Undergrad Vacation grant

This grant gives students the chance to experience what it’s like to work in research.


This grant is for undergraduate students to get hands-on research experience during the summer before their final year. It encourages supervisors to get students directly involved in the day-to-day activities of their research group or lab.

Our nutrition committee awards it for research in nutrition and crop science.

We welcome applications from supervisors in UK universities who are already working on these kinds of projects and are willing to share their experiences with undergrad students.

The value of the grant is £400 per week per student together with up to £500 in total for consumables. The grant covers up to 8 weeks.

While the student is usually expected to be in the penultimate year of their degree, which can be three or four years in length, this year the placement can also be held by final-year undergraduates if their exposure to lab work during their degree has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quote mark

The vacation studentship provided a unique opportunity to work with an excellent student, test our new setup, initiate new international collaborations and new projects, and gave the backbone for a future publication. I am very grateful to Rank Prize for this opportunity.

Dr Fabien Massabuau Senior Lecturer, University of Strathclyde

How to apply

This round has now closed. The deadline for applications was 23:59 on Monday 11 March 2024.


Terms & Conditions

Responsibilities of the Awarding Department
The awarding department is responsible for administering all aspects of the award including:
(i) Ensuring that no more than one application is submitted per supervisor
(ii) Selecting a suitable undergraduate student
(iii) Identifying a suitable project and ensuring that appropriate supervisory arrangements are in place for the student during the placement
(iv) Ensuring any necessary ethical committee approvals, animal licences and requirements of regulatory authorities are in place before the work begins and are maintained during the duration of the work
(v) The identification, protection and exploitation of any intellectual property rights arising from the work
(vi) Ensuring that all facilities, agreements about access and collaborations necessary for the work are obtained before the work commences and can be ensured through the period of the work
(vii) Ensuring that all support costs awarded under the bursary are used and accounted for appropriately, and any unspent funds are returned to Rank Prize

The project must be carried out at a UK university or research institution that has a major commitment to teaching and research in nutrition or crop science. However, the university or research institution that the student is registered at does not have to be in the UK. The student must be expected to obtain a first or upper second-class honours (or equivalent). They should currently be in the penultimate year of their degree, or, exceptionally, in their final year if their experience of lab work was significantly limited during their degree by the pandemic.

Research Project
The proposed research project must have a clearly defined objective, be within the remit of Rank Prize’s charitable objectives and be suitable for a student to sensibly complete within the timescale of the award. The project should not be part of the normal degree course or propose that the student undertakes the research outside of the UK. The project should give scope for thought and initiative on the part of the student and should not use the student as a general assistant.

(i) The studentship must take place during the summer
(ii) Each award is for up to eight weeks

The value of the award will be £400 per week together with up to £500 in total for consumables. If the student is to be taken on as an employee during the studentship, an additional contribution will be made to the host institution for employer’s National Insurance and holiday pay. The HR departments of successful applicants will be required to email Rank Prize stating the student’s employment status for the duration of the studentship.

Reporting and Payments
The student and the awarding department will each be required to submit a report on the studentship to Rank Prize within one month of the end of the studentship. The student will be asked to submit a video report which may be used on the Rank Prize website. The supervisor is asked to submit a written report.

The student may also be invited to present their work to the members of the committees.

It is expected that the department will pay the student during the studentship and claim reimbursement from Rank Prize when both reports have been submitted.