SPARQ-ed Cell and Molecular Biology Experiences are a selection of half to two day programs aimed at providing senior secondary students an opportunity to explore concepts and use techniques not normally covered in a school laboratory. Each one covers a small aspect of cell and molecular biology, using routine procedures to demonstrate subjects which form the core of modern biomedical research. The subject matter covered aligns with the key concepts as outlined in the Queensland Senior Biology Syllabus and may be tailored to suit the needs of individual school programs.

The programs are conducted in the SPARQ-ed teaching laboratory, a PC2 rated facility located on the ground ground floor of the Translational Research Institute in Woolloongabba, Brisbane. Each one is developed and supervised by the SPARQ-ed coordinator in conjunction with researchers from the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute.

Prior to the program commencing, students will need to familiarize themselves with the support materials provided on the SPARQ-ed website, including manuals and the risk assessments. Students must read through these risk assessments and have their parents or guardians sign the permission forms provided by the Coordinator.

2017 availability calendar

How to apply

Online expression of interest form

Schools can now lodge an expression of interest for a SPARQ-ed Cell and Molecular Biology Workshop online - just follow the link above.

Please Note: we are aware that there are some problems in accessing the above online form through Education Queensland networks. If you are having trouble accessing the above link, you can apply by downloading and filling in a paper application form and sending it to

Schools will be notified of their success in obtaining a Cell and Molecular Biology Experience, and the coordinator will negotiate with the schools the timing of the program and the program undertaken (including any modifications to it).

Important notes

Please note the following points :

  • Schools using buses are encouraged to drop students off at the bus stop on Cornwall Street (near Gate 2 on the PA Hospital Map). Alternatively, the TRI is on a public transport hub, with City Express bus stops on Ipswich Road, a dedicated stop on the Southeastern Busway and is quite close to Dutton Park railway station.
  • The TRI has a cafe, however the time allocated for breaks do not permit a class of 25 students all buying their lunch. We encourage schools to have students make their own arrangements for food. Drinking fountains and toilet facilities are provided.
  • OH&S requirements state that all people in PC2 laboratories wear flat, closed in shoes which do not expose the toes, heels or tops of the feet. Long hair must be tied back. We cannot permit entry to people who do not follow these requirements. Personal protective equipment (laboratory gowns, gloves and safety glasses) will be provided by SPARQ-ed.