Wellcome Trust Scholarships

About the BVS scheme

The University of Leicester is delighted to offer six Biomedical Vacation Scholarships funded by the Wellcome Trust. These awards provide promising undergraduates with hands-on experience of biomedical research, with the aim of encouraging them to consider a research career. The 6-8 week placements are to be held during the summer vacation months and come with a stipend for each scholarship.

A key priority of this scheme is to provide research and development opportunities for groups that are underrepresented in postgraduate research and our aim is to award at least 50% of these scholarships to those that match the widening participation criteria. Applicants who do not meet any of these criteria are still eligible for the awards.

Awards are for current undergraduate students that are enrolled on a course in the UK or Republic of Ireland and students must not be in the first or final year of study at the point of application. Further eligibility criteria are below.

Widening Participation Criteria

Read the University of Leicester’s plan for widening participation.

At Leicester we are particularly focused on including and increasing participation from:

  • Those from minority ethnic communities
  • Those with registered disabilities
  • Students from Low Participation Neighbourhoods (LPN), assessed by post code
  • Mature students
  • Students that are unpaid carers

Eligibility criteria

  • Students must be registered on a relevant undergraduate course in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Examples of relevant subjects include:
    • science (biomedical, natural, computing or physical sciences)
    • medicine
    • dentistry
    • veterinary medicine
    • engineering
    • mathematics
    • psychology
  • Students are eligible in the middle year(s) of the degree, when they have not yet undertaken a substantial period of research.
  • Students must submit a short written report following completion of their project.

You will be ineligible if you:

  • are in your first or final year
  • have previously undertaken a vacation scholarship from the Wellcome Trust or another funding body, or have had significant research experience
  • have completed or are currently undertaking an intercalated year, as you would have completed a BSc before the scholarship period, and should have already had the opportunity to undertake research 
  • have completed or are currently undertaking a one-year placement in research as part of your degree (e.g. a sandwich year), as you would have had the opportunity to undertake research before the scholarship period
  • are a graduate-entry medical student who has completed a previous undergraduate degree in a science-related subject, as you would have had an opportunity to apply during your first undergraduate degree 
  • are a student enrolled on a course outside the UK or the Republic of Ireland

What is provided

  • A stipend at the real living wage rate (£9.50/hour) for a period of 6-8 weeks. For those who opt to undertake their project for 8 weeks at 37.5 hours per week, this equates to £2,850. This would be paid in two instalments - midway through and at the end of the project.
  • Mentoring by experienced researchers.
  • Up to £500 to be allocated to the project supervisor towards the cost of materials and consumables as required for the project.
  • Additional support (of up to £1500) to cover or subsidise travel and accommodation expenses where required.

How to apply

To be considered for this scheme, you must complete our application form (Word, 412kb). Please submit your completed form to Anna Harding (aijh1@le.ac.uk) by 8.00am on Monday 10 May 2021 indicating “WT BVS Application - name” in the subject header.

Please be aware that we will collect equality, diversity and inclusion information as well as information to inform whether candidates meet any of the widening participation criteria.  Candidates should note that this information will only be accessible to those staff involved in assessing widening participation criteria, and will NOT be made available to those engaged in the vacation scholarship application selection process. Once all applications have been ranked on scientific merit by the selection panel, Section 1 of the application form (Widening Participation Eligibility and Personal Details) will be used to prioritise funding.

We retain your personal information in accordance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which obliges us to keep it only for as long as is necessary. If we do not have any requirement to retain personal information for business, regulatory, or legal reasons, we will delete it. Where possible, we also deploy additional security measures encouraged by the GDPR. This includes using personal information held in a format that does not directly identify specific individuals, without the use of a separately stored code or key that allows identification. This is referred to in the GDPR as ‘pseudonymised data’.

Selection Criteria

All applications will be assessed on basis of academic merit and potential to undertake research in biomedical sciences, as evidenced on academic record and answers provided in the application form, and on widening participation criteria. Decisions will be made and communicated to all applicants by the week commencing Monday 24 May 2021.