Research Experience Placements: Information for Supervisors

Research Experience Placements: Information for Supervisors

NERC Research Experience Placements 2019

Paid Summer internships at EnvEast partners for eligible undergraduates from any university studying Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computing, and other quantitative disciplines.

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) continues to fund the Research Experience Placement (REP) scheme for undergraduate students, and these will again be administered and overseen by the NERC DTPs and CDTs. The REP scheme recognises that there is a shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into environmental science. REPs are aimed at addressing this shortage by offering funding for summer placements, which focus on encouraging undergraduate students who are studying quantitative disciplines outside the NERC remit to consider a career in environmental research.

Call for REP projects 2019

We particularly wish to encourage eligible undergraduates to subsequently consider applying for a PhD studentship with the new ARIES DTP. For that reason we will assess projects proposals for their fit to the aims of the ARIES DTP.

Interested investigators are invited to submit project descriptions for consideration by Thursday 21st March 2019. They can do so by sending a maximum one side of A4 to env.east@uea.ac.uk, which should contain:

– The project title

– Name of the lead supervisor (and other supervisors if applicable)

– Brief rationale

– Duties of the student, perhaps including a timeline for the project

– Any particular requirements (fieldwork, travel, etc.)

– Location(s) of the internship

– Preferred duration (minimum 8 weeks, maximum 10 weeks)

– Preferred background of the student, and skills they will develop as a result

– Any anticipated essential research or travel costs (limited support for is available, but supervisors or institutes may supplement this from their own resources)

– Any co-funding committed by the host institute

The proposed REP projects must:

– Have a clearly defined objective

– Be within the science remit of NERC

– Be suitable for a student feasibly to complete within the timescale of the award

– Include more than purely a computer/modelling component i.e. some element of fieldwork, data collection, activity to give an understanding of the wider context etc

– Give scope for thought and initiative on the part of the student and should not use the student as a general assistant.

Project selection

Projects will be selected for advertising by the executive members of the DTP. Besides the criteria listed above, which all projects should meet, the criteria for assessment used by the panel will be:

– Suitability of the project to meet the overarching aim of the REP scheme; i.e. the potential of the project to attract a talented, numerate undergraduate into environmental research

– Fit of the project to one (or more) of the ARIES DTP’s key research themes

– Involvement of one or more end users (typically non-academic partners) in the design and supervision of the project

– Co-funding from partners will also be considered positively.

Supervisors will be informed of the outcome by 4 April 2019.

Responsibilities of the host institute

The host institute is responsible for:

Ensuring the REP project falls within the NERC remit and is of suitable quality.

Ensuring that appropriate supervisory arrangements are in place.

Ensuring that 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.

The identification, protection and exploitation of any intellectual property rights arising from the work.

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.

Ensuring that all costs awarded by NERC for the REP are used and accounted for appropriately.

Ensuring that details and assessment of the project are reported to NERC (via the DTP/CDT lead organisation), as directed in the allocation letter or subsequent correspondence.

A project report completed by both supervisor and student must be sent to the DTP by Friday 18 October 2019.

The DTP has currently been allocated £5000 to fund at least two REPs. Funded projects will therefore receive a maximum grant of £2500, of which at least £1600 must go to the student as a stipend (minimum 8 weeks at £200/week), with a maximum of £500 to cover research costs (must be fully justified). Smaller grants may be made, depending on the needs of the project and the availability of funding.

Students must not be asked to work for less than the national minimum wage (currently £8.21 per hour). This may require less than full-time working hours. For example, an eight week placement would cost £2298.80 in stipend, were the student to work for 35 hours per week.

Provisional recruitment timetable

Deadline for project submissions from supervisors: Thursday 21 March 2019

Supervisors informed of the outcome: Thursday 4 April 2019

Projects advertised: Friday 5 April 2019

Application deadline: Thursday 16 May 2019

Deadline for nominations from supervisors: Thursday 23 May 2019

The DTP may advertise more REPs than it can fund. If this is the case, projects will be funded on the basis of the excellence of the candidates, based on their paper application.

Please send any enquiries to env.east@uea.ac.uk.