I am often asked for information about opportunities for funding stipends and costs for student projects. The good news is that there are a wealth of opportunities in the Biological Sciences for obtaining funding for a summer project during your undergraduate course. All that is required are reasonably good grades, and a bit of perseverance. You should try and identify possible supervisors/host laboratories as soon as possible in the academic year before the placement. Some of these funding opportunities involve applications from host labs, others from the student, but in most cases you need to have identified a lab and at least a vague idea of the project before applying for funds. Here is a list of a few opportunities that may be relevant. No doubt the links will go out of date rapidly so please let me know and I’ll try and keep it up to date. If in Cambridge, you should also approach your college and department for funding.
This is a profile of a student, Audrey Chia, who spent a summer internship in my lab under the AmGen program.
Specific funds for undergraduate summer placements:
Society of Biology (formerly Nuffield) Undergraduate bursaries for summer projects for current undergraduates
Genetics Society – Genes and Development summer studentships. Deadline 31 March. Only for current undergraduates.
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Undergraduate project grants. Several deadlines per year.
British Ecological Society small project and undergraduate project grants
Amgen Scholars programme at the University of Cambridge supports summer studentships for UK and EU students.
Smithsonian Internship program – opportunities to work in Panama on a wide variety of tropical biology projects. Contact me if you want to work with butterflies
John Innes Centre and Sainsbury Laboratory Undergraduate bursaries – summer placements in plant sciences
Society of General Microbiology Vacation studentship grants
British Society for Plant Pathology – Vacation Bursary
iGEM Synthetic Biology Competition – teams of students compete from across the world to produce new tools for synthetic biology
Beatson Institute Studentships in Cancer Biology
BBSRC Research Experience Placements are awarded to the host department rather than the student.
Medical Research Council Summer Studentships to work in the Clinical Science Centre in London
Other sources of funding that may be relevant:
STRI short term fellowships – 3 month projects in Panama, four deadlines per year
Royal Geographical Society fieldwork funds