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Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship Scheme

The ICR offers paid undergraduate summer vacation scholarships every year.

The summer 2022 scheme is now closed.

Group of students

The ICR’s Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship Scheme offer undergraduate students in the middle years of their degree the chance to gain hands-on cancer research experience. Through the scheme, students will gain an understanding of the research environment and develop new skills.

The programme provides exciting opportunities for undergraduate students to work with ICR research teams for a 6 –8 week period over the summer. Funds are available for up to seven undergraduate students to undertake a six to eight week research project (with a stipend of £300 per week). Research projects will be supervised by our research teams based at either our Chelsea or Sutton site.


  • The scheme is for undergraduate students at UK Higher Education institutions (UK based) in the middle years (i.e. second of three, second/third of four) of their undergraduate degrees.
  • Applicants in their first or final year are not eligible to apply.  
  • Applications are encouraged from students who have not previously undertaken any form of summer placement.

The scheme for summer 2022 is now closed. Students were asked to submit their initial applications by 18th February 2022.

The deadline for submission of final applications to the ICR by supervisors is 29th March 2022. Scholarship funding will be allocated through a competitive selection process, and applications that are successful will be announced in early May. For more details on the application process please check how to apply.

Demand for these scholarships will be high so we cannot guarantee that Team Leaders/designated contacts will be able to respond to all enquiries they receive. If you have not been contacted by 29th March 2022 please assume that your application was not successful this time.

The scheme will open again mid-January 2023.


Please contact [email protected] with any questions or for guidance on the application process.

Previous student experiences

“The internship at the ICR was a once in a lifetime experience, which left me with field specific skills, interpersonal skills and lots of additional lab related know-how that I would not have been able to gain through my normal studies at university. This internship helped me to grow as a budding scientist and to inspired/defined my future study and career pathway choices. Therefore, I would not hesitate one second to apply again for this Internship.” – Tobias Gamper

“I applied for this internship mainly due to the structural biology component of it, but I am extremely happy it was arranged in a way that allowed me to discover many other fields of natural sciences. […] All of this allowed me to learn and practice skills, which will prove useful in the near future. However, the thing I liked the most was to work in and see how an actual lab functions It was fascinating to hear how different members of the team consult their ideas with each other and are able to come up with new solutions for their problems together I was always taught that science is all about cooperation, but I have only actually learnt that here.”  Szymon Berezicki

“Some of the aspects I have enjoyed most as a summer student within ICR are the parallels between my work here and my university course. I never anticipated that I could apply so much of my learning from university to a medical environment. My time at the ICR has not just strengthened my statistical intuition but also added a sense of fulfilment to my studies which I had not recognized before. I enjoyed the academic challenge of the internship. Working alongside the academics at the ICR offers students a great opportunity to ask questions and improve their knowledge. Everyone I worked with was always happy to help me improve my understanding and offer new resources to read to help immerse me in their specialty. Spending time with ICR staff helped me to understand their enthusiasm for clinical trials and picture myself within a research environment. There is no better way of picturing yourself in a research environment than to try it out.” – Emily Alger 

“I was exposed to the rigorous process of the scientific method, and it helped me understand that not everything goes the way it should in the real world as it typically does at university, and I was also able to use time I would have spent at home on a project that would help towards the global effort of cancer research. It was invaluable experience that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else. […] Being able to break down a problem into its smallest variables and incorporate a step-by-step approach to a problem to ensure that all your grounds are covered was a lesson I never knew I needed to learn.” – Owais Siddiqi

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Institute of Cancer Research and feel that I have gained new lab skills that I have not had the opportunity to do so whilst at university. This summer studentship has given me a real insight into what a PhD with The Institute of Cancer Research would be like and has inspired me to consider applying for PhD’s in medicinal chemistry, which is something I have not considered before the studentship.” – Rebecca Midgley

“The project is the largest single piece of work I have done, and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. […] The skills I developed will be invaluable in any future project work I do, both in my degree and my professional life. Before the summer studentship, I had no clear idea of what I wanted to do once I finish my degree in physics. Working at the ICR gave me an insight into the practical and vital work medical physicists do, and I’m now strongly considering it as a future career path.” – Arno Von Kietzell

PhD studentships

Applications for our main PhD studentships recruitment round are closed.

ICR values

Our values – developed together as an organisation – make it clear how each and every one of us work to meet our mission – to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.