Research Experience Placements

Research Experience Placements

The NERC Research Experience Placement (REP) scheme aims to address both thematic skills gaps as well as demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences by offering funding to support paid summer placements for undergraduate students, during which they will carry out research projects within the scope of the environmental sciences.

ARIES will have REPs available for Summer 2022, and we particularly welcome applications from three key areas that represent our identified skills, demographic, and diversity-related challenges:

  • Undergraduates who are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • Undergraduates who are from the first generation in their family to go to university
  • Undergraduates currently studying in a quantitative/data-based discipline who are interested in applying their skills within the environmental sciences.

What is a REP like?

Our previous REP students have all really enjoyed their time with us, and found the experience of working in a real research environment on current research projects to be valuable in thinking about their next steps:

“In addition to the lab research, I was given the opportunity to attend a diverse set of talks presented by speakers from all over the world, and doing original research in different areas of Biology. As part of the REP, I was also able to attend the DTP residential summer school, allowing me to meet first year PhD students who were well into their projects, and hear first-hand about their experiences.”

“My supervisor helped me to develop my understanding of the process that goes into modelling. Additionally, she helped me with my experimental design and motivated me to produce my best work.”

“It has been a fantastic experience, both for academic and social reasons. I would strongly advise future students that are interested in a career in research to apply for an REP.”

Previously funded REP projects can be seen on our REP page

Browse available REP projects

The duration of REPs is between 6 and 10 weeks over the Summer period (mid-June to mid Sept)

Placements will be paid at at least the minimum wage with £500 provided for research costs and can be undertaken full- or part- time.

There are no further funds available for relocation or living expenses and students must be resident in the UK during the placement.

Successful students and supervisors will be required to complete a report on the outcome of the placement.

ARIES REPs 2022 will be available at the following institutions

Institution Number of available placements*
British Antarctic Survey 4
University of East Anglia 2
University of Essex 3
University of Kent, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology 1
University of Plymouth 2
Royal Holloway University of London 2
*subject to confirmation

Eligibility criteria

Students must meet all of the eligibility requirements listed below to apply for a REP:

· Be undertaking their first undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters) – you may be in your final year of your undergraduate degree.

· Be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding, i.e.:

  • A UK citizen, OR
  • An EU citizen with pre- or settled status under the EU settlement scheme, OR
  • A non-EU citizen who has obtained the right to remain in the UK, OR
  • An International/EU student already studying in the UK and currently under a Tier 4 or Student Route Visa with validity until at least October 2022.



  • In order to be considered for a placement, please apply to providing the following:
  • A supporting statement explaining your motivation for applying for this project. Please include answers to the following questions:
    • which project are you applying for?
    • why have you applied for this project (e.g. what interested you about this project, what in particular made you want to undertake this research)?
    • what do you hope to achieve by undertaking this placement (e.g. is it for experience, to gain skills, to develop your interests)?
    • what skills do you have that make you an ideal candidate for this placement (e.g. what skills have you developed during your degree that might apply)?
    • what do you hope to do when you complete your degree (e.g. have you considered a working in scientific research in the future, or is this your first experience)?
  • A recent CV
  • A reference from your personal tutor
  • An interim transcript if available
  • Please also complete the online EDI form (this form is a mandatory part of the application process, but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked)

Selection process

The deadline for applications will be 3rd June 2022.  Browse available REP projects here.

·  Applications are screened for eligibility (see the eligibility criteria above)

·  Applications are forwarded to supervisors (the EDI form is not included)

·  Supervisors shortlist candidates and interview for the placement.

Candidates will be scored according to the following criteria:

  • Fit to project (e.g. your current skills, area of study, interests)
  • Enthusiasm for environmental research (e.g. what you hope to achieve through undertaking this placement, why you chose this project in particular)
  • Evidence of suitability to undertake a research placement (e.g. evidence from your tutor reference, transcript, and CV that you are an engaged student)