Skip navigation to content

Research experience opportunities

The School aims to offer undergraduate students a range of opportunities to engage in the research programs of academic staff. Almost all academic staff run a research program, and details of what we do can be found here on our research web pages.

Sometimes there are opportunities to obtain funded Research Assistant positions (see below), and many research groups also offer opportunities to volunteer, both during the semester and in the vacation. Be bold: If you are interested in an area that you have found on our research pages, do email the academic who leads the group. Just a few lines will suffice, indicating when you would like to get involved, and why that area interests you.
If the staff member is interested in providing research experience, the student should then apply for scholarship funding in collaboration with the member of staff.
Below is a list of potential schemes, which vary greatly in eligibility (e.g. year of study). Please note that most of the deadlines are early in the year (usually January to March).

Within the University

School and University Research Assistant Scheme

Note: The School deadline is different from that advertised on the University web pages, see below.

The Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme is an exciting programme that aims to give undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in academic research. The University of St Andrews prides itself on its research-led teaching and is keen to promote projects that emphasise the many ways in which Research and Teaching can come together.
Through this scheme students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning experience by working on academic research projects with university faculty members. To apply to the scheme, you should first find your area of interest by exploring the School's research web pages. Then, contact an academic member of staff by e-mail, asking what opportunities might be available in their area. If potential supervisors have projects available, they will get back to you.  The School has a single application deadline (and a form, see link below) for funding from both its own Research Assistant Scheme, and the University Scheme. Please note that the deadlines published on the University website are not used by this School.

Applications should be made jointly by supervisors and students, and submitted to the School Office by Friday, 7th December 2018 using the form (see below). We expect to announce the awards before the middle of February. Funding is available from the University and School this year. Funds will cover a stipend only (£50 per block of 6 hours, up to a maximum of 20 blocks, 120 hours, £1000) to support the student during the duration of research, which can be undertaken during term time (Semester 2), or out of term time, but must be completed by 31st August 2019.

Applications will be judged on research merit and benefit to the student. Students should not have been awarded other funding for research experience in 2018-19, and if they are awarded funds after the award date, supervisors should let us know and we will withdraw funding. We will favour applications where the student has not gained any previous funded research experience.  Successful applicants will be required to submit a short summary of the project to Karen Rae ( by 7th September 2019.

UG Research Assistant Form (Word, 42 KB)

Laidlaw Scholarship Programme in Research and Leadership

The Laidlaw scholarship programme in research and leadership is an exciting programme that aims to equip students with the skills and values to become leaders in their chosen occupations beyond University. The programme integrates two five-week summer research projects, undertaken during consecutive summers, where scholars will pursue and report on a research question with a research supervisor from their chosen School, alongside a comprehensive leadership programme that runs across the academic year. Scholars will also be awarded a 6 month studying membership of the Institute of Leadership and Management. Scholars will be supported by a generous stipend of £500 per week up to a maximum of 10 weeks across the two research periods.
Deadline: usually early December.

Outside the University

Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour

To enable undergraduates to undertake supervised research projects, which fall within the field of animal behaviour, lasting from 1 to 10 weeks during academic vacations. Undergraduates may also apply for awards for work to be carried out in the vacation immediately following graduation. The scholarship includes £200 per week towards subsistence for the student and up to £500 total towards research expenses.

Deadlines:  01 February 2019

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

Purpose: to give promising undergraduates a first-hand opportunity to gain greater experience of research in the biosciences; to raise the profile of research careers amongst undergraduate students; to interest students in postgraduate research in strategically important areas for BBSRC.  Should be a ‘biology’ topic, ask your potential supervisor for advice.

Deadlines: Runs through Eastbio scheme, advertised in January each year.

Bradshaw-Eagle Undergraduate Research Scholarship

The aim of this scheme is to support undergraduates who wish to carry out supervised summer research projects during the middle years of their degree in a vision laboratory, normally in a UK Higher Education Institution. The Scholarship will provide a stipend (£200 per week, subsistence, for up to 8 weeks) to support undergraduates to carry out a self-contained vision-related research project, in the laboratory of an AVA member.

Deadline:  usually March each year.  Check the above link.

British Psychological Society

Awards will be made to researchers to allow them to provide an undergraduate with 'hands-on' experience of research during the summer vacation, to gain an insight into scientific research and to encourage them to consider an academic career. The award provides a student stipend at a weekly rate of £200, for a 6-8 week project.  The 2018 round will open for applications in November.

Deadline:  Call for 2018 applications will open in November 2017

British Society for Neuroendocrinology

To provide some financial support for a student who undertakes a vacation lab project. Undergraduate students or students immediately after graduation or prior to starting MSc or PhD studies are eligible. Awards will be £140 per week for a maximum of 8 weeks.

Deadline:  Usually 01 April each year.

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 

Undergraduates attending a Scottish University, who are citizens of either the United Kingdom or European Union, or have been granted permanent leave to remain in theUK/EU; are approaching their final year of study and on track to achieve a 2:1 or higher in their final degree classification, may be considered for the award of a Vacation Scholarship. The scholarship value is £250 per week, with a minimum length of 2 weeks and maximum 12 weeks.

Deadline: Usually mid-March - end of March.

Experimental Psychology Society

This scheme will finance a number of bursaries to support undergraduates studying psychology or a related discipline in the summer vacation immediately prior to their final year. Members may not apply for the scheme if they currently hold an EPS Small Grant, or if they received a Small Grant in the immediately preceding year. Awards will be made to members of the Society and will provide up to 10 weeks’ support (£200 per week) for their nominated undergraduate.

Deadline:  Usually 01 March.

Medical Research Scotland

Medical Research Scotland Vacation Scholarships provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research for a 6 - 8-week period during the summer vacation and have the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research. They provide a weekly stipend of £180, plus £50 per week for the sponsoring laboratory.

Deadline:  Call for applications usually opens in November and closes in March.

Physiological Society

Vacation Studentships offer undergraduate students who have completed at least two years of full-time study, in a higher education institute or equivalent, the opportunity to undertake physiological research projects. Vacation studentships are available for a maximum of eight weeks at a rate of no more than £200 per week.

Deadline:  usually end of February.

Royal Society of Biology

The Biology Undergraduate Studentships Programme is run by the Royal Society of Biology. The purpose of the awards is to give experience of research to undergraduates with research potential and to encourage them to consider a career in scientific research. The application is completed by the supervisor of the project and represents support for the student at a rate of £200 per week, for a period of between 6 and 8 weeks. Up to £500 can be claimed towards project expenses. This site also has links to some other funding sources.

Deadline:  usually end of January.

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)

UFAW aims to encourage students to develop their interests in animal welfare and their abilities for animal welfare research. Animal Welfare Student Scholarship consists of £200 per week subsistence allowance for the Scholar plus £50 per week to the department for departmental expenses (usually between 4 and 8 weeks).

Deadline:  usually end of February.

Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarships

These awards provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the summer vacation, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research. Scholarships are available for 6-8 weeks and currently provide a stipend of £200 per week.

Deadline:  usually end of February.