Sign up for NPL updates
Sign up for NPL updates

Receive regular emails from NPL to get a glimpse of our activities and see how our experts are informing and influencing scientific debate


Work experience

Work experience: join the NPL Academy

We provide GCSE and A Level students with a real taster of work at the UK's leading measurement research laboratory. The NPL Academy is a fantastic way to make sure you get the most out of a week's worth of work experience. 

NPL does not charge for participation in this activity and equipment required for the projects are mentioned in the job descriptions.

Typically, we welcome a cohort of about 30 students every year. There are always more applicants than places, so priority is given to those who can demonstrate that they have a genuine interest in science, engineering and business beyond the classroom.

The application date for NPL Academy 2022 has passed and we cannot accept any more enquiries for 2022. This year it will be an online event 4th – 8th July 2022, with an emphasis on group working. NPL staff will set a task and mentor a team of students throughout the week, culminating in a presentation at the end of the week. Support from the school/parents/carers to find a space for students to work in, will be required.

Download information on the 2022 projects that were offered.

We hope to run NPL Academy again in 2023, though have yet to clarify details. We plan to update this page with more details in November 2022.

What happens at the NPL Academy

You are given an introduction to NPL and the type of work we do, followed by a tour of several laboratories. You will take part in group exercises and be allocated a project to work on during your week.

One afternoon is spent on a team exercise and, weather permitting, this will involve building and launching water rockets. The final day is spent polishing a report on the week's work for presentation on the last afternoon to an audience of hosts, peers, teachers and parents. Prizes are given for the best presentations.

Typically, we welcome a cohort of 30–35 students, though competition is intense; there are usually about four applicants per place. Priority is given to those who can demonstrate that they have a genuine interest in science and engineering beyond the classroom and will prioritise those interested in taking part in our apprenticeship programme.

We concentrate our energies into providing a top experience work placement scheme via the NPL Academy, and do not offer additional work experience places.

Are you ready to make an impact?

Push the boundaries of your education and skills, and make a difference to the biggest challenges facing the UK and beyond.