Frequently asked questions

Why should I apply to the International Research Opportunities Programme?

IROP is a unique opportunity to:

Gain real research experience in world-class labs:
Find out about the life of a research scientist while working on a project that you choose!  Students conduct research under the supervision of a top academic at Universities renowned for science and technology. Gain new skills and develop your knowledge.

Professional development:
A recent report published by the Confederation of British Industry shows 47 per cent of employers are dissatisfied with graduates’ international cultural awareness[1]. Additionally, one third of employers viewed a graduate with any overseas international experience as more employable. In addition to research experience you can develop your professional skills in intercultural communication and team-work.

Broaden your persepective:
Experience different working, learning and teaching styles! This is a great opportunity to take a step back and to think about where your degree can take you. Some participants chose their final year project on the basis of their IROP experience.

You can read about the Student experiences of previous participants on the programme. 

How many opportunities are available and when are they advertised?

Approximately 30 students participate in IROP from departments across the College each summer .

It is unusual for there to be more than 2 places per department available at any one partner and not all departments participate.

Participating departments will make information about the scheme available to all eligible students in their department. Please refer to the information provided by your department. 

Who is eligible and how do I apply?

The eligibility requirements and the application process for the schemes are determined by each participating Imperial College department. For example, the programme may be restricted to students in certain years or who are studying specific degree courses.

Participating departments will make information about the scheme and the application process available to all eligible students in their department. Please refer to the information provided by your department. 

What funding is available?

All selected Imperial students receive a bursary to participate in the scheme. The bursary is co-funded by the International Relations Office and the student's home department.

The bursary is a contribution to all necessary costs of participating in IROP (flight, accommodation, food, visa (if applicable), health insurance and local travel. The amount is calculated based on information from partners and previous students but actual costs will be affected by personal preferences.

Students are responsible for funding extra costs such as social activities or further travel and are recommended to plan for this in advance. 

Bursary payments will be administered by the International Relations Office.  More information about the bursary will be provided to successful candidates. 

What are the IROP dates?

All IROPs will take place in summer between the end of June and the end of August. Specific dates for each IROP will be confirmed when the opportunity is advertised. and changes to the advertised dates are not permitted.  

Will I receive help with accommodation?

Yes, the host institution will assist with accommodation. Usually on-campus accommodation is available to students for the duration of the IROP. Students are responsible for making  accommodation payments using the bursary funds. Full instructions will be provided to all participants.  

I have arranged my own international research placement. Can I apply for funding?

Congratulations on arranging a summer research opportunity.

The International Relations Office is committed to improving the provision of funding for international undergraduate research opportunities and we hope to expand the availability of funded IROPs with a number of our partner institutions this summer. These opportunities operate under International Relations Office and department supervision to ensure that adequate support is in place and they are based on reciprocal exchanges with specific institutions. Unfortunately it is not possible to offer ad-hoc bursaries to students who arrange opportunities outside of the advertised partners.

N.B. If you are a female student from Imperial College who is studying for a degree in Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Life Sciences or Geology and you would like to undertake an international research placement with a leading female scientist in a similar institution you may be eligible to apply for a bursary from the Stevenson Fund

What other international opportunities are available and how can find them?

There are many other opportunities available and we hope that by looking around this site you have been inspired to explore what is out there.

Good places to look for opportunities are: