Skip to content Skip to navigation

Undergraduate Research Bursaries

•The principal supervisor must be an academic member of staff in the same institution as the student, or in a closely related institution such as a museum, as they can give significant career advice and take ultimate responsibility for the student researcher.

•The principal supervisor must be a member of the Association at the time the application is received.

•If the principal supervisor is on a fixed term contract, then this contract must extend beyond the proposed end date of the project.

•PhD students and postdoctoral researchers within the same, or closely related, research institution may be named as additional supervisors and share in the training and supervision of the student, thus enhancing the quality of the research experience for the student.

The Palaeontological Association Undergraduate Research Bursaries are aimed at giving undergraduate students the opportunity to acquire research skills and experience that will significantly transform their academic career. The bursaries will support projects co-designed by students and their supervisor(s) that give students registered for an undergraduate degree their first experience of undertaking a palaeontological research project. The bursaries provide a stipend for the student for up to 8 weeks.

The scheme is not intended to fund students to undertake routine work for the supervisor(s) and the Association expects the supervisor(s) to provide significant personal mentoring of successful student applicants.

Terms and Conditions

Available Funds

  • The Association expects to fund multiple projects per year and the total fund available and number of awards made will be at Council’s discretion
  • Successful applicants will receive funding of £262.50 GBP per week, pro rata, up to a maximum of eight weeks
  • Funds will be disbursed as a single payment made to the department/school
  • The stipend is not intended as a salary
  • The stipend is non-transferable
  • No funding is available for any other costs associated with the project. Supervisor(s) are expected to fund consumables and fieldwork, for example, from other sources.

Student eligibility

  • Bursaries are non-transferrable and the named student must be registered for an undergraduate degree for the duration of the proposed project
  • The student must not have had any previous experience of independent scientific research
  • Candidates need not be geologists, palaeontologists or Earth scientists, but must be registered for an undergraduate science degree
  • No age limit applies to the awards

Supervisor eligibility

  • The principal supervisor must be an academic member of staff in the same institution as the student, as they can give significant career advice and take ultimate responsibility for the student researcher.
  • The principal supervisor must be a member of the Association at the time the application is received.
  • If the principal supervisor is on a fixed term contract, then this contract must extend beyond the proposed end date of the project.
  • PhD students and postdoctoral researchers within the same institution may be named as additional supervisors and share in the training and supervision of the student, thus enhancing the quality of the research experience for the student.

Eligible areas of research

  • The Association exists to promote research in palaeontology and its allied sciences, and the research must fall within this remit.
  • The awards must not be used to support research on live animals.

Other terms and conditions

  • A maximum of one application per eligible supervisor will be accepted per round
  • An eligible student may only be named on one application per round
  • No supervisor may be named, as either principal or additional supervisor, on more than one application per round
  • Applicants are responsible for checking that applications from their institution conform to these guidelines. If an individual student or supervisor is named on more than one application received per round then none of those applications will be considered further.
  • Ethics: The Palaeontological Association expects that any projects requiring ethical clearance from the hosting institution, or from other bodies responsible for overseeing relevant ethical issues, will have been granted ethical approval for the proposed work, if required. Research on live animals cannot be supported.
  • A referee’s statement in support of the student must be included. Usually this statement should be made by the personal tutor of the student applicant. A project supervisor cannot provide the supporting statement for the student named on the application. If the personal tutor is also a supervisor, then the supporting statement may be made by another academic member of staff within the same department or school as the student.
  • Incomplete applications or those that fail any of the criteria listed above will be summarily rejected

Applications will be ranked on the following criteria:

  • Track record of the student candidate
  • Quality of the proposed training and personal development opportunities offered by the project and the supervisor(s)
  • Scientific excellence of the proposed project
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Time that the principal supervisor is personally prepared to devote to the project

Scheduling of the research work

The scheduling of the work is a matter for the student and supervisor to arrange by mutual agreement. The only expectation is that the work is completed within the period indicated in the application. In the event that the work is not completed within the timeframe stated in the application, the Association reserves the right to demand repayment of the funds.

Reporting requirements and dissemination of scientific results

After completion of the work, successful candidates are required to produce a 750 word report of the findings accompanied by 2-3 images suitable for publication in the Palaeontology Newsletter. This report should be submitted within eight weeks of the stated end date of the project. Successful candidates are requested to prioritise the Association’s meetings and publications as media for conveying the research results.

Notification of decision

Successful candidates will be notified by the middle of May.

Deadline

24th February at 23:59 GMT

Online Application

Applications must be submitted by the principal supervisor via the online form submission hosted on the PalAss website; a link to this form can be found at the bottom of this page. Please also note the following:

  • Supporting information must be uploaded in PDF format, as a single file of less than 8Mb in size. Please see "Required Supporting Information" below.
  • Length restrictions are given below in pages and/or word counts - documents should be single-spaced with a minimum font size of 11 points, and a minimum margin size of 1.5cm
  • Failure to provide ALL required sections of the Supporting Information or failure to complete ALL parts of the submission form may delay or invalidate your application

Required Supporting Information

The following section must be included in the submitted PDF.

Section A: Project title, duration and student support requested

  1. Title of research project (20 words maximum)
  2. Duration of project (in weeks, up to a maximum of eight weeks)
  3. Proposed start date
  4. Proposed completion date
  5. Total amount of support requested, based on a stipend of £262.50, or its equivalent in local currency, per week of project time

Section B: Details of supervisors, host institution and other support for the proposed project

  1. Title, first name and surname of principal supervisor
  2. Position held by supervisor in the institution hosting the project
  3. Postal address of principal supervisor
  4. Email address of principal supervisor
  5. Telephone number (including dialing code if outside UK)
  6. Are additional supervisors involved in the project? Y/N If yes, please give details of additional supervisors (Title, first name and surname; affiliations; email address)
  7. Are any additional funds required to support this project beyond the stipend? Y/N
  8. If yes: are any funds currently available to support the project? Y/N. If yes: please give details of the amount of funds and what expenses specific to this project they will be used to support: (100 words maximum)
  9. If additional funds are required but not currently available, have you made any application for costs that must be met if the proposed project is to proceed? Y/N. If yes: please give details of applications, what project expenses they will cover and the expected date when the outcome of the application will be known.

Section C: Student’s details and their motivation for applying (to be filled in by the student)

  1. Title, forename and surname of student applicant
  2. Email address
  3. Institution where student is registered for an undergraduate degree
  4. Name of degree course and expected year of graduation
  5. What year of your course are you in, relative to the length of the entire course? (e.g. third year of a four-year course would give this as 3/4)
  6. Have you undertaken a palaeontological research project before? Y/N
  7. Career aspirations: what are your plans after finishing your undergraduate degree? (200 words maximum).
  8. What has led you to apply for a Palaeontological Association Undergraduate Research Bursary to pursue this particular project with this particular supervisor? How do you think it will transform the course of your undergraduate career? (300 words maximum).
  9. Please include an official transcript of your university grades achieved to date, and a Curriculum Vitae (up to two A4 pages in length).

Section D: Project Proposal

  1. Details of proposed research project: Give a short background to the proposed project, understandable to a non-specialist, the research goal(s) to be tackled and the methods and techniques to be used to achieve these goals. If external facilities or personnel will be supporting this work, please give brief details of that support. Up to three recent peer-reviewed references may be cited to support the case (700 words maximum).
  2. Please detail the involvement of the named student applicant in the development of the application. Provide summary information on the role of the student in executing the research, plans for supervision, including how much direct mentoring the principal supervisor will give, and support of the student. A proposed timetable of research for the project should also be included. Explain how the student will be involved in the dissemination of any significant results. (500 words maximum).
  3. List, as keywords, up to five skills the student will gain from the project

Section E: Ethics statement

  1. Does the project require any ethical clearance? Y/N. If Yes: you are affirming that you have ethical clearance for the work and can provide documentary evidence of this clearance upon request.

Section F: Referee’s statement of support for the student

  1. Title, forename(s) and surname of person making supporting statement.
  2. Institutional affiliation and position held
  3. Signed statement of support: detail the student’s ability to complete the project, their level of involvement in developing the project and the potential of this award to transform their undergraduate career (500 words maximum).

Online Submission

Application Form

PalAss Go! URL: http://go.palass.org/5qw | Twitter: Share on Twitter | Facebook: Share on Facebook | Google+: Share on Google+