Undergraduate Internship – Plant Biotechnology – fixed term 12 months

Website British American Tobacco

Job details

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Salary: £19,200 a year
Job type: Fixed term contract


Pulled from the full job description
  • Company pension
  • Free parking
  • Gym membership
  • On-site parking
  • Private medical insurance

BAT is evolving at pace – truly like no other organisation.

To achieve the ambition, we have set for ourselves, we are looking for colleagues who are ready to live our ethos every day. Come be a part of this journey!


SENIORITY LEVEL: Internship 2024-2025


LOCATION: Southampton



  • Subsidised on-site gym membership
  • Subsidised lunches
  • 25 days annual leave
  • Free on-site parking
  • Participation in the Discretionary Company Bonus Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Share Reward Scheme
  • Participation in the Company Pension Scheme
  • Private Healthcare Cover
  • Eligibility for Company Flexible Benefits Scheme
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Dedicated mentor


What are the key objectives and expectations from this role?

We have an exciting opportunity for students who are currently undertaking a degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology (or a related subject) to join our Research & Development function, based in Southampton, on a 12-month undergraduate placement.

This placement is with our Biotechnology Team and will focus on environmental and sustainable agronomy – in particular, drought tolerance. With recent data suggesting climate change is having an increasing impact each year, there is a clear need for scientific research to focus on creating new plant varieties that can withstand increased temperatures as well as drought. Often downplayed compared with the threat of pathogens, we know now that drought alone actually leads to more yield loss annually than all pathogens combined. It is therefore imperative to design innovative discovery processes to assess drought responses in plants – such as predictive modelling and in vitro tools. This role will involve the study of plant physiology and application of plant in vitro culture, molecular biology, metabolomics, and bioinformatics to deliver this aim.


  • Designing experiments and conducting lab-based research (and the associated trainings);
  • Delivering scientific workstreams involving plant phenotyping, verification of physiological and molecular markers, gene discovery and validation, generation and analysis of organ-specific RNA-seq data under stress conditions, and novel molecule discovery;
  • Completing a range of molecular techniques such as RT-qPCR, RNA library construction, western blot, plant phenotyping and quantification of plant metabolites;
  • Processing data and conducting statistical analysis.


  • Working towards an undergraduate degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology or a closely related subject;
  • Motivation to learn working in sterile conditions, plant media and solution preparation, molecular biology techniques such as cloning, RT-qPCR and western blot and statistical analysis of data;
  • Scientific curiosity and critical thinking;
  • Collaborative attitude and ability to communicate with both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

A bit more about BAT and our undergraduate placement scheme:

We make significant investments in Research and Development to deliver innovations that satisfy or anticipate consumer needs and generate growth for the business. We conduct cutting-edge research to evaluate our Potentially Reduced Risk Products (PRRPs) and apply the highest standards for product safety and quality. Successful applicants will be involved in our extensive scientific research program which spans a broad spectrum of scientific fields – including molecular biology, human biology, toxicology, chemistry, biomedical sciences, psychology, neuroscience, sensorial science, data science, computer science, product design, and engineering disciplines

In the UK, we offer 12-months placement opportunities (starting on 2nd September 2024) to undergraduate students looking to gain practical experience within a vibrant and innovative industrial setting. As part of the scheme, you will be partnered with a mentor, have regular reviews with your Line Manager and work on projects that impact the business.

BAT has an established placement programme, with a dedicated Placement Team, which provides training and development throughout the placement. This includes sessions for onboarding, presentation skills, critical thinking, scientific poster presentations and ‘speed networking’ with senior management. Successful applicants are provided with multiple opportunities to develop transferable skills in addition to gaining ‘hands on’ experience in a technical discipline.

As part of the scheme students get a chance to cultivate their independent thinking and problem-solving skills in addition to working in and contributing to a team. Cross functional/department working and participation in other research activities is also encouraged, where appropriate. Previous work experience in a practical ‘hands-on’ role would be useful but not essential.

This role is due to start in September 2024, and we will be shortlisting applications and carrying out telephone interviews whilst the advert is live. We will look to make an offer to the successful candidate as close to the closing date as possible. However, the vetting and onboarding processes for successful candidates won’t begin until the role is opened in our system, which is likely to be later in 2024, so we will contact successful candidates again to commence these processes when the position opens.

We reserve the right to close this advert before the 31st of December if we have a high level of applications.


At BAT we are committed to our Purpose of creating A Better Tomorrow. This is what drives our people and our passion for innovation. See what is possible for you at BAT.

  • Global Top Employer with 53,000 BAT people across more than 180 markets
  • Brands sold in over 200 markets, made in 44 factories in 42 countries
  • Newly established Tech Hubs building world-class capabilities for innovation in 4 strategic locations
  • Diversity leader in the Financial Times and International Women’s Day Best Practice winner
  • Seal Award winner – one of 50 most sustainable companies


Collaboration, diversity and teamwork underpin everything we do here at BAT. We know that collaborating with colleagues from different backgrounds is what makes us stronger and best prepared to meet our business goals. Come bring your difference!

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