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.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many organisations have paused funding for summer placement students until further notice.

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 August 2021)

 

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.

Biochemical Society

Due to the pandemic and recent lockdowns, the Biochemical Society are instead offering an interim online-based provision for the 2021 run of the Summer Vacation Studentship scheme centred on skill development, equipping students with analytical and computational tools useful for their career progression and graduate school applications. Successful applicants to this year’s online scheme will be awarded free registration to two online courses: “R for Biochemists 101” and “Practical Python for beginners: a Biochemist’s guide”. These computational training courses will be complemented by an exclusive, bespoke webinar programme which focuses on employability and careers, including transferable skills and knowledge to equip students for their next steps.

British Society for Cell Biology

Awards comprise a student stipend of £300 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.

Carnegie Trust

The scholarship includes a weekly stipend which will be the equivalent of the current Scottish Living Wage rate (£9.50 per hour in 2021), with a minimum length of two weeks and the maximum is 12 weeks. Applicants must undergraduates of an eligible 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. 

Experimental Psychology Society

The award is for a maximum of £2,500, 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 Physiological 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 £560. 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).