Undergraduate Vacation Bursary (Including Remote Working)
The undergraduate vacation bursary will provide support for work on specified research projects during the summer vacation.
An objective of the bursaries is to provide undergraduates considering a research career with experience of plant pathology research. For experimental projects this will involve practical experience in a plant pathology laboratory. However, following the success of our “Lockdown Bursaries” in Summer 2020, funds can also be used to support “virtual” projects which can be done by a student working entirely remotely. This could include, for example, literature review, bioinformatics, reanalysis of an existing data set, mathematical modelling, or any combination of these areas. Projects can be 6, 8 or 10 weeks in length.
Applications are invited from supervisors on behalf of an identified student and will require a short description of the proposed project. Supervisors should be current BSPP members, but do not have to be based in the United Kingdom. Students should be in the middle year(s) of their degree course – i.e. currently be in years one or two of a three year course, or years one, two or three of a four year course – and do not have to be BSPP members. The student will be required to supply: i) a full cv; ii) an academic transcript; iii) a 500 word statement on why they wish to do the project; and iv) contact details for an academic referee (this must be a different person to the proposed supervisor). Up to 20 bursaries will be awarded on a competitive basis. A particular supervisor may submit no more than two project proposals per year.
Students based in the United Kingdom will receive a sum of £330 per week to cover living expenses. The amount is set with reference to the United Kingdom minimum wage; amounts granted for any students living outside the United Kingdom will be pegged to the local equivalent. An amount for consumables of either £500 (for experimental projects) or £200 (for remote projects) will also be provided. However, for remote projects which are to be done by a student working in a developing country, additional funds can be provided to up to a total of £1000. This could be, for example, be used to purchase computer equipment or internet access, although a case for these additional funds would need to be made by the supervisor as part of the application.
In the event of a successful application, cheques will be made payable to the institution at which the student will work (or for remote projects, the institution which will administer the project). The institution should arrange payment in arrears subject to satisfactory performance (and, if relevant, attendance). Insurance cover for BSPP-supported bursaries is the responsibility of the institution hosting the student. Such cover indemnifies any insurance claims on the BSPP during the tenure of the awards
Students will also be granted a year’s free membership of the BSPP.
The final payment should be made only after a short report (500 words maximum), completed by the student, has been submitted to BSPP via the supervisor. This will be published in the BSPP Newsletter. There is also a requirement for students to provide a short video blog describing their project and their experience: examples from last year are available at https://www.bspp.org.uk/funds/bspp-undergraduate-lockdown-bursary-fund/bspp-lockdown-project-students-share-their-experiences/. The students will also be asked to give a short presentation on their project at an online meeting run by the BSPP in Autumn 2021.
The deadline for applications is the 30th April 2021.
Notification of the results of applications will be made after consideration by the Education sub-committee of BSPP Board, and decisions be made by the end of May.