Summer investments – where to look?
As soon as we enter the second and third years of a bachelor’s degree in a four-year life sciences course, we are keen to be part of a laboratory and experience research firsthand. But for that, it is essential to know where to look, and therefore in this blog; I will list some places where international students can apply.
As I say, keep in mind that for some funding, the criteria may change over time. So please make sure you match the eligibility in advance.
When I was in my second year, I needed a fuller understanding of where to apply, and that’s why I want to present a list of some of the places you might be interested in.
- Luckily, since the University of Dundee has its dedicated drug discovery unit, the first place to look for internships during the summer is the MRC PPU. Usually, once the application portal is open, you are notified by the program manager for the relevant year. Among the multiple funding available to students, the one suitable for international students is the Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship Program. (Please check the criteria in advance to confirm your eligibility)
- If you are interested in plant science – second year is a great time to attend Gatsby Summer School (which a Gatsby mentor will brief you on). https://www.slcu.cam.ac.uk/gatsby-plant-science-education-programme/GPSSS
- Continuing this momentum, in Year Three, you can look into Sainsbury’s Undergraduate Scholarships. These expect you to find a host laboratory in the UK where you will work on a research project for 10-12 weeks. They expect you to design a brief research proposal with the host lab. https://www.gatsby.org.uk/plant-science/programmes/sainsbury-undergraduate-studentships
- The best way to look for internships, especially in second year, is to find out about the different scientific societies in the UK! For example, scholarships are listed at: https://www.rsb.org.uk/get-involved/grants/undergraduate-studentships! Keep an eye out for these for deadlines and tasks to complete in the application process.
- Another place to look for summer internships is https://www.crick.ac.uk/careers-study/students/summer-students.
- Another place to look for plant lovers would be https://www.jic.ac.uk/training-careers/summer-schools/international-undergraduate/!
You should keep an eye on these pages throughout your degree for any updates, but be more vigilant in November-February as that’s when most application portals open!
Apart from these, there are many other opportunities, so be curious and talk to the people around you – peers, professors and career services. They may be able to tell you what to look for in a summer internship!
Hope that helps! Good luck with your applications!
Thanks for the reading!