The Biochemical Society sets aside as much funding as possible for its annual Summer Vacation Studentships and makes every effort to increase this total each year, providing many undergraduate students with the valuable experience of laboratory research.
As with many funding opportunities the competition for places is tight. It is a tough decision-making process for the Review Panel; generally all the applications are of high quality. Studentship experiences are hard to come by and, if awarded, the experience can benefit a young researcher and their supervisor greatly.
Once an award has been offered it cannot be transferred to another student. Please see general information and criteria below for further details on how to apply.
Applications will be assessed according to three main lines of criteria:
1. Academic credibility of the project
This refers to the academic quality of the project. Key points to note or incorporate into the application include:
- The project must be underpinned by good scientific reasoning.
- The project must be achievable within the timescale (timetable of activities for the 6-8 weeks should be included where possible).
- The proposal should clearly highlight the role of the student working in a summer bursary capacity rather than be written in the style of a research proposal
(N.B. it should be clear that the academic supervisor has already discussed matters with the student and had developed a project to consider their interests, abilities and career aspirations).
- The value of studentship to the supervisor.
- References to relevant publications.
The project should provide a defined training path for the student and should offer clear added value to the student’s degree experience, including e.g.
- What work will be carried out that is not normally available as part of the degree programme?
- Is the research question asked one that is unlikely to present itself on an undergraduate programme?
- What new equipment or techniques will be learnt?
- How will the student interact with the rest of the team?
2. Support provided to the student
This refers to the research environment and level of support offered to the student. Key points that should be incorporated in the application include:
- Programme of supervision for the student (including details of who will supervise the student on a day-to-day basis).
- Details of the induction process (e.g. provision of health and safety information, Ethics, good lab practice).
- How much interaction there will be with other researchers (this can include attendance at meetings, seminars or conferences in addition to working with other members of the research team).
- Description of who will pay for ongoing consumables (N.B. this does not form part of the studentship provision).
- Whether there is an opportunity for the student present their work during or at the end of the project.
3. Academic ability of the student
This refers to the student’s academic performance and their capability to carry out the project proposed. Key points to note or incorporate into the application include:
- A Level results and details of marks so far achieved on the degree course, e.g. a Grade % for each module studied on the course. Ranking within the year would be useful.
- Students must be 2i candidate or above.
(N.B. Students with a low A-level score will still be acknowledged if they have done well in their university course, but applicants who are only likely to achieve a 2ii (whatever their A-level score) will generally not to favoured).
The student should indicate:
- Why they wish to work with the laboratory in question and on the project proposed.
- Why the studentship will be useful to their future career.
- What do they hope to gain from the experience.
Please note: There will be no discrimination from the Grant Committee regarding overseas applications or applications involving mature students.