NERC Research Experience Placements 2021
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.
The Call for REP proposals is now open, with a submission deadline of 7th May 2021, and the proposal form may be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Supervisors for the REP scheme must work at one of the ARIES partners approved for REPs (see table below) with experience of research in the NERC remit. Please note that junior researchers/PDRA/ECRs are welcome to submit a project as long as there is a more experienced (supervision and NERC research) supervisor on the team.
Suitability of project
The proposed REP projects must:
- Have a clearly defined objective.
- Be within the science remit of NERC.
- Be within one or more of the ARIES DTP’s key research themes.
- 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.
Projects will be selected for advertising by a panel at the host institution. Besides the criteria listed above, which all projects should meet, the panel will also consider the following positively:
- Involvement of one or more end users (typically non-academic partners) in the design and supervision of the project.
- Co-funding from partners or host organisation.
Supervisors will be informed of the outcome by 14 May 2021.
Responsibilities of the Host Organisation
Accepted project proposals will be advertised via the ARIES website, but all other advertisement is the responsibility of the host institute.
In addition, the host institute is responsible for:
- Selection of the participating student (Local recruitment policies and the ARIES EDE&I policy must be followed).
- Ensuring the REP project falls within the NERC remit and is of suitable quality.
- Ensuring that appropriate supervisory arrangements are in place.
- Ensuring an ARIES/EnvEast PhD mentor is appointed for the student, or if not available then a PhD mentor in a NERC-facing research area.
- 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.
- Ensuring that a PhD interview is offered to successful REP candidates where they apply to a PhD at that institute.
A project report form completed by both supervisor and student must be sent to the DTP by Friday 29th October 2021. (NERC have not yet provided the 2021 report, but you can view a previous ARIES REP Report Form as an example or what may be asked)
The DTP has currently been allocated £3,200 for each REP, which includes up to £500 for research costs. Successful candidates should be paid at least at the national minimum wage (currently £8.91 per hour) and placements must be of between 6 and 10 weeks in length.
Where the full allocation of £3,200 is not required for a selected candidate/project, ARIES will use the underspend to support additional REPs and/or cohort activities/development opportunities for REP students.
Eligibility of applicants
To qualify as eligible for a NERC REP, candidates must:
- Be undertaking their first undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters).
- Be applying for a placement in a different department to their undergraduate degree
- Be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding (Details of eligibility for PhD studentships can be found here).
Further details for applicants can be found on our Research Experience Placements page.