Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

Notes for Staff


The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP) enables undergraduate students to undertake a research project over the summer vacation. UROP students gain experience of working in an academic research environment, acquire a deeper understanding of a specific subject area, and broaden their future career opportunities.

Eligibility and Funding

UROP is open to undergraduates of any nationality, who are not in their final year. Bilateral arrangements with selected institutions overseas may become available in future. Projects can run at any time during the summer vacation, but not during term.

Most UROPs are funded by the supervisors’ own research grants or external collaborators to cover the student's allowances and associated costs, any research costs and consumables. NB. The use of EPSRC research grants for UROP is not usually permitted - staff wishing to do this must contact the relevant programme manager well in advance, and provide written confirmation that this expenditure on the grant will be accepted by EPSRC.

UROP students must be paid at least the National Living Wage of £8.21 per hour plus the appropriate holiday pay. Payments will be made to students subject to appropriate deductions for PAYE (Income tax and National Insurance contributions), although individual departments or funding sources may set a different rate. The normal duration of a UROP placement is 10 weeks, though shorter or longer projects may be supported at the discretion of the supervisor.

EPSRC annually provide Vacation Internships (formerly called Vacation Bursaries) from the DTP to fund science and engineering projects, shared among various Departments. NERC also fund UROPS. Your Departmental UROP Co-ordinator will let you know how the budgets are allocated in your Department. EPSRC/NERC awards impose selection criteria on the students, All students should be undertaking an undergraduate degree, which must be within EPSRC's remit, and should be able to fulfil EPSRC's doctoral training grant eligibility requirements at the end of their undergraduate degree. An internship should generally take place in the summer vacation before the student's final year of study and last an average of ten weeks. The scheme may not be used as a bridge between the undergraduate degree and PhD or other work, therefore students who are currently in their final year and who will have completed their degree by the summer are not eligible. Research Council funded projects must be widely advertised via this web site. CLICK HERE for a list of Departmental Co-ordinators and their contact details.

Projects may be submitted at any time from October onwards, and preferably by the middle of the Lent Term. UROPs may be proposed at any time until the end of the Easter Term, but early posting increases the chances of obtaining a student with the skills you may require.

How to offer a UROP project

  1. Advertising your project
    Please send the following information to Vicky Houghton:

    • Project title
    • Name, department and email address of supervisor
    • Details of any co-supervisors (name, department, email) or industrial collaborators (name, company, email)
    • Project Description (500 words maximum)
    • Specific details for your project, as applicable, for example:
      • essential knowledge, skills and attributes that would be advantageous.
      • timing issues (e.g. specific dates for applications, or for the project itself).
      • whether the UROP may offer an opportunity to continue into a 4th year project.
    • Links to relevant supporting information on the web (or attach a pdf to be posted with a link from your project description)
    • Funding status of your UROP
      • Indicate your source of funds (e.g. personal grant, industrial company, charitable foundation, etc. ) N.B Funding can not be used from an EPRSC funded grant unless you can provide written confirmation that this expenditure on the grant will be accepted by EPSRC)

    Once you have filled the project, please email Vicky Houghton to request that your project be marked as 'TAKEN' on the Website.

  2. Recruiting Students
      • Applications to the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme are available to Undergraduate students only . Final year students due to graduate in the summer are NOT eligible.
      • Please observe any restrictions due to funding sources (e.g EPSRC & NERC funded projects.)
      • Note that the selection process should be fair and comply with normal expectations of equal opportunities.
      • Project start and end dates are negotiable and should be agreed in advance by student and supervisor. 10 weeks is standard, but does not have to be continuous. It is possible to allow time for holiday breaks.
      • The projects should be planned on the basis of a 37.5 hour working week.

    • Project Administration
      • Once a student has been selected, arrangements for project administration will differ for each Department.
      • For Projects hosted by the Department of Engineering please see the notes below.
      • For all other Departments ask the prospective supervisor or your Departmental UROP Co-ordinator.

Department of Engineering projects

Administrative responsibility is organised by Vicky Houghton. The CUED academic co-ordinator is Dr Hugh Shercliff.

Project administration
Running the project
Running a UROP carries the usual responsibility associated with supervising any undergraduate work in the lab.

Final report
Students are expected to write up a report at the end of their UROP project. This is for the benefit of both staff (for their records) and student (as an essential part of their research training). It is the supervisor’s responsibility to give clear guidance on what is required in the final report.

(See also the Notes for Students for more information, and for links to the paperwork to be completed.)