Research Experience Placements

NERC Research Experience Placements

Student applications now live for summer 2024

Each year the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) provides funding for Research Experience Placements (REPs). NERC recognises that there is a shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into environmental science. They also recognise that there are demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences. 

The REP scheme focuses on this quantitative skills gaps and underrepresentation by offering funding to support paid summer placements for undergraduate students, during which students carry out research projects within the scope of the environmental sciences.

As the REP scheme focuses on underrepresented groups, the SSCP DTP REP panel will assess the candidate’s personal and academic background during the selection process. Further details on the scheme can be found on the NERC website.

The projects below are open for applications for the REP scheme. All of these are within the science remit of NERC, and have placements for a minimum of 6 weeks up to 10 weeks.

How to apply

Deadline for applications is Friday 17 May 2024

Please complete these actions;

  • Check that you are eligible to apply for this scheme (below);
  • Complete the Application Form (Qualtrics);
  • Send your CV and Cover Letter to

There are more details within the form about its purpose and how your information will be shared.

If you have any questions about the REP scheme or the application process, email

Eligibility of participating undergraduate students:

Students are subject to eligibility criteria to be able to apply for NERC REPs and must be:

  • undertaking their first undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters). Note: students in their final year who have graduated and no longer have student status at the time the placement starts are not eligible.
  • eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding (Details of eligibility for PhD studentships can be found here)

 Other key criteria:

As the placements will require you to be employed as a casual worker, you must be eligible to work in the UK or have a Tier 4 visa as per Imperial's casual worker regulations

All candidates must be on UK soil when the work is happening. For the right to work check, you can be outside the UK, provided that you have the right to work documentation to work in the UK.

Current Projects 

2024_01_Intermodal comparison, FAO Aquacrop, T&C-CROP and machine learning crop model.

Project Description: 2024_01_Intermodal comparison, FAO Aquacrop, T&C-CROP and machine learning crop
Supervisor: Jordi Buckley
Department/Institution: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

2024_02_Measuring the emissivity of desert soils in the Far-Infrared

Project Description: 2024_02_Measuring the emissivity of desert soils in the Far-Infrared
Supervisor: Professor Helen Brindley
Department/Institution: Department of Physics

 2024_03 _Understanding litter decomposition dynamics in UK agroforestry systems: the role of soil animals.

Project Description: 2024_03_Understanding litter decomposition dynamics in UK agroforestry systems
Supervisor: Alexa Varah
Department/Institution: National History Museum

2024_04_Data processing and modelling of radiative processes and plant growth for the adaption of photovoltaics for agricultural applications

Project Description:2024_04_Data processing and modelling of radiative processes
Supervisor: Professor Jenny Nelson
Department/Institution:  Department of Physics


Previous Projects examples

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

Project Title Department/Organisation
Ecosystem responses to drought intensification Civil and Environmental Engineering
Next-generation ice-sheet fracture models to quantitatively predict iceberg calving and sea-level rise Civil and Environmental Engineering
Modifying spatial reproductions of natural soundscapes to evaluate ecoacoustic analysis algorithms Dyson School of Design Engineering
Pathway to providing environmentally friendly lubrication solutions - replacing silicone oils with bio-acceptable alternatives Mechanical Engineering
Towards nature-positive businesses: Meta-meta-analysis on the impacts of agriculture on biodiversity Natural History Museum
Machine learning analysis of micro-scale industrial energy systems Center for Environmental Policy
Phytophthora communities in UK nurseries: understanding the role of traits, biotic interactions and nursery management in pathogen invasions UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Investigating shoreline changes using freely available archives of satellite image data Earth Science and Engineering