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Vacation scholarship funding opportunities

Vacation scholarships provide students with an excellent opportunity to sample real-life research (independent from assessed work) and are particularly useful for students considering postgraduate research degrees.

Psychology students who are interested in gaining research experience during the summer vacation should contact a member of staff in the first instance. Staff members are not obliged to take on vacation students. If the staff member is interested in providing research experience, the student should then apply for scholarship funding in collaboration with the researcher.

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 (especially January to March).

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 2018

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.

Deadlines: Apply to the University of St Andrews Undergraduate Research Assistant Scheme and ask your supervisor to state in the supporting letter that the project falls within the BBSRC remit.

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:  March 2017

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:  01 April 2018

Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 

Undergraduates attending a Scottish University, who were born in Scotland or who have a parent born in Scotland or who have at least two years of secondary education in Scotland, may be considered for the award of a Vacation Scholarship, usually in the vacation between their second and third year.  The scholarship value is £250 per week, with a minimum length of two weeks and the maximum is 12 weeks. 

Deadline: 15 March 2018

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:  01 March 2018

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:  08 December 2017 (midnight), with notification of outcome in February 2018        

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 2018 applications will open in November 2017

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:  28 February 2017

School and University Research Assistant Scheme

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 Wednesday, 6th December 2017 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 2018.

Applications will be judged on research merit and benefit to the student.  Students should not have been awarded other funding for research experience in 2017-18, 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 funded rearsearch experience in the School before.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a short summary of the project to Karen Rae ( by 7th September 2018.

UG Research Assistant Form (Word, 42 KB)

Society of Biology

The Biology Undergraduate Research Bursaries Programme is run by the Society of Biology in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Society.  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.

Deadline:  30 January 2018

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:  28 February 2018

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 £250 per week.

Deadline:  27 February 2017