Research Experience Placements

Now open: Candidate Application Process for REP Projects 2020

The REP scheme is funded by NERC to enable undergraduate students to undertake a research project within the environmental sciences over 8-10 weeks, giving an insight into the world of research – a unique opportunity which will be of great benefit to future careers.

SSCP DTP host REP students over the summer. The students will be based in a number of departments across the College or at a Host Partner institution.

Please see below for list of projects, eligibility criteria and the application process.

REP Projects 2020

Machine learning analysis of micro-scale industrial energy systems

Project Description: View the machine learning project description (PDF)
Supervisor: Gbemi Oluleye
Department/Institution: Centre for Environmental Policy/Imperial College London

Phytophthora communities in UK nurseries: understanding the role of traits, biotic interactions and nursery management in pathogen invasions

Project description: View the Phytophthora project description (PDF)
Supervisor: Louise Barwell
Department/Institution: UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology/Biodiversity (Population Ecology Group)

Investigating shoreline changes using freely available archives of satellite image data

Project description: View the shoreline changes project description (PDF)
Supervisor: Matt Piggott
Department/Institution: Earth Science and Engineering/Imperial College London

Do habitat and distributional traits predict which European mosquito species vector important viruses?‌

Project description: View the European mosquito project description (PDF)
Supervisor: Bethan Purse
Department/Institution: UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology/Biodiversity Science Area


Applicants must fulfil the UKRI NERC Eligibility Criteria, available from this NERC web page or see further underneath.

How to apply:

To apply for any of the following projects, please send your CV and covering note to Christiane Morgan and complete this form.

Application Deadline:

The deadline for applications is at 5pm, Monday, 8  June, 2020.

Previous Projects

These are some of the projects students worked on in previous years:

Project TitleDepartment/Organisation
 EcoBuilder: an ecosystem dynamics game  Life Sciences
 Tackling xenobiotic reistance in agriculture: implications for carbon emissions Institute of Zoology
 Risk analysis of nanomaterials in the environment  Materials
 Machine learning analysis of energy storage data Dyson School of Design
 Is the geomagnetic field dipolar at high-latitudes Earth Sciene & Engineering
 Low-cost wireless sensor networks for river flow monitoring  Civil & Environmental Engineering
 Techno-economic analysis of biorefineries fuelled by sugar beet pulp  Chemical Engineering
 Where are the missing grasses?  Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
 Developing a Bayesian framework for modelling repetitive element evolution  Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
 Biogas conversion in oxygen separation membranes  Earth Science & Engineering
Plate reconstructions in the South Atlantic  Earth Science & Engineering
Probabilistic assessment of tsunami hazard to the UK  Earth Science & Engineering
Uncertainty quantification and parameter estimation in environmental fluid dynamics  Earth Science & Engineering
An investigation of the characteristics of visits to National Trails  Natural England

REP Eligibility Criteria

Student eligibility

Students are subject to eligibility criteria to be able to apply for NERC REPs. Selected students must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for a REP. The students must:

  • Be studying for an undergraduate degree in a quantitative discipline outside of NERC's scientific remit (eg mathematics, statistics, computing, engineering, physics).
  • Be applying for a placement in a different department to their undergraduate degree.
  • Be undertaking their first undergraduate 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 (ie UK, EU or right to remain in the UK).

Research project criteria

Proposed REP student projects are also subject to suitability criteria. Proposed projects must:

  • Have a clearly defined objective.
  • Be within the science remit of NERC.
  • Be suitable for a student feasibly to complete within the timescale of the award.
  • Include more than 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 an eligible UK research organisation.