Institute of Neuroscience

Work Experience and Internships

Work Experience and Internships

Under 18

Applicants aged under 18 years

We welcome applications from students under 18 years who are part of the Nuffield Research Placements Scheme (previously Nuffield Science Bursaries). Over 1000 bursaries are awarded per year, for students to work alongside practicing scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Projects take place during the summer holidays, giving students an insight into the world of scientific research and development.

Students in the first year of a post-16 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) course are eligible to apply for a bursary of £80 per week to support them during their project. Placements are available across the UK, in universities, industry or research institutions (including the Institute of Neuroscience) and are organised through regional coordinators. The length of placements can vary, but is usually six weeks.

For more information visit the Nuffield Foundation website or contact the Regional Coordinator for Newcastle.

Unfortunately we are not able to take students on for very short periods, such as a week.

Over 18

Applicants aged 18 years and over

If you are over 18, have or are in university education and are looking to move into research we may be able to offer you an unpaid internship so you can gain some experience. If successful, you would be offered the opportunity to work voluntarily as a research assistant to gain specific research experience. Your hours and days of work would be flexible and the length of the placement would be negotiated with your academic supervisor.

If you are interested in applying for an internship, send a short (no more than 500 words) personal statement and current CV to In your personal statement you should outline your background in neuroscience or related subjects, the area(s) of neuroscience that you are interested in pursuing and why. Include when you are available to carry out the internship and the approximate time you can devote to it, ie full / part time etc. You can find out what areas of research we specialise in on our Research pages

Once we have received your personal statement and CV, we will forward this information onto our academics. Placements are not guaranteed and would be dependent on the availability and interests of our academics. Occasionally we may actively recruit for an internship position, in which case it will be advertised here. If you have any queries, please contact

Work undertaken by interns often contribute to published papers.

Summer Placements

Summer Placements

Over the summer many researchers take on interns. If you are over 18, have or are in university education and are looking to move into research this may be great experience for you. 

Most placements last around 8 or 9 weeks and give you the opportunity to work on a real research project. You will learn valuable new skills and gain a better understanding of how research works.  

Whilst with us, you will have the opportunity to attend research talks and seminars.

You can explore the full range of our research in our research section. If you have already completed your first degree contact us before completing the application form.

Work undertaken by summer interns often contribute to published papers.


We can't offer funding for summer placements but other organisations do, here is a list of some of them.

International applicants

We welcome applications from International students. We have lots of information about coming to Newcastle



Unfortunately we are not able to offer financial support for internships. If offered a place you will be responsible for paying your expenses whilst you are here such as accommodation, travel and living costs.

A number of organisations do offer bursaries to undergraduate students taking on a summer placement. Schemes often have eligibility criteria so please check these carefully. Below is a list of some of the available schemes, this is not a complete list and there may be others available.

The deadlines are usually early in the year. The application forms often ask for a project outline and named supervisor, so we advise you to start the process as soon as possible; and ideally contact a supervisor before Christmas.

Use the links below for more information on each scheme:

Students based outside the UK

Many of the schemes listed above are only open to UK students. If you are at an Institution outside the UK we recommend speaking to your administrator. Many have funding for their students to pursue research placements abroad. 

Success stories

Many students and interns contribute to work which is published in scientific journals or presented at conferences.

Published paper: Mukaetova-Ladinska EB, Abdel-All Z, Mugica ES, Li M, Craggs LJ, Oakley AE, Honer WG, Kalaria RN. Tau proteins in the temporal and frontal cortices in patients with vascular dementia. JNeuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015 Feb;74(2):148-57.

ES Mugica was an undergraduate summer student in Dr Mukaetova-Ladinska's group in 2014.

Poster prize: Roshni Bhudia a summer student with Mark Cunningham and Stuart Watson in 2014 won best poster presentation at the Royal College of Psychiatrists General Adult Psychiatry conference with their project on the effects of antipsychotic mediations on NMDA receptor function.

Published paper: Read JCA, Begum SF, McDonald A, & Trowbridge J (2013) The binocular advantage in visuomotor tasks involving tools. i-Perception 4(2); 101-110. 
SF Begum and A McDonald were Nuffield summer students. J Trowbridge was a local sixth former.

Published paper: Baron AW, Rushton SP, Rens N, Morris CM, Blain PG, & Judge SJ (2013) Sex differences in effects of low level domoic acid exposure. NeuroToxicology 34; 1-8.
N Rens was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.

Published paper: Nettle D, Harper Z, Kidson A, Stone R, Penton-Voak IS & Bateson M (2013). The watching eyes effect in the Dictator Game: It's not how much you give, it's being seen to give something. Evolution and Human Behavior 34; 35-40.
Z Harper, A Kidson, R Stone and I.S. Penton-Voak were all 3rd year Psychology project students. 

Published paper: Read JCA, Robson JH, Smith CL, Lucas AD (2012) The scintillating grid illusion is enhanced by binocular viewing, i-Perception 3(10); 820-830.
JH Robson was a 3rd-year Biomedical Sciences project student. CL Smith was a 3rd-year Physiology project student. AD Lucas was a Nuffield summer student.

Published paper: Nazarpour K, Barnard A, Jackson A, (2012) Flexible cortical control of task-specific muscle synergies. Journal of Neuroscience 32(36); 12349-60.
A Barnard was a 3rd year Biomedical Sciences project student.

Published paper: Powell KL, Roberts G & Nettle D (2012). Eye images increase charitable donations: Evidence from an opportunistic field experiment in a supermarket. Ethology 118(11); 1096-1101.
KL Powell was a 3rd year Applied Biology project student.

Conference presentation: Maccione A, Hennig MH, Gandolfo M, Muthmann O, Down M, van Coppenhagen J, Jones A, Eglen SJ, Berdondini L, Sernagor E (2012) Following the assembly of functional circuitry: high resolution large-scale population neuronal dynamics in the neonatal mouse retina. 8th Int. Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrodes, ISBN 2194-5519.
A Jones was a 3rd year Biomedical sciences project student.

Published paper: Ernest-Jones M, Nettle D & Bateson M (2011) Effects of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment. Evolution and Human Behavior 32; 172-8.
M Ernest-Jones was a 3rd year Psychology project student.

Published paper: Basu AP, Pearse J, Kirkpatrick EV, Ling ITC, Tan GSL, Eyre JA (2011) Raising awareness of the myth of the “unaffected hand” in childhood hemiplegia. Pediatric Research 70(5); 152.
ITC Ling and GSL Tan were both Medical students.

Published paper: Ling ITC, Basu AP, Kisler J, Kelly S, Gibson M, Pang K (2011) Is Botulinum Toxin A (BTXA) to calf muscles as effective for children with Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis as for those with cerebral palsy? Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 53(S3); 25 (PMID: 21618729).
ITC Ling was a Medical student.

Published paper: Serrano-Pedraza I, Manjunath V, Osunkunle O, Clarke MP, Read JCA (2011) Visual suppression in intermittent exotropia during binocular alignment Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science 52(5) 2352-2364.
Osunkunle was a local lad studying medicine at Cambridge who did an internship in my lab over the summer.

Published paper: Read JCA, Vaz X, Serrano-Pedraza I (2011) Independent mechanisms for bright and dark image features in a stereo correspondence task. Journal of Vision 11(12):4 1-14. 
X Vaz was a 3rd-year Physiology project student.

Published paper: Gartside SE, Speers SA (2011) Effects of mephedrone on monoamine release in the brain: Comparison with D-amphetamine. Journal of psychopharmacology 25(8); Sup A40-A40. 
SA Speers was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.

Published paper: Bateson M, Desire S, Gartside SE, Wright GA (2011) Agitated honeybees exhibit pessimistic cognitive biases. Current Biology 21(12); 1070-3. PubMed PMID: 21636277; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3158593.
S Desire was a 3rd year Biology project student.

Published paper: Holland SM, & Smulders TV, (2011) Do humans use episodic memory to solve a What-Where-When memory task? Animal Cognition 14, 95-102. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-010-0346-5. 
SM Holland was a 3rd year Psychology project student.

Published paper: Watts G, & Nettle D (2010) The role of anxiety in vaginismus: A case-control study. Journal of Sexual Medicine 7: 143-8.
G Watts was a 3rd year Psychology project student.

Published paper: Zinkivskay A, Nazir F, & Smulders TV (2009) What-Where-When memory in magpies (Pica pica). Animal Cognition 12, 119-125. 
F Nazir was both a summer intern and Psychology project student.

Published paper: Basu AP, Tan GSL, French MI, Kirkman M, Biagi L, Tosetti M, Cioni G, & Eyre JA (2009) Can acquired prosopagnosia (“face blindness”) be cured? European Journal of Paediatric Neurology 13(S1), P346.
G Tan was a summer intern funded by the Wellcome Trust vacation. M French was a summer intern funded by the Newcastle University scheme.

Published paper: Gartside SE, Griffith NC, Kaura V, Ingram CD (2010) The neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its metabolites alter 5-HT neuronal activity via modulation of GABAA receptors. Journal of Psychopharmacology 24(11); 1717-24. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 19493957. 
NC Griffith was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.

Published paper: Stanger HL, Alford R, Jane DE, & Cunningham MO (2008) The role of GLU K5-containing kainate receptors in entorhinal cortex gamma frequency oscillations. Neural Plasticity Volume 2008, Article ID 401645.
HL Stanger was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.

Published paper: Gartside SE, Cole AJ, Williams AP, McQuade R, Judge SJ (2007) AMPA and NMDA receptor regulation of firing activity in 5-HT neurons of the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. European Journal of Neuroscience 25(10); 3001-8. Epub 2007 May 17. PubMed PMID: 17509083. 
AJ Cole was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.

Published paper: Judge SJ, Young RL, Gartside SE (2006) GABA(A) receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing in the median raphe nucleus: implications for the action of anxiolytics. European Neuropsychopharmacololy 16(8); 612-9. Epub 2006 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 16531019. 
RL Young was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.