BMS - Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Scheme 2018

Applications for placement projects to be considered by BMS for external funding are open until 1st January 2018.

Student feedback:

"I have learnt a lot over the course of this summer project and it has been interesting to speak to other students and researchers about their projects. I do now have a much better understanding of how research works and a first hand experience of some of the techniques mentioned in lectures and papers which will be useful for the rest of the course".

"This placement has allowed me to see first hand the nature of working in research. I've been welcomed into the lab team and have been able to chat to post-docs, PhD's and my PI about career opportunities and gain extra help on my project whenever I need it. The placement has stimulated my interest in science even further and increased my confidence in interpreting technical methods and results in primary papers."

What is a SURE project placement?

Each year a number of undergraduate students work in research labs in BMS during the summer for up to eight weeks, carrying out research on a specific project linked to the research interests of the labs. They learn new techniques and skills and have the chance to talk to a variety of research staff. Students wanting Hear recognition are also expected to present their research at a university wide showcase event.

Can I use my placement on the Skills for Work Scheme?

Yes. In fact we strongly encourage all students to take part in this scheme (whether you are successful in gaining a vacation position or not). See the following links for more information:


How do I find a lab to work in?

You need to approach academic staff directly (e-mail is a good idea) and see if they are taking anyone on over the summer.  Explain why you are interested in doing a placement. The research pages on the BMS website are a good place to start. For the BMS SURE scheme the lab you arrange to work in must be a BMS lab.

If they say yes then you have your place.  Some academic staff will accept the first person to contact them, while others will wait and once a few people have applied to them will select the best student.  You should also note that not all labs will have spaces, as hosting a summer student is very time consuming (and even academic staff need some time off over the summer)!  

How are projects funded?

Projects are funded by external bodies such as The Wellcome Trust and a variety of learned societies, who provide funds to cover living expenses. These applications go in between February and April, with decisions made normally in May. As applications are in competition with other universities funding is not guaranteed. However, Biomedical Science has been very successful obtaining funds in previous years.

Note that applications to these groups are co-ordinated by Dr Robson, and therefore to be eligible you must apply by the departmental deadline of the 1st of January using the online application form (see RH box).

In addition students may apply for support from SURE (The University SURE Scheme). This scheme has a slightly later deadline (typically March) and students can apply directly to this scheme. If you are successful you will need to let Dr Robson know though.

What if funding isn't awarded?

If funding isn't awarded then you can still do your placement. However, it would have to be on a voluntary basis (i.e. without living expenses).

Who is eligible to apply?

The scheme is restricted to those students at the end of levels 2 and 3 (who must be working in a BMS lab over the summer). Students at the end of first year are not eligible. Sources of funding for those students at the end of final year are restricted, as some funding bodies (including the SURE scheme) do not provide money for graduates. Ideally you need to have achieved at least upper second class marks from your modules.  For the BMS SURE scheme you must be working in a BMS lab.

What kind of projects do students do?

If you look at the past projects section you can see what projects students have done. 

What do previous summer students think?

Previous students have really enjoyed their placements. See the quotes at the top of the page and the "What students think" link on the right for more information.

How do I apply for a summer project?

Summer Vacation Flow Chart

Students should also note the Think Ahead SURE scheme, which has a deadline in November.  If you are successful in applying to the Medical School scheme you WILL NOT be eligible for consideration by the BMS scheme.

The University Sure Scheme deadline for the current academic year will be confirmed on their webpage.

I am not a student at Sheffield. Can I still apply?

We welcome applications from external students, who should first organise a placement, complete the online application form and also e-mail Dr Robson with the contact details of a referee.

I would like more information. Who do I contact?

Further information; contact Dr Mark Bass

email: Mark.Bass@sheffield.ac.uk