Undergraduate News

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Welcome to the news listings for the Chemistry Undergraduate students.

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Analytical Instrumentation Internship - At Oxford HighQ, Ltd., an Oxford University Spin Out Company

Job Details

Deadline: 16th June 2022
Length: Internship (3 Months)
Roles: Analytical instrumentation and workflow development, physical chemistry
Location: Begbroke Science Park, Kidlington
City: Oxford

Analytical Instrumentation Internship

Oxford HighQ is a spin-out from Oxford University developing new instruments for the analysis of nanomedicines – the amazing technologies that beat Covid-19. Our technology dramatically cuts the formulation and development time of nanoparticles such as LNPs, liposomes and polymeric NPs that are used to deliver the next generation of biopharma therapies for infectious diseases, cancers, genetic diseases and, of course, novel vaccines.

OHQ has developed new and faster ways to characterise nanomedicines, which is a £500m industry that is exploding with investment right now, and we are developing a product for market launch next year that will make analysis fast and easy. This internship is an opportunity for you to help develop this new technology and to experience life in an exciting Deeptech start-up.

OHQ uses optical microcavity analysis to measure the physical parameters of nanoparticles – particle size and distribution, drug loading, particle morphology and more – but that requires almost no sample prep or method development. Most techniques rely on expensive and complicated hyphenated techniques and hours/days/weeks to accomplish a similar analytical goal – our USP is that our single instrument and low/no sample prep can be used by almost anyone to get reliable and valuable data.

We’re looking for 2 interns to join us on an 11-week summer internship to help develop our analytical approach and to characterise our instrument’s performance. This will involve preparing and measuring samples on our nanoparticle analyser platform, including samples from major pharmaceutical companies.
The successful interns will also input into development of workflows, software and hardware with the potential to significantly contribute to the usefulness of the product – these are the value-added developments that will make our product easy to use and to get useful answers from.

You need to be available from June 27th - 9th September, although feel free to apply if you already have a holiday booked, we can be flexible! As an analytical Intern, you will spend eleven weeks in our development labs gaining hands-on experience while working side by side with an experienced start-up management team developing cutting edge instrumentation.

Do you fancy ...

  • Helping to develop the next generation of analytical instruments for biopharma?
  • Working on projects involving leaders in the field of nanomedicines?
  • Direct interaction with a highly-experienced start-up exec management team?
  • Having a CV-boosting paid summer position?

You do? Brilliant! Read on...

What you will do:

  • Contribute to the development of a new instrument that will be launched in 2023
  • Analyse nanomedicine samples from some of the world's leading pharmaceutical development and manufacturing companies
  • Working closely with the management team to help build our capability in analysis and workflow development
  • Take day-to-day responsibility for instrumentation development and testing
  • Be an integral member of a development team supporting all aspects of the business

How We’ll Interview You:

We aim to keep the entire process under 2 weeks:

  • A short video application, which you can record in your own time
  • 15 min introductory call with our team
  • Video interview with the exec team lasting around 30 minutes
  • Offer


  • Enrolled Bachelor's or Master‘s student.
  • This role is based at the company’s development HQ in Begbroke Science Park, Kidlington. Travel to the park from Oxford via the science park’s transport (bus) link will be paid by the company
  • Entrepreneurial – you will suggest product and process improvements to the wider team
  • Ability to research and analyse information
  • High level of initiative and quality awareness, as well as a structured and independent way of thinking
  • Interest in the analytical instrumentation and/or start-ups
  • Attention to detail and accuracy in creating and reporting on experimental results
  • Enjoy working in a team and possess native (or equivalent) communication skills in English


  • Invaluable on-the-job training throughout the internship
  • Being part of an experienced, highly skilled and fast-moving team
  • Helping shape the growth in the UK market of one of the most exciting nanomedicine instrumentation companies – a fantastic addition to your CV

This will catalyse your growth:

  • You'll become an important part of a highly driven start-up company
  • You'll have the ability to shape an instrumentation area that is of critical importance in the next generation of biopharma
  • Likely to be cited in journal articles and marketing materials
  • We’ll be delighted to join forces with you again at any time if we work well together

About Oxford HighQ

Oxford HighQ develops technologies from the research groups of Prof. Jason Smith and Prof. Claire Vallance in the Departments of Materials and Chemistry at the University of Oxford. It brings together novel optical microcavities and the huge increase in analytical sensitivity that can be achieved with this platform. OHQ will launch its first product in 2023.

How to apply

To apply for this internship and to find out more, please email contact@oxfordhighq.com with the subject “Summer Internship”.


The target audience for this opportunity is 3rd Year Undergraduates.

Application form HERE - The closing date for applications is Thursday 9th June 2022