Funding for postgraduate training and development


Summer Research Experience Placements pilot scheme

ESRC wants to encourage and support students from diverse backgrounds to move into postgraduate training and careers in research.

We are therefore piloting a summer Research Experience Placements (REP) scheme for undergraduates from under-represented groups to experience postgraduate research in the social sciences.

We will be funding 38 placements over the next two years. Placements will give the undergraduates a first-hand opportunity to undertake a research project supported by researchers, and to receive information on graduate study.

Our intention is that everyone who takes part will gain benefits in terms of confidence, skills and experience that will enhance both their CV and any future postgraduate applications.

Five of our Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) have been selected to take part in this pilot. They are:

Further information on the placements and associated timelines can be found on the individual DTP websites. Please note that the DTPs are operating their own timelines for this scheme and some opportunities may have already been filled for 2022.

DTPs will tailor their opportunities to address areas of under-representation that reflect their specific diversity profile.


Funding will be made available to the above DTPs to host the placements.

REP students must be made an employee of the host organisation and receive a salary for the duration of the placement. They must be paid at least the national living wage.

Placements will be for a maximum duration of eight weeks.


The student must be in the middle years of their first-degree studies.

Research project criteria

Research projects must:

  • have a clearly defined objective
  • be within the remit of ESRC and within the accredited pathways at the DTPs
  • be suitable for a student to feasibly complete within the timescale of the award
  • not be part of their normal degree course or take place outside of the UK
  • give scope for thought and initiative on the part of the student and should not use the student as a general assistant.


The student and project supervisor at the hosting organisation will be required to complete a brief report on the outcome of the placement.

DTPs will run the recruitment exercise directly and the pilot will take place over the summer of 2022 and 2023.

Last updated: 8 March 2024

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