Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities


Undergraduate students who wish to find out more about how research in Physics actually works may wish to apply for a summer placement with one of the research groups within the department. The College participates in a scheme that co-ordinates and promotes such placements - the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP). Such placements typically might last 6-10 weeks. Some funding may be available via external funding bodies.

More information about how UROP operates and about potential sources of funding can be found on the college UROP webpages.

Students on a Tier 4 visa should consider a UROP placement like other types of 'work' and can, therefore, work full-time during College vacations, during term-time this is capped at 20 hours per week. It is the student's responsibility to ensure they do not exceed the term-time limit. For formal advice, students can contact the International Student Support team.

An official listing of UROP opportunities within the department can be found on the central College UG Research Opportunites webpage.

In fact the number of UROP placements in the department goes far beyond those that occur in the groups represented in these official listings. This is because the most likely route to organising a placement is through an enthusiastic student pro-actively contacting a member of staff informally. Note that actual placements should still be set up through the official UROP channel even if the first contact is through a more informal route.

Members of staff would clearly like to be able to fund UROP placements directly and in some instances this is indeed possible, but this is not always the case. It has been made clear to the department through the Staff Student Committee that students would prefer there to be a larger number of UROP placements on offer, even if they are unfunded. In response to student demand some members of staff may be willing to take people on without funding.

For a full list of UROP projects that took place in Summer 2018, please, click here.

A list of UROP prize winners from the department can be found here.

To complement the official listing (see the link above), below you will find a list of members of staff who have expressed a willingness to take students on for UROP placements. Some may be in a position to offer funding, others may not. Furthermore, the situation for an individual member of staff differs from year to year. The list below is just a starting point – other members of staff who do not appear on the list may still be interested in offering a placement. If you are interested in a UROP placement you are recommended to contact the relevant member of staff to express your interest.

You can request that your UROP project be assessed for extra ECTS. To do this, you will need to complete the application form for the allocation of additional ECTS credits to an extracurricular UROP project with your UROP supervisor. The form must be completed before the start of your UROP project and should be sent to Yasmin Andrew for approval. Your UROP must be a minimum duration of six weeks and should last for no longer than twelve weeks. 1.5 ECTS credits can be awarded for each full-time working week. For further information, please read the Physics Department requirements.

Please contact Yasmin Andrew, email: y.andrew@imperial.ac.uk or room Blackett 305a, if you would like to find out more about how UROP projects are run, funding sources or any other questions about the scheme. 



 Condensed Matter Theory

  • tbc.

 Experimental Solid State

  • tbc.

 High Energy Physics


 Plasma Physics

 Quantum Optics and Laser Physics

 Space and Atmospheric Physics

 Theoretical Physics

** Funding is available for students to do paid work (non-UROP) in support for the MSc course in Optics and Photonics. Contact Mark Neil.


The IROP scheme gives undergraduate students the opportunity to spend eight weeks over the summer (dates will be agreed by Imperial and the host institution and will be non-negotiable) at one of our partner institutions and to work with a local supervisor in a research project. The partner institutions we have worked with in the past include MIT, Boston, University of Columbia, Vancouver and UC, Santa Cruz. Typically, there will be space for two students at each partner institution.  Partner institutions for placements in the Summer 2022 will be confirmed closer to the application deadline.

You will receive a bursary to cover flight, food, visa (where applicable), health insurance and local travel. Bursary payments, travel arrangements, visas and accommodation will be administered by the International Relations Office. 

To apply for this opportunity you need to currently be in your third year of a four year degree programme in the Department of Physics. Students on a three year degree cannot apply for this opportunity nor can you apply if you are on a four year degree but are planning to switch to a three year programme. 

The programme is very competitive. To apply your Year One and Two aggregate mark should be above 70%, but other considerations are past research experience and evidence of independence, as well as the motivation of the student. 

The deadline for applying is the last Thursday of Term One. This year it will be Thursday 16 December 2021.

Application documents:

  • CV (2-page)
  • Cover letter
  • Names & contact details of 2 referees (no need to send the references themselves)
  • All to be sent to Amy Cripps-Mahajan by the deadline. Selections will be made early in January.

Ingo Mueller-Wodarg will give a talk about IROP (slides) during the Careers lecture in Term One. Please email Ingo if you have any questions about the scheme. More information about the scheme and experiences from students who have participated can be found here