Research experience placements 2013
Following a successful three-year pilot, NERC is pleased to announce that the Research Experience Placement (REP) scheme will be running for a fourth year.
NERC recognises that there is a shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into environmental science. The REPs are aimed at addressing this shortage by offering funding for summer placements, which focus on encouraging undergraduate students who are studying quantitative disciplines to consider a career in environmental research.
Sixty awards have been allocated to the thirty 'organisations' (including university departments/schools and NERC research centres) that received the highest number of studentships in the 2013 PhD algorithm allocation. Each of these organisations has been offered two placements. We will publish a list of these organisations shortly.
From the 2014-15 academic year, NERC will no longer be running the algorithm and will move to a studentship funding model based on Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs). Future REP allocations will be integrated within the DTP awards.
The following universities have confirmed their participation in the 2013 REP scheme.
|Cardiff University||School of Earth & Ocean Sciences|
|Imperial College London||Earth Science & Engineering|
|Lancaster University||Lancaster Environment Centre|
|National Oceanography Centre||National Oceanography Centre|
|NERC British Antarctic Survey||British Antarctic Survey|
|NERC British Geological Survey||Science Programmes Director|
|Newcastle University||Civil Engineering & Geosciences|
|Open University||Environment, Earth & Ecosystems|
|Plymouth Marine Laboratory||Plymouth Marine Laboratory|
|Scottish Association for Marine Science||Scottish Association for Marine Science|
|The University of Manchester||Earth, Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences|
|University College London||Earth Sciences|
|University of Aberdeen||School of Biological Sciences|
|University of Birmingham||School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences|
|University of Bristol||Earth Sciences|
|University of Bristol||Geographical Sciences|
|University of Cambridge||Earth Sciences|
|University of East Anglia||Environmental Sciences|
|University of Edinburgh||School of Geosciences|
|University of Exeter||Biosciences|
|University of Leeds||School of Earth & Environment|
|University of Liverpool||School of Biological Sciences|
|University of Oxford||Earth Sciences|
|University of Oxford||Oxford Physics|
|University of Reading||Meteorology|
|University of Sheffield||Animal & Plant Sciences|
|University of Southampton||School of Ocean & Earth Science|
|University of St Andrews||Biology|
|University of Warwick||Biological Sciences|
|University of York||Chemistry|
Responsibilities of the awarding organisation
The awarding organisation is responsible for administering all aspects of the award, including:
- Selecting a suitable undergraduate student - see eligibility requirements below.
- Identifying a suitable project which falls within the NERC remit.
- Ensuring that appropriate supervisory arrangements are in place.
- Ensuring that any necessary ethical committee approvals, animal licences and requirements of regulatory authorities are in place before the work begins and are maintained during the duration of the work.
- The identification, protection and exploitation of any intellectual property rights arising from the work.
- Ensuring that all facilities, agreements about access and collaborations necessary for the work are obtained before the work commences and can be ensured through the period of the work.
- Ensuring that all costs awarded by NERC for the REP are used and accounted for appropriately.
- Ensuring that details and assessment of the project are reported to NERC, as directed in the allocation letter or subsequent correspondence.
Eligibility of students
Selected students must meet all of the following criteria. They must:
- Have at least a grade C in Mathematics at A level (or equivalent in Scotland).
- Be studying for a degree in a quantitative discipline (eg mathematics, statistics, computing, engineering, physics).
- Be undertaking the placement in a different department to their undergraduate degree.
- Be in the middle of their first degree studies (or integrated Masters).
- Be expected to obtain a first or upper second class UK honours degree.
- Be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding (UK, EU or right to remain in the UK).
Proposed projects must:
- Have a clearly defined objective.
- Be within the remit of NERC.
- Be suitable for a student to sensibly complete within the timescale of the award.
- Include more that purely a computer/modelling component; ie some element of fieldwork, data collection, activity to give an understanding of the wider context, etc.
- Give scope for thought and initiative on the part of the student and should not use the student as a general assistant.
- Be based at the UK organisation.
Placement details, funding and reporting
Each REP should be for a minimum of eight weeks (and a maximum of ten weeks) during the 2013 summer vacation. The value of each REP is £2,500 to cover the minimum stipend of £200 per week to the student and a contribution towards research expenses during the placement.
Organisations could choose to support three REPs (at a minimum of eight weeks each) but within the overall funding limit of £5,000. Any other funds should be found from other sources (for example, the department) and in all cases students should receive a minimum stipend of £200 per week.
The student and organisation will be required to submit a brief report on the outcome of the placement to NERC by 31 October 2013. Payment will be released by NERC on receipt of the final report by adding the funds to the Doctoral Training Grant selected by the supervisor.
Students undertaking placements at NERC centres will, for the duration of their placement, be employed by the centre as a temporary member of staff and will be paid their stipend as a salary.
What do past participants say?
Below is a case study detailing how a past participant has benefited from her Research Experience Placement.
We are keen to hear from more past participants in the REP scheme. If you are happy to provide your contact details, then please complete the form below and return it to the Training Awards Team.
Tel: 01793 411792