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Department of Physics

Educational Outreach


Unfortunately, the Isaac Physics Work Experience programme has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID pandemic.  The details below are for reference only, and we hope to be able to offer the programme again next summer.


Work experience at the Cavendish Laboratory is not available in research groups

The Isaac Physics programme hosts small numbers of students for work experience (8 students in total, 4 per week) to

  • Help the team evaluate their platform and user experience
  • To test physics and maths problems (by solving them)
  • Create diagrams and videos for their online resources
  • Sometimes support or attend events that are being run as part of the Isaac Physics programme.


  • Students must be aged 16 or over at the time of the placement.
  • Placements will be allocated based on applicants familiarity and engagement with questions on

To inquire about this opportunity please contact


Our Director of Outreach explains:

Why do we not offer research placements?

Having a part-time job or doing some general work experience (shop, café, library, workshop, garage, …),  if approached in the right way, is really valuable to gaining skills such as how to work in a team, working with people, communication, organisation, self-motivation.

However, there are many misconceptions about work experience at somewhere like the Cavendish Laboratory and students aspiring to STEM at university feel under pressure to do work experience.  I have been involved in admissions at Cambridge for a number of years and want to reassure students that work experience is really not necessary, super-curricular activities like summer schools, competitions, after-school clubs, Isaac Physics are better.

Cavendish Outreach offers many different programmes for students aged 11-19 which are tailored to their age and experience and look more impressive in a personal statement than work experience.  For example, if students instead spend a week solving level 4 and 5 Isaac Physics problems they would be far better placed for university interviews and applications than a week of work experience.

Our outreach events mean that we can give opportunities to many thousands of students rather than just a handful (which is the case for work experience).  Arranging just 15 places of work experience is organisationally more intensive than arranging 3 days of Physics at Work for 2200 students.

I hope that we will see you soon at one of our future events.


Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright