These awards provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of research during the summer vacation, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in research.
Scheme at a glance
Career stage: Undergraduate education
Where your host organisation is based: UK, Republic of Ireland
Type of researcher: Basic, Clinical, Public health
Level of funding: Stipend of £250 a week
Duration of funding: 6 to 8 weeks
Eligibility and Suitability
Who can apply
You can apply for a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship if you're studying for an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject.
Examples of relevant subjects include:
- veterinary medicine
The university where you're doing your undergraduate degree must be in the UK or Republic of Ireland.
Your proposed scholarship can take place at the university where you're studying or another eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland (eg a university or research institute).
When you can apply
You're eligible to apply in the middle year(s) of your degree, when you have not yet undertaken a substantial period of research.
Here are some examples.
BSc, BA, BEng, MPharm, MEng students should apply in the middle year of their degree (ie not the first or last year at the time of submission).
MSci students (or equivalent, such as MChem, MBioChem, MPhys, MMaths) should usually apply during their second year. If there’s no research project in the third year, they can also apply then.
MBBS, MBBCh, MBChB or BMBCh students (or equivalent) should apply in the second or third year of a five-year degree. Students undertaking an intercalated degree should apply in the year before their intercalated degree year.
Who can't apply
You can't apply for a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship if:
- you're in your first year
- you've already held a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship (with Wellcome or another agency)
- you've already had significant research experience that lasted more than four weeks (full time), such as an industrial/research placement
- your proposed research project is part of your degree course
- you've completed or are currently undertaking an intercalated year
- you've completed or are currently undertaking a one-year placement in research as part of your degree (eg a sandwich year)
- you're a graduate-entry medical student who has completed a previous undergraduate degree in a science-related subject
- you're a student enrolled on a course outside the UK or the Republic of Ireland.
What we're looking for
- We will give preference to undergraduates with no previous research experience.
- Previous scholarship holders have included biological sciences students (including biology, sports science and pharmacy), medics, vets, dentists, optometrists and psychologists.
- In addition, students focusing on natural, computing or physical sciences can use this scheme to find out about research in the biomedical sciences.
- We'll only consider biomedical research projects that are six to eight weeks in duration and within our science remit.
- Your project should be a self-contained piece of research with clear aims or research questions. Your supervisor should not regard you as an extra pair of hands in the laboratory.
- We expect you to be involved in the design and planning of your project with your supervisor.
- Proposals for these scholarships usually involve wet lab, computational, clinical or field work activities.
- Proposals should not involve a clinical audit or a literature review.
When we consider your application, we'll also look at:
- your academic results at university
- your personal statement
- why you want to undertake a research project
- a reference from a personal tutor
- the quality of your proposed research project
- the training opportunities you'll have during this project.
- Read a report about the scheme, including a selection of projects that were funded:
What's expected of your host organisation
Your scholarship must be based at an eligible host organisation in the UK or Republic of Ireland that will administer your award.
You must choose a supervisor at the host organisation and work with them to set up a suitable project.
Your supervisor must:
- hold an academic or research position (eg a group leader) within the university or research unit
- provide you with the necessary scientific guidance so that you gain the most from your scholarship experience
- provide all your research costs.
- A postdoctoral researcher, PhD student or technician can't be your supervisor, but you can name them on your application form and they can supervise you on a daily basis.
Supervisors can only support one applicant a year for a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship.