Generally speaking there are three types of sources, if we agree that a student covering their costs from personal sources should be avoided as much as possible:

  1. The host supervisor (the research group).
  2. The host department itself.
  3. A third-party source (#)

It may be the case that a student undertaking a UROP might be covering their expenses form one or more of the above sources.

This page deal with third party sources of funding.

A "third-party", for the purposes of UROP, is commonly a "scheme" which makes available (by application) one or more bursaries (sometimes referred to as scholarships or awards) for the specific purpose of supporting students with the additional living expenses associated with undertaking a research experience (sometimes referred to as a vacation research internship or something similar) in the vacation/holiday period during or immediately after an undergraduate degree.

However, some potential third-party sources of funding are not structured as a "scheme", rather they are a "discretionary" source of funding, i.e. an individual is invited to make a case as to why that third-party would be interested in assisting them with their living costs.

Schemes and discretionary sources are governed by specific eligibility criteria and normally have their own unique application process (perhaps a paper or online form), deadline and decision making timeframe.

While there are many "schemes" (but fewer "discretionary" sources) you will need to pick out those (including discovering opportunities which are not listed on this website) which are relevant to you.

Check all the information on an individual "scheme" or "discretionary source" thoroughly, especially deadlines!

# The "scheme" managed centrally by Imperial College for Imperial College undergraduates (to make matters a little bit more complex), also include bursaries which are provided for by two sponsors (e.g. 50%:50% host supervisor/dept:college).

All third-party sources of funding would normally require the student and/or supervisor to submit a report of some description.

Bursary Sources

Imperial College UROP bursary scheme for Imperial College undergraduates (various)

Imperial College UROP Bursay scheme (for UROPs to be undertaken in summer 2024)

Full details on the 2024 scheme will be available on the Student Financial Support website from the start of the spring term.

Imperial College undergraduates (full degree programmes ONLY) will normally be considered (subject to eligibility criteria) for one of the following award schemes:

  • Presidential UROP Scholarships for students of Black heritage (Home students only)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) vacation awards.
  • Faculty of Engineering UROP Awards
  • Imperial College UROP Awards
  • Faculty of Natural Sciences UROP Bursary
  • [other schemes may also be part of this process]

There is a single application procedure for ALL the above awards. The proposed supervisor is normally required to submit a form to support the student's application.

Students will be considered for all the Awards they are eligible for.

Please note that a student is not required to have registered their UROP with the Student Records team before they apply for a bursary by this route. Registering a UROP is a separate process and can be done nearer the summer (see the UROP website).

The College's thanks goes to the various sponsors for continuing to support UROP at Imperial College London.

Miscellaneous schemes

There are other sources of funding, and where relevant to your research area your supervisor may have some knowledge of already.

  • various national bodies for academic disciplines (i.e The Institute of X, Royal Society of Z, the British Council for Y) may offer limited bursary opportunities.
  • industry contacts associated with the work of the host research group might be a source of financial support.

It is worth investigating these options with a supervisor who offers you a UROP.

Here are a few examples of websites which provide listings or provide information about specific funding opportunities.

Please note: This list is not exhaustive so be prepared to explore other avenues:

  • The Society of Biology has a VERY useful webpage which identifies various schemes (some of which are also listed below) in the field of life sciences and medicine. NOTE: should you follow the Alzheimer's Society link you need to then click on their Project grants and look at the 8....where you'll read that a researcher can make a project bid to include an undergraduate summer vacaiton reserach internship.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Biochemical Society Vacation Scholarships.
  • Microbiology Society: Harry Smith Vacation scholarships.
  • London Mathematical Society provides summer research bursaries. Please note that these normally require a contribution from the host supervisor/department so be sure to discuss this with any potential supervisor before you apply. Imperial College students have benefitted from these Awards in the past.
  • The Mary Lister McCammon Summer Research Fellowship. This is a scheme run by several London universities to support opportunities in the field of mathematics for women students.
  • Royal Astronomical Society
  • Universities Federation for Animal Welfare has an Animal Welfare Student Scholarship scheme which aims to encourage students to develop their interests in animal welfare and their abilities for animal welfare research.
  • Animal Free Research UK (Non-Animal Medical Research). This organisation funded a UROP in the dept of Bioengineering in summer 2018 (see their website for insight).
  • Society for Endocrinology has a summer studentships scheme (normally with a March deadline)
  • Royal Microscopical Society normally has a small bursary competition.
  • British Society for Neuroendocrinology normally advertises funding for research internships if you are a member (for at least 6 months beforehand)
  • The Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine (Summer Studentships): the key here is that an application must be sponsored by a current or past Lister Fellow. See the website for details.
  • (we think this is only for students domiciled in Scotland currently studying at a university in Scotland) The Carnegie Trust.
  • While not for internal UROPs nor other UK research experiences, any Imperial College female undergraduates in FoNS and Earth Sciences thinking of undertaking an international research placement ought to look at the internal Stevenson Fund.