Considering a career in environmental research? Are you passionate about STEM or Social Sciences? Ever wondered what it would be like to study Environmental and Life Sciences? Looking to enhance your skills and gain valuable experience?

The INSPIRE Doctoral Training Programme are pleased to announce that applications for six undergraduate Research Experience Placements (REP) for summer 2023 are now open!

A Research Experience Placement is a summer placement scheme funded by the National Environment Research Council (NERC), aimed at undergraduate students from all disciplines to engage in active research projects, and to address demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences, as well as thematic skills gaps (e.g., quantitative skills).

Placement Details, Funding and Reporting

  • There are up to 6 REPs available for Summer 2023.
  • Placements duration is for 6 weeks over the summer vacation period (between 3rd July and 11th September 2023).
  • £2,892.66 will be awarded to the student who will be formally employed via UniWorkforce.
  • An additional £500 will be awarded towards research expenses during the placement.
  • Placements must be undertaken full-time. However, we are open to discussing any accommodations required during the time.*
  • Students will need to be physically based in the UK during the whole duration of the placement. The placements will be in-person although some short phases of remote working might be acceptable (whilst being in the UK - no remote working from abroad)
  • The student will be required to submit a brief report on the outcome of the bursary to NERC by 31st October 2023. Further details on the report will follow later.

* The DTP may be able to provide support for additional costs for relocation following discussion.

Eligibility of students

Selected students must meet the following criteria- they must:

  • Be undertaking their undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters) at the University of Southampton in any discipline - Year 2 onwards.*
  • Be eligible for home fees (UK, EU or right to remain in the UK).
  • We particularly welcome applications from:
    • Undergraduates who are Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic (BAME).
    • Undergraduates who are in the first generation of their family to go to university.
    • Undergraduates who have been in care or who have been a young carer.
    • Undergraduates from a low-income background.
    • Undergraduates who are currently studying in a quantitative/data-based discipline and are interested in applying their skills within the environmental sciences.

* Students in their final year who have graduated and no longer have student status at the time the placement starts are not eligible.

Application Procedure

We ask prospective REP students to examine the list of PhD projects (listed as PDFs below) offered within the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences in order to identify supervisors with appropriate research interests who would host the summer placement.

To be considered for a placement, please gather the following documents and email them together to by 28th April 2023, midnight (BST)

  1. A 4-minute video answering the following questions: OR;
  2. A word document answering the following questions:
    • Question 1)

      Why do you want to do a REP Scheme and how does it fit your academic/career aspirations? (100 words)

      Here we encourage you to provide a personal statement that reflects on your overarching goals and motivation for the activities in which you have been involved.

      Mention educational/career breaks, volunteering, part-time work, and other relevant experience (including in time spent in different sectors) that might have affected your progression.

    • Question 2)

      Please describe your skills and background that are relevant to the REP Scheme you are applying for. (100 words)

      Here we encourage you to consider the full breadth of your capabilities and expertise, rather than focusing exclusively on your academic track record.

      Provide your personal details, your education, any qualifications you may hold, or be working towards.

  3. The Equality and Diversity Monitoring form (please see further information on the form itself)1
  4. The Widening Participation form (optional) (please see further information on the form itself)2

The applications will be assessed by the supervisor of the project and members of the INSPIRE DTP Management Team and the REP awards will be announced by 5th June 2023.

Equality and Diversity Monitoring form

Through the REP scheme, NERC aims to address demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences as well as skills-gap, to comply with NERC's reporting processes. Therefore, we include Equality and Diversity Monitoring forms for candidates who are from an under-represented group to complete and return with their application if they wish to. This form will not be passed onto the project supervisors but will be looked at by the REP panel after the supervisors shortlist their preferred candidates. The REP panel may decide to prioritise candidates who are from under-represented groups.

We are keen to hear from students who might not usually take these opportunities and are offering anyone who is interested the chance to discuss the application process with the FELS DTP support team prior to applying.