Undergraduate Summer Research Placements

If you are not on a degree which includes a work placement year in industry (‘sandwich’ degree), it can be difficult to gain experience of working in a research or industry environment. Summer student placements can help address this and give you relevant skills and insight into working in a lab.

A number of organisations offer funding for summer placement students in the middle of their degree (usually between 2nd-3rd year). Often a small stipend will provide student funds for a 6-8 week period and sometimes cover the cost of consumables during your time there. Students wishing to apply for these grants should first approach a research lab/supervisor to enquire whether they have the capacity to host a student over summer, before seeing if they can obtain funding.

Other details to note:

  • Many applications have to come from the supervisor rather than the student.
  • The supervisor and/or student may have to be a member of the society although this is not true for all funding bodies.
  • The deadlines for applications usually fall in the first few months of the calendar year before the summer placement will take place.
  • You can have a student placement in a university where you are not doing your degree.

Below we have outlined a selection of funding bodies that may suit your needs, however your supervisor may know of more, including internal university grants. This list is intended as a guide and you should read all criteria before applying.

(updated May 2018)

 

Alzheimer’s Society

A stipend of £200 per week can be requested for up to 8 weeks (maximum £1600). Up to £500 can be claimed towards project expenses. Students must be in the middle years (i.e. 2/3, 2/4 or 3/4) of their degree when commencing the studentship. Applications should be made by the prospective supervisor. Students wishing to undertake a project in dementia research should contact their prospective host institution/supervisor.

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

The scholarship includes £200 per week towards subsistence for the student and up to £500 total towards research expenses. Applications from applicants who are not members of ASAB are welcomed, but either the applicant's supervisor or Head of Department must be an ASAB member. The applicant is the undergraduate, although applications are often written in collaboration with the applicant's academic supervisor.

BBSRC

The value of a REP is £2,500 to cover a minimum stipend of £200 per week to the student and a contribution towards research expenses during the placement. Students wanting to apply for a REP should contact the research organisation at which they wish to take a placement. Students may not apply directly to BBSRC.

Biochemical Society

Grants are available for stipends of £200 per week for 6 – 8 weeks, and up to £1,600 in total, to support an undergraduate student to carry out a summer lab placement. Interested students must pair up with a potential supervisor, develop a project together, then apply for funding. Applicants (supervisors) must be members of the Biochemical Society (at least 12 months) working in a university or research institute, and apply for the grant on behalf of the student. The student does not need to be a member of the Society, but when ranking proposals preference will be given to student members.

British Society for Cell Biology

Awards comprise a student stipend of £180 per week for up to 8 weeks. Awards do not cover consumable costs. Studentships will only be awarded for students who have yet to complete their first degree, usually prior to their final year of studies. Students that are undertaking an integrated Master's Degree are eligible to apply. Applications must be made by the prospective supervisor on behalf of a named student. The supervisor must be the Head of the lab but named post-docs are allowed to offer day to day supervision. Supervisors must be a BSCB member for a minimum of one year before, or on the date of, the application.

British Society for Neuroendocrinology

Awards will be £140 per week for a maximum of 8 weeks (£160 per week in London), and will be paid in 1 lump sum to the student (overseas applicants should make a case for award of subsistence at one of the two stated rates). Additionally, up to £1000 per award is available for identified consumables. The host supervisor should apply on behalf of a selected named student that they consider suitable for a project in their lab. The host supervisor must have been a member of the BSN for at least 6 months.

Carnegie Trust

The value of the Scholarship is £250 per week, with a minimum length of two weeks and the maximum is 12 weeks. Applicants must be of Scottish birth, or extraction (at least one parent born in Scotland), or have been educated in Scotland at secondary level for at least two years. At the time of applying, applicants must be undergraduates of a Scottish university in either year 3 of a 4 year degree (or an equivalent stage for part-time students) OR year 3 or 4 of a 5 year degree (or an equivalent stage for part-time students). Students on intercalated years of medicine are also eligible if they meet the above criteria. A joint application is made between student and supervisor.

Experimental Psychology Society

The award is for a maximum of £2,000, and any additional expenses must be borne by the host institution. The application should be made by the EPS member (supervisor) and not the Undergraduate student.

Genetics Society

The studentship will consist of an award of £200 per week for up to 8 weeks to the student plus a grant of up to £750 to cover expenses incurred by the host laboratory. Applications must be made by Principal Investigators (PI) at Universities or Research Institutes. Both the PI and the named student involved must be members of the Genetics Society.

The Physiology Society

For students living away from home, funding of up to £200 a week for up to eight weeks is on offer. This is expected to contribute towards a subsistence allowance and/or cost of accommodation in university halls of residence or comparable student accommodation. For students living at home, funding of up to £100 a week for up to eight weeks is on offer. This is expected to contribute towards a subsistence allowance (food and travel). Students should have completed at least two years' full-time study in a higher education institute (or equivalent) of a degree that incorporates an element of physiology, by the start of the studentship. MSci students are eligible to apply within the first three years of their degree only. MSc students, however, are NOT eligible for this scheme. Students must be an Undergraduate Member of The Society (or have submitted an application for Undergraduate membership) at the time of application and their supervisor either a Full Member or Affiliate, with support from a Full Member.

Wellcome

Awards comprise a student stipend of £250 per week for 6-8 weeks. Student are eligible to apply in the middle year(s) of their degree, when they have not yet undertaken a substantial period of research. Students should approach a host researcher/supervisor and are expected to be involved in the design and planning of the project.

Animal Free Research UK

Awards comprise a student stipend of £180 per week for 8 weeks and lab consumables up to £500. Students cannot apply for the funding for either scheme directly. Applications must be made by a staff member at an appropriate research facility (University, Hospital, Research Institute).