Undergraduate Research Experience Placements 2019



REPs Applications for 2019 are now closed


BBSRC Research Experience Placements 2019

The BBSRC-funded Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) programme trains and supports outstanding students with a life science or physical sciences background to undertake a 4-year DPhil/PhD in non-clinical bioscience research.

Led by the University of Oxford, the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP brings together the expertise and facilities of seven world-class research institutions. These include:

  • The Pirbright Institute, the UK’s national centre of research into viral diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans
  • Oxford Brookes University, a partner with the University of Oxford in developing regional excellence in bioscience research
  • Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility
  • ISIS, which provides national capabilities for neutron science
  • STFC Central Laser Facility, which provides state-of-the-art laser technology for experiments in physics, chemistry and biology
  • The Research Complex at Harwell (RCaH), is a multidisciplinary laboratory specialising in research using Diamond, ISIS and the Central Laser Facility

In the summer of 2019 the Oxford Interdisciplinary Bioscience Doctoral Training Partnership will be offering up to seven undergraduate vacation bursaries to provide outstanding students with the opportunity to work in one of the BBSRC’s top training environments. Placements can be undertaken in any of the research organisations associated with the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP.

The scheme is designed to provide promising undergraduate students in the middle years of their degree with “hands-on” experience to encourage them to consider a career in research.

Placements are for eight weeks. The research undertaken should not form part of a normal degree course. Students will receive pay of £400 per week and £500 in total towards research expenses. Students will be required to submit a report to the BBSRC, via the Interdisciplinary Bioscience DTP, on their research and their experience in October 2019.

The Application Process

Undergraduate applicants are required to apply to undertake a specific project. We will also consider applications from teams of 2-3 undergraduates to undertake a project that will benefit from an interdisciplinary approach. However, applications for such projects must clearly demonstrate the benefits that teamwork will bring, and should involve a team of supervisors with relevant interdisciplinary expertise. Each student within a team should have a different, named primary supervisor from a different research group.

The deadline for applications is 3rd May 2019. All applications should be sent via email to dtpenquiries@biodtp.ox.ac.uk containing:

  • A current CV
  • A covering letter explaining your reasons for doing a research experience placement
  • A project proposal document detailing:
    • The project title
    • The name, e-mail address and telephone number of your chosen supervisor (if the supervisor is a postdoctoral researcher you should also include the name of the research group leader, and if the supervisor is a principal investigator you should also include the name of the person responsible for day-to-day supervision, if different from the primary supervisor).
    • The proposed dates of the project
    • An outline of the proposed research (no more than 500 words)

The project proposals submitted by undergraduate applicants must be reviewed and approved by the proposed supervisor prior to submission. It is expected that only one application will be received per primary supervisor.

Successful applicants will be informed about the outcome of their applications by the end of May.


Selected students must be:

  • In the middle years of their first degree studies
  • Registered for a basic science (including mathematics and engineering) or veterinary degree at a UK university
  • Predicted to obtain a first or upper second class UK honours degree. Preference will be given to students who wish to use the placement to find out more about their suitability and aptitude for further research, particularly if the project is in an area of science different from their main subject area.
  • Overseas students are eligible to apply in this competition if they are currently studying for an undergraduate degree in a UK institution.