Undergraduate Summer Research Opportunities


Undergraduate students who want to find out more about physics research 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 last 6-10 weeks. More information on how UROP operates across the College and about potential, central sources of funding and how to apply can be found on the College UROP webpages.

Students on Tier 4 visas 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 Opportunities webpage.

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 and informally contacting a member of staff.  Note that actual placements should still be registered through the official UROP channel even if the first contact is through a more informal route.


The Imperial College London UROP Awards competition (for UROP projects to be undertaken in Summer 2023 by Imperial College undergraduates on degree programmes) will begin at the start of the Spring Term.  Expressions of interest for Imperial College London UROP Bursaries for summer 2023 will be open from Monday, 9th January 2023.   If you are a full-time undergraduate degree student at Imperial College you are invited to apply for funding for the College‚Äôs Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP), and details can be found here

All Visiting (non-degree) students, intercalating students and external students are ineligible to apply for this bursary; however, they are welcome to arrange a UROP placement at Imperial College London without bursary funding from the ICL scheme.

The Imperial College London Physics Departments also runs a UROP project bursary scheme, with two bursaries offered per research group.  These bursaries are only available to Imperial College undergraduate physics students and are applied for by the project supervisors to the Heads of Groups.

Please note that visiting students, intercalating students and external students are ineligible to apply for the Physics Department UROP bursaries; however, they are welcome to arrange a UROP project in the Physics Department without funding from this scheme.

Some funding may also be available for specific projects via external funding bodies.

It has been made clear to the Physics 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 students on without funding.

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

A list of staff contacts for UROP projects in the different research groups can be found below.  The situation with regards to UROP projects offered by an individual staff member 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.

Extra ECTS
You can request that your UROP project be assessed for extra ECTS, these ECTS are not for degree credit.  You will need to complete the application form for the allocation of additional ECTS credits to an extracurricular UROP project with your UROP supervisor. In addition, you will need an assessor for your project report and presentation. 

The extra ECTS application form must be completed and sent to Yasmin Andrew for registration before the start of your UROP project.  

Your UROP project 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 British 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 will be announced in January 2024.

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 the Physics Undergraduate Office by the deadline. Selections will be made early in January.

A talk about IROP will be given during the Careers lecture in Term One. Please email the Undergraduate Office or Prof Ingo Mueller-Wodarg if you have any questions about the scheme. More information about the scheme and experiences from students who have participated can be found here