Summer projects

We are offering three summer projects, ideal for students or recent grads looking for a short term project. Two semi-remote (requiring at least fortnightly visits to OpenCell Labs, London) and the other is our first complete remote role (although you can optionally work at OpenCell), open to anyone, anywhere. Both roles require high levels of independence and problem solving attitude. However, you would be well integrated into the core R&D team and have a great opportunity to learn about cutting edge biotechnology in one of the most unique and intellectually stimulating work environments in the world.

The projects are intended to run for 3 months but this is flexible and we are openminded as school reopening is unclear.  The projects have the potential to lead to a fixed role. The roles are paid with remuneration based on potential for impact.

Interested in a full-time position? Check out our other job openings.

With social distancing the new normal, remote training, learning and purchasing are now urgently required.


The Goal is to design a range of educational videos and tutorials for lab equipment.

We operate a youtube channel. We have a short project for someone seeking to make demonstration/training videos for OpenTrons, autoclave, PCRs, incubators, and other equipment around the lab. This is quite creative work and as well as generating footage would require substantial editing. Youtube live and arrange highly interactive event organisation is also very much encouraged.

We operate a store and are seeing a range of products that we would like to stock. We would like you to conduct youtube reviews and engage a community of users for feedback. This is a very social activity and also means you get to play with cool (often pre-release) toys!


To apply please use your phone or other equipment to film a short demonstration/learning/teaching video (1 min or longer as you wish) and post to youtube (unlisted). Send this link to info@opencell.bio. The demonstration can be a using a prop and giving a short overview of usage, for instance for an autoclve or PCR.  It could include explanations in text etc. It can be funny or personal and your style is your own. Example of YouTuber that uses casual style combined with nice overlays to create extremely engaging content that makes it easy to learn.

The goal is an affordable computer(s) and USB camera(s) for 4 microscopes.

Digital camera/computer customisation for four microscopes:

1) Leitz Fluorvert FU,

2) Leitz Aristoplan,

3) Leica DMIRB

4) Olympus Stereo

The idea is to use a Raspi 4 with an ICE cooler and connect to two 1080 HDMI outputs (monitors mounted on rear wall). Then use an SSD (could be small) and boot direct from that with USB3.0. Connect a USB3.30 camera for high speed image transfer (raspi high quality cam or something in the Bresser range). A pitop to house the raspberry pi for ease of interaction.

The Pi could run ubuntu or other operating system. The software might be ImageJ or other. The ideal scenario would see a well optimised use of the SSD +USB3.0+wifi to enable high speed image collection and cloud sync.

A challenge is optimising price and functionality for different microscope systems.


If this project interests you please email (info@opencell.bio) with the first steps you would take and any insights or ideas. Please communicate them briefly (no more than 300 words). A GitHub link with code ideas,  sketches, Cads, render or image of a rudimentary test system will attract attention. We prioritise speed and if you have found a system already working and demonstrate the capacity to communicate with the developer/designer/manufacturer for a collaboration this is preferable to reinventing the wheel and will attract our attention.

We have a short project for someone who ejoys microcontrollers and Internet of things.

The goal is to design an open source board with firmware compatible for data acquisition for a range of commonly used lab instruments.

We are currently using the Wemos D1 mini board for a range of automation tasks and data collection. They are exceptionally cheap (£5 retail), have wifi functionality and can be used with displays or battery boards.

The project would involve data acquisition from a range of lab instruments using RS232 ports. These ports are interesting. Almost ever machine has them and we have yet to meet anyone who uses them. This spells opportunity!

You would design a connector and possibly custom PCB to collect data from these ports, design firmware for specific instruments and interface with an ESP8266 board. The board can be programmed using the arduino IDE with microPython, C or Lua. The collected data will be then transfer to either remote or local server (e.g., our fermentrack hack) via API. The firmware design will require a bit of trawling through old manuals and pestering the technical teams of respective instrument manufacturers.


If this project interests you please email (info@opencell.bio) with the first steps you would take and any insights or ideas. Please communicate them briefly (no more than 300 words). A GitHub link with code ideas,  sketches, Cads, render or image of a rudimentary test system will attract attention. We prioritise speed and if you have found a system already working and demonstrate the capacity to communicate with the developer/designer/manufacturer for a collaboration this is preferable to reinventing the wheel and will attract our attention.