Day in the Life of a Scientist

QIMR Berghofer is committed to inspiring the next generation of medical researchers.

The Day in the life of a scientist program is for Year 10, 11 and 12 students considering science as a career path. Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a working laboratory and interact with scientists working in the world of medical research. The program has been designed to meet teacher, school and student needs, and is aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the Queensland Senior Biology Syllabus.

During the program, students will:

  • complete a hands-on experimental activity in our state-of-the-art education laboratory
  • hear a talk from researchers working at the forefront of discovery (optional)
  • tour the Institute’s world-class medical research facilities (optional).

The program typically runs for a half-day (with breaks) from our purpose-built education laboratory, which can accommodate up to 24 students.

All activities are currently operated under the QIMR Berghofer education program Covid-safe plan.


Three half-day experimental activities are available to choose from, and each runs for approximately 3 hours:

  • Cell biology: Blood microscopy
  • Disease: Antimicrobial drug discovery
  • Immunology: Diagnosing Ross River virus
  • Genetics: DNA and inheritance

The half-day experimental activity typically runs from either 9.00 am-12.00 pm or 12.00 pm-3.00 pm, although timing is flexible. Program times can be extended to include a lunch break in our canteen facilities.


For more details on the individual experimental activities including learning intentions, please refer to the following document: Day in the Life of a Scientist Session Information


To check available dates, please refer to our bookings calendar below:


To arrange a visit for your class, please submit a booking inquiry bellow. Bookings are typically available from Monday to Thursday of each week. The fee for Day in the life of a scientist is $350 (ex GST) per class. Schools with an ICSEA rating of less than 950 can request for a discounted rate of $50 (ex GST) per class. Check your school’s ICSEA rating here.


The Day in the life of a scientist program can support up to two class sessions of 24 students per day (48 students in total). To manage two class groups, we run two shortened experimental sessions of 2.5 hours per class, with a break in between to set up the laboratory.As we can only accommodate one class at the Institute at a time, your second class will need to be off-site while the first class is attending the program.A popular option for schools with two class groups is to book concurrent student sessions at The University of Queensland’s Integrated Pathology Learning Centre (UQ IPLC), which is located on the Herston campus near QIMR Berghofer. Class groups can swap between the two programs halfway through the day. To coordinate your booking, we suggest you confirm your IPLC booking first (as their program availability is limited), and ask that we hold a booking date for you. Make sure you also let UQ IPLC know of your planned trip to QIMR Berghofer.An alternative is the QUT Medical Research Facility (MERF) program if the IPLC is available.


We provide all participating schools with a personalised Education Queensland Risk Assessment document.

  • No genetically modified or pathogenic organisms are used in our experiments.
  • All experiments comply with PC1 guidelines and are no more dangerous than a high school laboratory.
  • We provide students and teachers with all necessary protective equipment.

“A unique opportunity for students to experience the work of scientists, and further their understanding of scientific research and its importance to society.”

Teacher, St John Fisher College


To find out more about this program contact our Schools Education Coordinators

Dr Liam St Pierre
(Mon-Wed) T (07) 3362 0307
Dr Rowena Long (Mon & Thu) T (07) 3362 0453