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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 2017

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 Internship Programme 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 Association for Psychopharmacology

Applications for the 2015 in vivo Training initiative funds are now welcomed (up to 4 summer vacation student projects at ~£1000/award). Priority will be given to applicants who demonstrate access to other supporting funds in the form of a summer vacation scholarship and/or commitment of matched funding from the host institution.


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.

Deadline:  09 March 2017  (5.00 pm)

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 2017

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 £225 per week for a minimum project length of two weeks (average project length is 6 weeks). 

Deadline: 15 March 2017

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Our vacation bursary programme provides funding for undergraduate students to gain first-hand experience of research. We do not invite individual applications for vacation bursaries. The awarding university is responsible for administering all aspects of the award including selection of a suitable undergraduate student.

Deadline: Apply to the University of St Andrews Undergraduate Research Internship Programme and ask your supervisor to state in the supporting letter that the project falls within the EPSRC remit.

Experimental Psychology Society

This scheme will finance a limited number of bursaries (5) to support undergraduates in the summer vacation immediately prior to their final 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 2017

Laidlaw Undergraduate Internship Programme in Research and Leadership

All matriculated undergraduate students in their penultimate year of study may apply.  Interns will design, pursue and report on a research question of their own devising and will work on this piece of research with an academic in their chosen School. Interns will also complete two intensive, bespoke Leadership training sessions. Internships will last from between 8 and 10 weeks; projects of less than 8 weeks duration will not be considered. Interns will be supported by a generous stipend of £400 per week.

Deadline:  02 December 2016, with notification of outcome on 01 February 2017        

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:  26 January 2017 (12 noon)

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

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 2017

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 (for up to 8 weeks).

Deadline:  28 February 2017

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 up to eight weeks' work and currently provide a stipend of £250 per week.

Deadline:  27 February 2017