Find out more information about the Summer Vacation Studentships by reading the answers to our frequently asked questions. Search using the subheadings, then click on the question you want to see the answer for.

Eligibility

No, the undergraduate does not need to be a member of the Biochemical Society to be eligible for a grant. However, when ranking proposals preference will be given to student members of the Society. The supervisor (who fills in the majority of the application form) must be a member of the Society for at least 12 months prior to the closing date of the grants, and must provide details of their membership number on the form.

You must be a member of the Biochemical Society for at least 12 months prior to the closing date of the grants to be eligible as a supervisor to a Summer Vacation Studentship undergraduate.

The short answer is ‘yes’. Undergraduates applying to the scheme do not have to be ‘biochemistry’ students, but the project must be on biochemistry-related topic.

As long as the placement project is of a molecular bioscience nature and provides good training for the student in this area (and meets our other requirements – e.g. the students are eligible in terms of the year of their undergraduate study, academic ability, etc) then the application will meet our criteria.

Yes. International students are eligible to apply for a grant to carry out a placement either in the UK or overseas.

Yes the scheme is eligible to undergraduates wishing to embark on a placement in the UK or abroad. Students will need to pair up with a potential supervisor at the institution they hope to spend the placement and develop a project for their application.

Yes. Studentships are available to undergraduate students in their second year of a three degree, or their second or third year of a four year degree.

About the Grants

No. The Biochemical Society grants are intended to support the student’s living costs throughout the period of the studentship placement. The laboratory will need to provide all consumables and cover all other costs associated with the research.

Applying

Finding a supervisor

The student is responsible for finding a suitable supervisor (or a supervisor may approach a student). The Biochemical Society does not get involved with this process.

In terms of finding a supervisor, you should start by identifying which area of biochemistry you are most interested in. Then approach research groups working in that field, either at your own university (which you can find by looking on the university website, or by asking your tutor or lecturers teaching on that topic for their advice) or another institution (again, by searching online). The supervisor must fill out the majority of the application form, but you will need to fill in the ‘personal statement’ required for the student.

During the project

Yes and yes! The Society would love to be updated on how you are getting on in the lab. We encourage all students to create a blog of their experiences, or to tweet (via Twitter) whenever possible using our hashtag #BiochemSoc. In terms of creating your blog, the ‘Blogger’ website is free and easy to use.

You might also find it useful to read some of the blogs from previous studentships.

Please let us know when you have created your blog and we will link to your blog from our website. If you have a Twitter account and tweet anything about your placement, please email us and we can re-tweet it to our members.

Post-placement: Report Writing

Ideally we would like you to send in photos of you! In particular pictures of you:

• working in the lab
• with your supervisor
• with the rest of the research group

Please submit your photos separately from the main body of the report, as jpeg files. Please note these images may be used on the website, in our Biochemist magazine or in other publicity material. If you do not want your photos used in this, please let us know. 

The ‘2 sides of A4’ is really a guideline to give students an idea of the length of the report and the level of detail required. It is absolutely fine if your report is slightly longer. However, please don’t feel you need to go into too much depth – we are just looking for an overview of the project and your experience.

The report should contain a mixture of both scientific information and personal experience. Although there is no fixed format, we would like each report to include:

  • the aims of your project 
  • a description of the work carried out 
  • an assessment of your results and the outcomes of the studentship 
  • future directions in which the project can be taken 
  • any departures from the original proposal 
  • a short paragraph highlighting the value of the studentship, both to yourself and to your supervisor.

We would be really grateful if you could also send a photo or two of you in the lab to go alongside your report. Finally, please submit your report as a Word file (not a PDF) and send any photos as separate jpeg files.

Confidentiality

Biochemist articles

All reports submitted will be checked by staff working in the Education Department and then added to the Biochemical Society website (unless the supervisor has a legitimate reason to request otherwise).

 

We also welcome offers of producing a short (around 500 word) account to be published in our Biochemist magazine. Articles about different university-based experiences can act as very useful careers information for other students. Therefore if you would like to produce something, it would be great if you could focus on your experience, what you learned and what you got out of it. Please contact us at education@biochemistry.org for more information.  

Membership

You are entitled to a one year free undergraduate membership to the Biochemical Society once you have submitted your completed studentship report. If you wish to receive this, please email education@biochemistry.org with details of your:

  • full (permanent) contact details 
  • email address