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Summer scholarships

Deciding what career you would like to do following your undergraduate degree is always difficult. If you are considering doing a PhD then the best way to find out if this is for you is to obtain a summer placement within a research group.

Research themes across the departments in the MAPS Faculty include understanding the molecular and physical basis of life processes, the natural environment (e.g. predicting earthquakes and hurricanes), probing the origins of the universe, applying nanoscale technology to medical technology.

There are several schemes for doing this.


EPSRC Undergraduate Vacation Bursaries

These awards, supported by EPSRC, provide funding to enable undergraduate students, within the Faculty of MAPS to carry out a research project over the summer break under the supervision of a UCL academic. Funding is in the form of a weekly bursary and (limited) funds for consumables. The maximum stipend is £250/week. Funding is available for approximately 8 awards.

Proposal Criteria

An introduction to the aims of the vacation bursary scheme is available from the EPSRC website.

  1. The project proposed must be within the EPSRC funding remit.
  2. The student must be enrolled on a UCL undergraduate degree programme, in a subject within the EPSRC remit, and should not be in their first or final year of study.
  3. Projects must have a clearly defined outcome and may not form part of a student's degree programme. Proposers should think about how the bursary will provide the student with opportunities to explore and obtain research experience.
  4. The student must meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria by the end of their degree.
  5. The duration of the project should be between 4 weeks (minimum) and 10 weeks (maximum).

Proposal Format

Proposals must be submitted by a UCL academic member of staff, within the Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences who will act as the student’s supervisor during the project.

Proposals should be in the form of a 1-side A4 case for support (maximum 11 pt font, 2 cm margins all around) and a 2-side CV of the student. The case for support should include the name and Department of the supervisor, the name of the student, and the duration of the project. The cost of the project, including any reasonable request for travel, consumables or facility use, should also be detailed. All costs (except the weekly bursary) should be fully justified in the proposal.

Applications should be sent to Roger Gaywood (r.gaywood@ucl.ac.uk) by 5pm on Wednesday 29th April 2015.

Review Criteria

Applications will be considered, in early May, by a panel comprised of academics from across the Faculty. The criteria used by the panel will be:

  • Appropriateness and quality of the proposed project
  • Planning and management of the proposed project
  • Benefit to the student in terms of training, skills development and anticipated learning outcomes (including supervision arrangements)
  • Track record and academic potential of the student

Further Information

The studentship committee will be chaired by Dr Jamie Baker (j.r.baker@ucl.ac.uk), who can be contacted for further details.


International Students Dean's Summer Student Scholarships

Dean's Summer Student Scholarships are available for international students to spend a 2 month period carrying out research in the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

Five scholarships are available for summer 2015 to cover a 2 month stay in a research group of your choice. International travel will also be covered.  Please apply to the department of your choice by sending a CV and covering letter to the contact listed below (put 'Dean's Summer Student Scholarship' in the subject of the email).  The deadline for applications is Fri April 24th 2015.  The exact dates of the stay are not fixed but the student must be present at UCL on Aug 3rd 2015 on which there will be a day of talks.

Chemistry: Dr. James R. Baker j.r.baker@ucl.ac.uk
Earth Sciences: Dr Graham Shields g.shields@ucl.ac.uk
Mathematics: Prof. Frank Smith frank@math.ucl.ac.uk
Physics and Astronomy: Prof. Ruben Saakyan r.saakyan@ucl.ac.uk
Space and Climate Physics: Dr. Silvia Zane sz@mssl.ucl.ac.uk
Statistical Science: Prof. Tom Fearn t.fearn@ucl.ac.uk

Other options

There are other department-specific options available. Most departments have some departmental funds to cover a few summer students. There are other means to get funding, such as the Royal Astronomical Society. In the first instance, contact your department's undergraduate tutor for information about options in your chosen field.