Think Ahead: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

The Think Ahead: SURE scheme will not run in 2021 due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.  We anticipate that recruitment to the scheme will restart in the 2021/22 academic year for projects to take place in summer 2022

Logo - Think Ahead SUREThink Ahead: SURE is a scheme which offers Early Career Researchers within the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry & Health and Science the opportunity to develop many of the skills considered necessary for a career in research by managing their own 6 to 8 week research project.

Undergraduate students are encouraged to apply for a summer placement working on one of the Think Ahead SURE projects. This develops valuable research skills and offers time in a laboratory.

Early Career Researchers

The Think Ahead: SURE Supervisor recruitment process is highly competitive and applications are reviewed by a cross-faculty panel.

Those successfully recruited to the scheme receive training and support a number of areas:

  • Recruiting students: from short listing applications through to interviewing the candidates.
  • Grant writing: skills training plus support in applying to external funders, enhancing your funding profile.
  • Training workshops in becoming a more effective researcher, research manager and better supervisor for your student.
  • Assistance on managing your research budget and navigating the systems.

Wider benefits of participating in the scheme

"I see development of both generic and academic skills sets of early career researchers outside the narrow confines of their research project as one of the main functions of my job as an academic. Through the TUoS Think Ahead SURE scheme members of my group have submitted proposals and secured external funding to manage their own projects and undergraduate students.

The experience of which was featured in “the Biochemist” magazine. Such experiences instill greater early career researcher confidence that in turn awakens project ownership, public engagement activities, proposal submissions, manuscript preparations and reviews. Encouragement and support in this way allows early career researchers to thrive, that has resulted in one of my team securing an academic post at Harvard University."

Dr Jonathan Shaw (Reader in Microbiology, Dept. Infection and Immunity)

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students from any discipline, and who are not in their first or final years of study, are eligible to apply for a summer research placement based in the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Health or Science.

Successfully placed students get a taste of a career in a research environment by undertaking a 6-8 week project. This enhances their employability through the following experiences:

  • Competitive application process. Developing your CV, covering letter and interview skills
  • Co-application for research funding
  • The potential to receive payment for working in a lab/research environment
  • Use of cutting edge techniques and equipment
  • Scientific report writing and scientific presentations