Thorlabs UK Engineering Scholarship Programme

Thorlabs are delighted to offer an Engineering Scholarship Programme through our UK Engineering Department. This opportunity is open to undergraduate students in the UK who are studying towards a degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, and is aimed towards students currently in their second or third year of study (third or fourth year in Scotland) looking for a scholarship for the final part of their degree.

Beginning with an 8 week summer placement, this role will expand your experience and advance your professional engineering career in a fast growing, multinational company.

Thorlabs is a global optical technologies company with expertise in the design and manufacture of an extensive array of innovative photonics products for manufacturing and research, from fibre optics to piezo motors, with a presence in almost every optics laboratory worldwide. Founded in the US in 1989, Thorlabs has expanded across the world; now with 15 facilities in 10 countries.
Thorlabs UK, on the outskirts of Cambridge, engineers a wide range of products, including optomechanical components, vibration isolation systems and motion control devices. Investment and involvement in the latest technologies, the constant pursuit of quality, and exciting growth and development make this a perfect environment for those passionate about engineering.
  • Value £9,000 per year and 8 week placement
  • Opens 21 December 2016
  • Deadline 31 January 2018
  • Help with Living costs, Internship, work placement or project costs, Equipment and study costs
  • Duration 1-2 years


Successful applicants to the Engineering Scholarship Programme will have:
  • AAA/AAB at A Level in STEM subject areas.
  • First year degree results of 2:1 or higher.
  • Post-graduation employment commitment to Thorlabs. Minimum of 3 years for MEng and 2 years for BEng students.
  • A passion for technology, excellent communication skills, the ambition to lead and the drive to achieve goals.
  • As a part of the Engineering Scholarship Programme, Thorlabs will:

Project Details

As a part of the Engineering Scholarship Programme, Thorlabs will:
  • Pay you a scholarship of £9,000 in each of the remaining years of your undergraduate studies.
  • Allocate you a mentor from our engineering team to be a point of contact during your studies and to support you as you commence and develop your Thorlabs career.
  • Provide 8 weeks of paid work experience each remaining summer of your degree.
  • Guarantee a graduate-level job with us upon your graduation.

Further Information

What can I use the £9000 for?
The £9000 scholarship can be used to cover your Tuition fees, but it will be paid to you, so you can use it towards books, equipment, accommodation and other student expenses if you prefer.
What is the pay for the 8 weeks?
Remuneration will be based on the National Living Wage which has been raised to £7.50 per hour from April 2017. It is anticipated that you will work 37.5 hours per week, equating to a weekly salary of £281.25. The summer will be paid based on the work that you complete, irrespective of your decision to accept the scholarship or not at the end of the 8 weeks.
What will the graduate job pay be?
Thorlabs constantly monitors the ever changing local market to ensure we are offering salaries and benefits that are competitive. In addition to a competitive salary, we offer an ideal location in a well-connected and beautiful Cathedral city, opportunities for continuous professional development, excellent benefits and a strong work-place community with regular sporting and social activities.
When do I find out if my application has been successful?
Successful candidates will be notified by the end of February 2017.
When will the 8 week summer placement be?
There is no fixed date associated with the summer placement – it can be done at any point within the window of your summer break period. Once started, the 8 weeks must be completed consecutively, although you will be given a pro-rata holiday allowance of 4 days.
When will the graduate job start?
You will be expected to begin your full time role with Thorlabs within 1 month of your graduation.
Is it possible to do projects in conjunction with Thorlabs for my University required project work?
If you are required to do industry-based project work as part of your degree course, subject to your University’s approval and the availability of a suitable project, we would be happy to support you in doing a Thorlabs project, however this would not be paid work.
What if I did not do A-levels?
We will consider University students from any background - applications will be considered on case-by-case basis. Your University, chosen course and A-level-equivalent qualifications will all be taken into account.
What if I decide that it is not for me?
The initial 8 week summer placement is your time to really get to know the company and the job that you will be doing in the future. During this time, if you decide that Thorlabs isn’t for you, you can leave at any point – there is no commitment. If, at the conclusion of the 8 weeks, you would like to take on the Thorlabs Scholarship then you will sign a contract of employment at that point. You will be paid your 1st year’s scholarship at the first pay date (end of the month) after you have signed your contract. If you change your mind after you have received your bursary, you will be required to repay the scholarship paid to you in full. Further details will be included in your employment contract.

How to apply

If you wish to apply, please send your CV along with a covering letter to either:

Human Resources, Thorlabs Ltd., 1 Saint Thomas Place, Cambridgeshire, Business Park, Ely, Cambridgeshire, CB7 4EX