (CRS) which allows us to consider your achievements in the context in which they were gained. We understand that not every candidate’s achievements look the same on paper – and we want to recruit the best people, from every background.

During my placement, I worked on a COVID-19 project, where I was lucky enough to develop my laboratory skills, including optimisation and validation of MST and functional in vitro cell-based assays, alongside analysing various data outputs.

Working in a research group has given me the tools to confidently design experiments and trouble-shoot problems when they ultimately arise.”

Natasha, former placement student and current Associate Scientist at LifeArc

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