Scholarships & funding opportunities

Research Interns@Strathclyde

The goal of Research Interns @ Strathclyde (RI@S) is to provide undergraduates with direct experience of real research environments. By undertaking a funded internship over the summer of 2021, you will get the opportunity to carry out an independent, self-contained programme of enquiry in a live research area. The programme offers hands-on insight into the breadth of opportunity in research and is particularly suited for students considering further study and a career in research, inside or outside academia.

  • Value A weekly stipend equivalent to the Scottish Living Wage
  • Opens 8 February 2021
  • Deadline 1 April 2021
  • Help with Internship, work placement or project costs
  • Duration Maximum 8 or 10 weeks

Eligibility

The programme is aimed at undergraduate students (including international students) of the University of Strathclyde in their penultimate year, i.e. students in the third year of a four-year degree, or the fourth year of a five-year degree (integrated Masters). Due to the cancellation of last year’s programme, undergraduate students in the final year of their programme are eligible to apply.

Postgraduate students and students who have already completed their undergraduate studies are not eligible to apply.

Incoming exchange students are also not eligible as they cannot participate in the whole programme due to the limited time they spend in the University. This does not apply to outgoing Strathclyde students.

The RI@S funding cannot be used to support research that forms part of a credit bearing programme. While the experience should strongly benefit a student's studies through the skills developed, the actual work must not be part of, or directly contribute to, any undergraduate degree programme.

Students may apply for more than one internship but supervisors must ensure that only one award is taken up. Candidates should be encouraged to apply for the Carnegie Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships given their prestige and if successful make this their first choice.

As part of their RI@S internship, successful students are required to participate in three half-day sessions designed to help them make the most of their internship. There will also be a small number of activities, including the creation of a research poster based on their internship.  

Learning & Teaching Enhancement strand

Up to four of the RI@S internships will be reserved for research projects focused on the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education. For instance, these could be projects that evaluate the effectiveness of a particular educational intervention, explore the learning experiences of a particular group of students, or illuminate key concepts in contemporary learning and teaching in higher education. Applications for this internship strand will be considered separately. Supervisors can indicate on the application system if they wish their application to be considered for the Learning and Teaching Enhancement strand rather than the main RI@S strand.

ODA/Sustainable Development Funding Stream

Up to ten of the RI@S internships will be reserved for research projects which are ODA compliant – focus on low and middle income countries - and aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Projects should look at addressing the economic and/or social challenges of countries on the DAC list. Applications for this internship strand will be considered separately. Supervisors can indicate on the application system if they wish their application to be considered for the ODA/Sustainable Development strand rather than the main RI@S strand. These internships will be co-funded by the Centre for Sustainable Development, funded from the Strathclyde Scottish Funding Council fund. For any questions, please contact Fiona Doyle at sustainabledevelopment@strath.ac.uk.

Project Details

Internships can last for a maximum of 8 weeks for full-time projects (30 hours per week) and 10 weeks for part-time projects (15 hours per week).

They take place over the summer, beginning by 1st June at the earliest and ending by 31st August at the latest, with the precise dates and working pattern being agreed between the student and their supervisor.

The research activity in which RI@S interns will be involved must constitute an independent, self-contained programme of enquiry that has its own specified aims and objectives. It might, where relevant, form part of a larger programme of work in which the student, the department or research group is engaged. Additionally, the research could be undertaken in local and regional organisations, businesses and community agencies and development projects with which the department or student has links.  Any type of research activity that is normally conducted within the faculties will be considered for support and sponsorship. All research that is conducted, on or off campus, will be subject to relevant legislation and regulations, including ethical approval, health and safety requirements, risk analysis and the University policy on academic misconduct. 

Where an external partner (private, public or charitable organisation) is involved, a contribution to the funding of the internship should be sought.

Further Information

Further information is available in: 

RI@S 2021 information for students

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions.

Is RI@S a competitive scheme?

Yes. In the academic year 2018-19, year we received 76 applications, of which 22 were successful. 

How will my RI@S application be judged?

The application will be judged on three aspects:

  1. your academic performance as a student (based on your transcript)
  2. the quality of the research proposal submitted by your supervisor
  3. the quality of the student application that you submit. More information about the judging criteria is available by clicking on the ‘How to apply’ link on the right

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

Applications close on the 1st April, and students and supervisors will be notified of the outcome in late May.

I’m a postgraduate student, can I apply to the RI@S scheme?

No. Only undergraduate students in their penultimate year are eligible to apply: i.e. undergraduate students in the third year of a four-year degree, or the fourth year of a five-year degree (integrated Masters). For this year, undergraduate students in the final year of their programme are also eligible to apply.

If I’m not eligible for the RI@S scheme, are there any other internships or scholarships I could apply for?

There are range of scholarships available to Strathclyde students. They are listed on the Scholarships webpage.

I’m a second-year student, can I apply to the RI@S scheme?

No, only students in the penultimate year or final year of their programme are eligible to apply. We encourage you to apply next year.

I don’t have a supervisor yet, can I submit an application to the RI@S scheme?

No. The first stage of a RI@S application is created by a member of staff acting as a supervisor. A student cannot submit an application on their own.

I don’t have a supervisor and I don’t know how to get one, what should I do?

Departmental webpages include lists of academic staff, with their research interests and lists of publications. You can use that information to find academic staff working in areas that you find interesting, and then approach them to act as your supervisor.

Alternatively, your lecturers are likely to know the research interests of academic in their department, and may be able to suggest academics for you to contact.

If there is a class that you find particularly interesting, a good first step could be to approach the lecturer teaching that class to see if they would be willing to supervise a project in that area.

Do I have to come up with the idea for my research project?

There are different ways of developing the research proposal. You can develop it yourself, in discussion with your supervisor. Alternatively, an academic may already have an idea for a research project.

Can I apply to the RI@S scheme for funding to support me to complete my dissertation?

No. The work that you do for the RI@S internship should be separate from the work you do for your degree programme.

I’m going to be away for some of the summer vacation, can I still apply to the RI@S scheme?

There is a lot of flexibility in when you undertake the work for your internship. Internships can take place any time in June, July and August. You and your supervisor will agree when the work takes place.

Can I apply to the RI@S scheme as well as the Carnegie scheme?

Yes you can apply for multiple different internship schemes, however you will only be able to accept one offer. If you are successful for both the RI@S and the Carnegie scheme, you will be expected to accept the Carnegie offer, as it is an externally-funded scheme that carries national prestige.

When does the internship start and finish?

The precise timing of the internship should be agreed by the student and the supervisor. The internship should start no earlier than 1st June 2021, and should finish no later than 31st August 2021.

Will I receive any training or other development during the internship?

Your supervisor and/or department may provide specific training for your discipline. There will also be training and development provided as part of the RI@S scheme. This will consist of a small number of half-day events designed to help you get the most out of your internship, with sessions on a topics such as communicating research findings to a general audience, building a research network, careers in research, etc.

There will a small number of activities alongside these sessions, such as creating a research poster.

How will I be able to present the research I do during the internship?

There will be a poster event after the summer, where you can present your research to a wider audience. Your supervisor may also provide opportunities to disseminate your research. In the past, RI@S interns have presented their research at the British Conference for Undergraduate Research (BCUR), an annual conference where students present their research findings.

How to apply

The RI@S Scholarship is now open, and applications can be submitted through the Application Form. Please note this form is for Supervisors only. Students will receive their segment of the application following the submission of the Supervisor's part.

Guidance on the application process can be found below. Any questions, please contact researchinterns-admin@strath.ac.uk

RI@S Guidance for Applications (2020-2021)

Download RI@S Guidance for Applications (2020-21)

Application Process

The Application process is:

  1. Supervisor nominates a Student and a Project
  2. Student completes an application for the Project
  3. Faculty Panels will score and then rank the Project part from the submitted applications
  4. The Careers Service will score Student application part of the form
  5. A final Panel will then review both the Student Application Score and the Project Nomination's score before an offer is made to the Student & Supervisor 

Things to note

This year, the RI@S programme is open to those undergraduate students in the penultimate year of their study AND undergraduate students in the final year of their study. This is to address the fact that the RI@S programme was postponed last year.

Moreover, Supervisors and Students are encouraged to consider whether their projects can either take place online, or adapt to online/remote working. We hope that projects will be able to take place on campus, but recognise that the programme may have to adapt to changing circumstances.

How to apply

Please submit your RI@S application using the links provided in the ‘How to Apply’ section of the RI@S webpage.

The application is submitted in two stages: the first stage is submitted by the supervisor, and the second stage is submitted by the student.

Supervisor stage

First, the supervisor completes the link to the Project Nomination provided on the website. This form asks for basic information on the Project, the Supervisor and the name of the student who intends to undertake the project. There are two key elements of this form:

  1. The reasons why the student is suitable to be nominated for this internship. This could cover things like their qualifications, academic achievements, prizes, their interest in the research area, their interest in progressing to PG study.
  2. Information about the proposed project. This has four elements.
    1. Background
    2. Aims and objectives (including benefits to the academic themselves and the student)
    3. Opportunities for the student to contribute to dissemination activity
    4. Any further information. This section is optional.

The supervisor is also required to state whether the proposal is being submitted for the learning and teaching enhancement strand of RI@S funding or for the Sustainability strand. Up to four of the internships will be reserved for the Learning Enhancement strand, for research projects focused on the enhancement of learning and teaching in higher education.

Once the supervisor has completed and submitted their part of the application, they won’t be able to make any changes. Once the application is submitted by the supervisor, the nominated student will receive an email with a link to their application form.

Student stage

The student section of the application has six questions they are required to answer:

  1. Please outline your motivation for applying for the internship, including how you see this contributing to your academic development and future career aspirations.
  2. What is it that interests you about this particular research topic or area?
  3. Please describe a time when you built up a good working relationship to achieve a result. What did you do to build this relationship? How do you know it was a success?
  4. Describe a time, perhaps linked to a challenging task or assignment, when things were difficult and you were working under pressure. Why was it challenging? What did you do? What was the result?
  5. Please describe how you propose to undertake the research for your chosen project?
  6. If you are applying or have applied for another summer internship please indicate below which one(s).

The student must also tick a box to indicate that they agree to participate in the RI@S development programme. This is a series of events and activities that take place during the internship period, designed to help interns to make the most of the experience.

Once the student has finished and submitted their section of the application, the application is complete and cannot be altered. The ‘save’ or ‘save and close’ buttons can be used to save changes without submitting.

The student must submit their section by 1st April 2021 at the latest for the application to be considered.

Selection criteria

Each application will be assessed on three criteria:

  1. The students’ academic performance
    1. The quality of the research proposal. the following criteria will be used:
    2. The independence of the student’s activity
    3. Whether the project is sufficiently self-contained
    4. The clarity and appropriateness/achievability of the aims and objectives
    5. The originality, and potential contribution to knowledge
    6. The appropriateness of the research design and methods
    7. The outputs, dissemination and impact
  2. The students’ element of the application. This element will be reviewed by staff from the careers service, who will look particularly for evidence of self-reflection on their previous experience and how this will make them a strong candidate for the internship, and how the internship will fit with their personal development and future plans.

The outcomes of the selection process will be announced in late May 2021.