Applying for a EURSS bursary to undertake a summer project should not be undertaken lightly. There is a significant time commitment required at a time of year when friends and family (and the weather) may demand your attention. You must consider this carefully before accepting the bursary.

1.              INTRODUCTION

  • The EUTOPIA Undergraduate Research Support Scheme (“EURSS”) is coordinated and administered by the Skills Development Team, Student Opportunity at The University of Warwick (UK) in conjunction with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), the University of Gothenburg (Sweden), CY Cergy Paris Université (France), Pompeu Fabra University – Barcelona (Spain), and the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) (“The Universities”).
  • Bursaries will only be allocated following a rigorous application and scoring process, which occurs once each year after the EURSS application closing deadline.
  • The Universities shall always use reasonable endeavours to act fairly when making decisions to whom to allocate the bursary. The Universities reserve the right to decide at their absolute discretion how to allocate the bursaries to applicants. It shall not (unless required by law) be required to give any reasons for its decisions.
  • There is a limited amount of funding for the EURSS and payment of bursaries shall always be subject to budget constraints.
  • You will be paid the bursary amount agreed by the Review Board as per your university’s financial procedures. Further details of how and when will be communicated to you if and when your application has been successful.

If your application is successful and once your project is complete, you will be required to produce an academic poster on your research project. This should include sections on introduction/background, methodology, findings/results and conclusions. More details are available here. Successful applicants may have the opportunity to present their posters at a EURSS showcase event.

2.              PROJECT PREPARATION

  • You should secure your own project before applying for a bursary. This can be either in your own department or another that offers a subject of interest to you. The EURSS accepts no responsibility for securing a project for you. You are advised to approach a member of staff and enquire about the possibility of undertaking a project via EURSS to see if they can supervise, or recommend a colleague or post-doctoral student who can.
  • When arranging the dates of your project, you must ensure that you complete your research in advance of your academic studies restarting.
  • You should not use your EURSS project for anything required as part of your course; it must not involve any work which will later be submitted to be marked (e.g. final year dissertation/research project), except as background information e.g. the introduction in that work.
  • Please note that the EURSS bursary is intended for living and other associated costs only (accommodation, subsistence, travel, childcare, etc.) that you accrue whilst carrying out your research. You may need to contribute funds if the bursary is not sufficient to cover all your costs for the duration of the project. The bursary does not provide a salary nor cannot be used to purchase project-related equipment or services (e.g. laboratory consumables or other equipment, photocopying, library access cards).
  • The bursary is given in good faith; i.e. if your application is successful and you accept the funding, you are expected to complete your project in the agreed timescale, communicating with your supervisor regularly, as expected in a professional position. You are also expected to submit the required outputs to EURSS and/or the department on or by the deadline given.

Following discussions with the project supervisor, the EURSS Co-ordinator reserves the right to require repayment of the entire up-front award should they reasonably determine that the bursary has not been used for the purposes set out in the application or the project has been largely not attempted, or if you fail to complete the required outputs. You should make available to the Co-ordinator all information reasonably required to establish such correct use of the award funding.

3.              WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EURSS FUNDING?

  • If you are a fully-registered undergraduate/bachelors student at one of the Universities, then you are eligible to apply for a EURSS bursary. This excludes visiting Erasmus students, students visiting via other exchange or internships programmes as part of your degree course (i.e. not extracurricular).
  • For Warwick students only: international students subject to immigration control in the UK (Tier 4 visa), you need to consider how many hours you are allowed to work outside of your course before applying for a EURSS bursary:
  • Tier 4 visas for non-finalists: If you have a Tier 4 visa which was issued for a degree level course or above, you are allowed to work no more than 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacations. It is your responsibility to adhere to your visa requirements, so please discuss this with your supervisor when submitting your application.
    • Tier 4 visas for finalists: Under a Tier 4 visa, you should only be working up to a maximum of 20 hours per week until the end date that appeared on your CAS. Once the end date on your CAS has passed, you are allowed to work full- time but cannot fill a permanent vacancy. For further information see here.
  • Final year undergraduate/bachelors students can apply for a EURSS bursary, however as you may complete some or all of your research project after your graduation when you will longer be classed as a full member of your university and have access to a range of facilities e.g. the university library. Please discuss this with your local EURSS contact (see Section 6 for details).
  • If you have previously received a EURSS bursary you are not eligible to apply for funding again. You can only receive a EURSS bursary once during the course of your studies.

4.              COMPLETING THE APPLICATION FORM

The form is to be completed in conjunction with the lead academic supervisor of your project. This supervisor must be based at your institution. You must complete part 1 of the form and the lead supervisor must complete part 2. You are advised to discuss your project costs, travel plans and ethics considerations with your supervisor before completing the form. You will also need the support of a supervisor based in the EUTOPIA partner institutions located in the country in which the overseas part of the research project will take place.

  • You can only make one application per year.
  • You are unable to go back and edit/make changes to the form; this means the content should be decided and agreed by both parties before submitting the online application.
  • The EURSS administration will NOT follow up on incomplete applications. Please, therefore, ensure you complete all sections of the form and do this in full communication with your prospective supervisor.
  • The form comprises a number of mandatory questions that will be evaluated against the selection criteria (see below) to ensure the process is fair and transparent. The process is competitive.
  • The form asks for an alternative email address: we need you to provide an alternative email address in case you are unable to access your university one for some reason. This will only be used for EURSS purposes, or for contacting you about further dissemination opportunities after the year’s Scheme is complete.
  • To show that you understand the project you need to give an outline of what you plan to research. This should be written clearly in your own words for a non-disciplinary audience, although your supervisor should offer advice and guidance as they will need to approve the project title.
  • Knowing what benefits and applications your project could bring is an important aspect of disseminating research. This may be to the local community, to the wider world, or to the knowledge base of that particular subject (knowledge for knowledge sake). You may want to discuss this with your supervisor before completing the application.
  • The project must have a full member of academic staff or post-doctoral student at your home institution as a lead supervisor. If someone else is actually supervising your project on a day-to-day basis (e.g. clinician in hospital, postdoc, PhD student, member of an external organisation), these should be detailed in the ‘additional supervisor’ section. Please check the spelling of all names before you submit your form. You do not need to include the person’s title (Dr, Prof, Mr, Ms, Mx etc.)Applicants should check with their home universities whether travel insurance is available for students conducting research projects outside of their home country. It is your responsibility to ensure that appropriate insurance provision is in place for travel outside of your home country.

Research projects regularly involve areas that require ethics consideration and/or approval. The EURSS works closely with the relevant research ethics committees of the universities and will pass on details of projects which indicate that ethical considerations are present. Your supervisor should advise and guide you in this area.

  • The outline of your project, your explanation of the potential benefits and the supporting information are the primary areas assessed by the reviewers against the impact section of the assessment criteria (see below). You should evidence that you have thought about how participating in the project will impact on you and your future plans (further study, employability, career choices). It should include the skills (both research-specific and transferrable) and qualities (e.g. confidence) that you wish to develop. Remember that transferable skills are as valuable as research-specific ones. Please ensure this section is detailed but succinct.
  • A good application will contain information that is clear, realistic and appropriate and shows evidence of being well-thought-out.
  • If you wish to carry out a project via EURSS but do not need a bursary you are welcome to do so. Please enter “0” in the section asking how much you are applying for.
  • You need to look into the costs you think you will incur (up to a maximum of €1500) and create a realistic and thorough funding breakdown. It will remain a key element of the application form so the Review Board can assess the reasonableness of the project plan in relation to your suggested timescale. You need to discuss this with your supervisor to ensure you have both agreed on the purposes of the funding. You will have your own specific needs regarding these living costs.
  • A bursary will NOT be granted to pay for direct project costs (i.e. staff time), so the mention of these should not be included.
  • The amount requested does not affect the decision to award a bursary.
  • If the application is successful, the bursary amount will be paid according to your universities financial procedures in April/May. Further details will be given to you if your application is successful.
  • You must be able to agree to all of the terms & conditions of Application, otherwise, you are ineligible to apply.

You need to read the EURSS Rights and Responsibilities and tick that you agree to adhere to them if your application is successful.

When you submit your completed application, you will receive an automated response and copy of your submission to say the application has been submitted successfully. If you DO NOT receive this email immediately, please contact URSS@warwick.ac.uk to verify your submission. This receipt will be taken as proof of application in case of query, so please retain for future reference.

5.              APPLICATION REVIEW PROCESS

  • All applications go through a EUTOPIA Review Board decision process in April and you will be informed of the outcome by the end of May.
  • The bursary application is scored on five areas of assessment criteria:
  • Personal/Career Impact: this refers to the level of impact that participating in the project will have on your future plans (study, employability, skills development, career choices). This includes the impact of carrying out a research project in another country.
    • Quality: is about the project itself, i.e. the nature of the research. It should include a clear and well-written description of the project. It is essential that you understand the objectives and limitations of the project and can explain these in the application form. You should include an introduction to the project, how you intend to carry out the research and what you hope to conclude. The benefits of carrying out the project in another country should be clearly states.
    • Research Culture: is about the project and how it will contribute to the research culture of the department and fit into the existing strengths of the department. The project should make a contribution to the knowledge base and might refer to the research areas and priorities of a particular research group or supervisor. Discuss this with your supervisor who may be able to direct or contribute to this.
    • Research Impact: is about academic, economic and societal impact. The project should demonstrate that the research contributes to, benefits and influences society, culture, the environment, public policy or services, health and the economy or quality of life beyond academia.
    • Accuracy of requested budget: requires an accurate breakdown of projected living and associated costs to carry out the research project. It should include ALL living and associated costs.
  • A good application will contain information that is clear, realistic and appropriate. It should show evidence of being well thought out and personalised.

After completion of the evaluation process, EURSS will not return your application nor will it provide individual feedback on applications.

6          LOCAL EURSS CONTACTS

VUB: jacqueline.couder@vub.be

CY: carmen.branescu@universiteparisseine.fr

Gothenburg: hans.abelius@gu.se

Ljubljana: intern.office@uni-lj.si

UPF: sara.lopez@upf.edu

Warwick: URSS@warwick.ac.uk