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Frequently asked questions about the Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship Scheme.

1. Are there any opportunities to do a longer/ year-long placement outside the scheme?

No. The ICR does not offer study/ work placements for students, either undergraduate or postgraduate outside of the summer vacation studentship programme.

2. What are the different stages of the application process?

In the first instance interested students apply directly to the team leader/designated contact. The team leader will then select the student they deem most suitable for the project.

Together the selected student and team leader submit an application to the ICR including:

  • A short (~ 1 page) description of the project
  • The CV of the nominated student
  • A reference for the student and a short application form.

Applications will then be assessed by the ICR and funding offered as available.

3. Can I contact more than one team leader?

Students are permitted to contact several team leaders/designated contacts to express their interest in the projects. However, students are advised to select only the teams they are particularly interested in applying to, and contact researchers individually.

The team leaders will conduct their own selection criteria, and if successful at this stage students will only be apply to apply for funding with one research team. 

4. If I am in the final year of my undergraduate degree and planning to go on to study a Masters am I eligible to apply?

No, due to the requirements for offering students a bursary candidates must be in the middle years of their undergraduate degree. Students graduating from a bachelor’s degree and then starting a Masters course do not fulfil our criteria.

5. Can I undertake a studentship if I have/ will be undertaking a year-long placement elsewhere as part of my degree?

Students planning to undertake/ undertaking a placement as part of their degree are eligible to apply for the scheme. The details of their placement should be included in their CV and may be used as a criterion in the selection process (see FAQ 7).

6. I haven’t heard back from a researcher? Have they received my email?

Emails are correct on the website so researchers will have received your email if you didn’t receive a failed delivery report. 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 6th April please assume that your application was not successful this time.

7. What are the assessment criteria used to allocate funding?

The allocation of funding to projects/ students will be through a competitive process based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of the project and the training objectives for the student
  • Calibre of the student
  • Stage of degree studies: scholarships are considered of most benefit to students in the middle years of their degree
  • Previous summer placement experience: scholarships are considered of most benefit to students who have not had prior summer placements.

Applications will be ranked and if any of the successful students have also applied externally for funding, there will be a reserve list. Provisional allocations will be announced in April pending the outcome of external competitions in May.

8. What are the dates and hours of the summer studentships?

Studentships will take place over the summer months between June and September. Specific start dates will depend on the availability of the research supervisor and the student. When applying students should ensure they are available for a continuous 6-8 week period over this timeframe. Students are expected to work standard hours 9.30am -5.30pm. 

9. How do I arrange accommodation?

Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation. The stipend is intended to cover accommodation and/or travel costs. A brochure with guidance on finding private accommodation in London is made available to successful candidates. 

10. What happens if I am successful in my application?

If you are successful you will need to complete an Occupational Health Questionnaire and Assessment and may need to attend a medical examination or health interview to receive Health clearance. You will also need to provide documentary evidence to show you have the right to reside and study in the United Kingdom for the duration of the studentship.

11. How is COVID-19 affecting the scheme?

The scheme is expected to run under the same timeframe and conditions that previous years. The students with laboratory based projects will work under a Covid-19 safe environment, in line with the ICR guidance (social distancing measures in place and additional safety instructions if required). The situation is under regular review and successful applicants will be advised of any changes in circumstances accordingly.

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