We offer undergraduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience by working with our leading biomedical research teams.

Undergraduate students have a range of options for semester, vacation or coursework placements with our leading research teams.

A variety of scholarships and employment opportunities are available to support undergraduate students at WEHI.

How do undergraduate placements work?

Typically undergraduate students undertake a project that is part of the program of a biomedical research laboratory. Students are supervised and mentored by a research scientist, and work alongside other staff and students in the laboratory team.

Benefits we offer undergraduate students

There are many benefits to undertaking an undergraduate research placement with us:

  • Develop hands-on expertise in laboratory techniques and experimental design, and learn in-depth about a research field
  • Learn about the diverse career opportunities available in biomedical research
  • Create future graduate study or job opportunities through networking
  • Be part of a research team in an internationally competitive laboratory
  • Contribute to scientific publications and presentations
  • Learn from leading researchers through WEHI’s seminar programs
  • Participate in educational and social events organised by our student association.

Undergraduate opportunities

A variety of opportunities for undergraduate research training exist, depending on a student’s university, course and interests, including:

  • Metcalf Scholarships: provide outstanding students with scholarship support and employment opportunities to gain experience within our leading research teams.
  • WEHI Vacation Scholarships: a summer or winter vacation program for full-time students enrolled in an undergraduate course.
  • Medical Student Vacation Scholarships: supporting undergraduate and postgraduate medical students to undertake paid research placements.
  • Other vacation scholarship schemes: organisations including Cancer Council Victoria and MS Research Australia offer scholarships for undergraduate students placed in relevant WEHI laboratories
  • Career Trackers Indigenous Internship Program: provides paid multi-year internship opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander university students
  • InSPIRE: a program for students from selected universities in China to undertake a fully-funded, 10-week internship within our leading research teams
  • Course research placements: we host local and international students for research placements of varying lengths, which are part of their university course requirements. This includes the University of Melbourne MD Research Project
    Students seeking course research placements are encouraged to discuss their requirements with our laboratory heads
  • Other opportunities: some laboratories may be able to accept outstanding and enthusiastic undergraduate students as casual employees. Please directly contact laboratory heads to discuss potential opportunities (Many supervisors will request your CV and academic transcripts and a follow up interview as part of this.)

What is the time commitment?

In general, working hours are arranged between supervisors and students to fit in with the student’s and supervisor’s commitments and any requirements of their placement scheme. Students may undertake research at WEHI full time during when they do not have other coursework commitments, or several hours a week during the semester.

As part of WEHI’s commitment to diversity, students with employment, carer or other commitments can negotiate part-time arrangements for undergraduate placements (in line with any external scheme requirements).

Who can apply?

We accept undergraduate students from any local, national or international university. Students would typically have completed one-to-two years of undergraduate study. Some schemes may have specific eligibility requirements.

Our researchers are seeking enthusiastic students with a range of backgrounds and experience. Some undergraduate schemes have a limited number of positions and are subject to competitive selection processes – please check the details of schemes you may be eligible for.

Most undergraduate students have an interest in science, biomedical science, medicine or related disciplines including mathematics, statistics and computer science. Students from non-scientific fields are encouraged to discuss their interest in biomedical research training with prospective supervisors.

International students will need to consider Australian student visa requirements as part of their application. For students with a confirmed laboratory placement, our People and Culture team can assist in visa arrangements.


Scientific Education Office

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