Welcome to BioGrad, the laboratory and clinical training centre that attracts elite science and medical students from all over the world.
We specialise in offering REAL WORLD laboratory and clinical skills that range from beginner to advanced level courses. You can select the level that suits your needs and build a bespoke skill set of practical skills from the courses available.
The BioGrad 'mission' is very simple:
To give the best possible experience we have banned lectures. If you want the scientific theory you can get it from a book, school, university or on-line. We believe that if our students are paying for laboratory training then that is exactly what they should receive. When you first arrive, you will receive a quick introduction to the topic however you will have your stethoscope or pipette in hand before you know it, and you will learn a wealth of knowledge in a completely 'hands on' environment.
We never teach in large groups. Most courses have a 5-1 student/tutor ratio. If you have any questions about the theory we have lots of time to talk with you and answer them directly.
We will watch your technique closely, then we will offer support and guidance so that you leave with the correct technique. You will have time to repeat each technique a few times to gain confidence and the ability to perform the new skill in your own lab or discuss your experience at an interview.
We do not believe in 'working in groups'. As a scientist, you will be performing your own experiments, so we provide the opportunity to do everything from scratch yourself. This will include autoclaving your own reagents and waste, preparing your own buffers, isolating your own DNA samples, running your own gels and thawing/freezing your own human and bacterial cell cultures. Clinical students receive their own stethoscope and work in cardio and respiratory bays as a pair (one patient and one GP), taking it in turns to swap partners for the opportunity to hone new skills on a range of 'patients'. You will not be waiting in line for the opportunity to practice your skills.
Don’t take our word for it, see what our students have to say about our courses. Further information, photos and videos are posted regularly by our students on Facebook and Twitter, so please follow us to keep updated with course details.
“I enrolled in the 5-day practical lab skills course with BioGrad, and I could not praise it more if I tried. I am doing an OU degree and need some more experience to add to my CV- little did I know I was going to get so much more than that!
The fundamental skills you learn here are priceless, and our tutor was fantastic (with both practical and career progression) Be warned- don’t come here expecting to be told what to do- you will learn to think for yourself and work with co-workers. If you need a boost in confidence to help ypu progress then this is an excellent learning opportunity for you!
I also learned correct procedures for working in a lab, including pipetting, gram staining, culturing bacteria, ELISA tests, Ph indicators, agar plates and correct COSHH, sterilisation and disinfection techniques (among many other in valuable skills)-and how to recognise mistakes and learn from them.
But, most importantly, this course has given me confidence to progress in a very competitive field and recognise my strengths and weaknesses from someone who has years of experience. The presentation on the final day were my favourite part of the week, talking to people about something I am passionate about has given me unmeasurable amounts of drive and enjoyment- plus it helped me to be more decisive about which path I was to peruse.
If you are an A- level student, an undergraduate, a post graduate looking to start your career, an OU student, or even if you just need a push to progress a career in science- DO THIS COURSE! They really seem to care if you do well and give you personalised tips in areas that can benefit you.
Thankyou BioGrad – You have given me the momentum that I needed to get the job I want!"
“I’d like to say thank you to the BioGrad team for an extremely enjoyable and informative 5 days completing the Laboratory skills summer school. In this time, we learned in a completely hands-on procedure, how to execute several essential laboratory experiments which are vital to furthering our experience and employability in our desired field. Furthermore, the expert assistance of Phil and Natalie (which was readily available in such small groups) allowed us to safely make, identify and learn from any mistakes we have made during the course. As a result, I can now say my confidence in Laboratory work has been strengthened hugely, and my interest in laboratory work has definitely been piqued. Also during the time, we learned practical skills such as, organisation and time management, team work and co-operation and communication skills, which are important in any job.
Phil and Natalie were always willing to answer on anything from Laboratory practice to experienced career advice. A special thank you from me as the course and advice has gave me an insight that has made me completely rethink my career prospects.
Due to this, I can say this course may have definitely changed my life! I would whole-heartedly recommend the Laboratory skills summer school to anyone wanting further experience in life sciences, and thank you for an unforgettable 5 days!”
“I attended both the ‘Laboratory skills’ short courses and the ‘Skills in Analytical Science’ course with BioGrad. I found the atmosphere to be motivating and the tutors to be extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic and professional.
I gained important lab skills and techniques which helped consolidate my degree theory, gained through the Open University. The Analytical techniques gained, specifically ELISA and Western Blot, have helped me gain employment working for one of the leading names in the science industry, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
I would thoroughly recommend doing the courses with BioGrad and would like to thank all the tutors I met during my time there, for the invaluable advice and much needed confident boost!”
“I thoroughly enjoyed my hands-on experience of culturing adherent and suspension cell lines and was taught using current techniques. The group size was small which meant that demonstrations could be seen easily and I received personal guidance.
The BioGrad lecturers were enthusiastic in answering any questions we had but also encouraged us to think for ourselves. They were very supportive when mistakes were made which in turn helped us to learn more effectively.
Thank you, Natalie, and Annemieke for sharing your knowledge and passion for science. I am extremely pleased with everything that I have learned in these two days, and I have also improved my skill set which places me in a batter position when looking for jobs.”
“I would like to say a big thank you to the BioGrad scientists for teaching us many new exciting techniques and skills, which are so essential and applicable for any lab work. I absolutely enjoyed this one week course as it has not only given me a chance to broaden my knowledge in scientific research, but also an opportunity to meet other young scientists from all around the world.
Natalie and Phil are incredibly passionate and enthusiastic about science and this passion has passed on to us. They were always there to help us and guide us through our work, at the same time teaching us how to think critically about the techniques we were using.
The summer school was a fantastic experience and that has definitely helped me to obtain new immensely valuable skills.”
“I absolutely loved the hands-on, interactive practical techniques that were taught by the BioGrad professionals. They were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and most importantly, very passionate about the techniques and teaching them correctly.
I was really impressed and will be doing the drug discovery course that leads on from the cell culture.
Thank you, Natalie, and Annemieke for building on my current molecular biology skillset; I am confident it will place me in a better position when competing for job interviews or when applying for master courses”
“I used to think lab work was all boring and dull and that you repeated the same things over and over again but after a week in the summer school I realised it was everything but dull and boring. There is something new every day.
The skills and experience I gained in such a short amount of time was incredible. Thank you again.”
“I recently attended the courses in cell culture and drug discovery. They were fantastic!
Great student to teacher ratio, the structure of each day was planned out so that there is enough time for everyone to get involved, with time for detailed questions and extra guidance.
Natalie and Annemieke are lovely supportive teachers, with a wealth of knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and immunology/genomics. It was inspiring to learn of their journeys and experience.
It is so difficult to gain practical experience within labs, outside of employment, that courses like these are invaluable. Natalie had such dedication to her students, on ensuring that they get the most out of their time at BioGrad. I will definitely be back again! Thank you both!”