ESRC Summer Research Experience Placements pilot scheme

The 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 Scheme for undergraduates from underrepresented groups to experience postgraduate research in the social sciences. DTPs will tailor their opportunities to address areas of underrepresentation that reflect their specific diversity profile.

We will be funding 8 placements over the next two years (during the Summer in 2022 and 2023) to give undergraduates a first-hand opportunity to undertake a research project supported by researchers and 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.

2023 Competition

Funding

Funding will be made available through the WRDTP for our partner universities to host the placements. Research experience placement students will 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 between 6-8 weeks in duration.

In order to provide an effective induction to the student cohort, all placements must start in the week commencing Monday 12 June 2023, and finish by Friday 4 August 2023. Lead academic colleagues can nominate a secondary contact if they are due to be absent at any point during this period.

The call for student applications will open in February 2023, and students will apply to the WRDTP directly. Please see the Application process section below for more details on the timeline and procedure to follow.

Eligibility

  • These awards are open solely to Black British students (Black or Black British African, Black or Black British Caribbean, Black or Black British other or Mixed Black or Black British). Applicants will self-identify and sign a disclaimer to the effect that the information they provide is correct.
  • The student must be in the penultimate year of their undergraduate studies.

Students don’t have to apply for a project at their home institution – any student from any of the WRDTP partner universities can apply to any of the projects on offer. Working locations will be discussed at the offer-making stage of the process if a student is shortlisted.

However, you must belong to a WRDTP/ESRC-accredited department or school at your university. If you want to check if your department/school is eligible, please check this list.

Research projects must:

  • have a clearly defined objective
  • be within the remit of ESRC and within an accredited WRDTP pathway and department
  • 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

Application Process

We are running a two stage process:

Stage 1 – Submission of projects by potential academic supervisors

Requires all potential academic supervisors to submit potential projects for the scheme, using the WRDTP submission form. A guidance document is available here.

Please note that responses to this form will be collected automatically so you do not need to email us a copy of your submission.

Important reminders:

All placements must start in the week commencing Monday 12 June 2023, and finish by Friday 4 August 2023. Lead academic colleagues can nominate a secondary contact if they are due to be absent at any point during this period.

Lead academic colleagues applying to the scheme must belong to an ESRC-accredited department or school. A list of the eligible departments and schools can be found here.

The deadline is 12pm, Thursday 1 December 2022.

Following the deadline for submissions, a selection panel will assess all projects and confirm the allocation of funding.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their project proposal submission by mid-January 2023.

Successful supervisors will then be informed of the process for recruiting placement students and asked to provide further information if needed, to help with advertising the placements to students.

Finalised projects will be advertised to eligible students by the WRDTP and WRDTP link administrators at our partner universities. 

Stage 2Student placement applications

Students applying for an ESRC Summer Research Experience Placement will be required to complete an application form. A application preview document is available here so you can see the information required for the form in advance of submitting your application.

Please note: You will need to complete the Google Application Form in one sitting – you cannot save your progress and return later to complete.

The application process for placement students will open in the week commencing Monday 6 February 2023. The deadline for students to apply is 12pm, Thursday 9 March 2023.

We require a number of supporting documents to be submitted alongside your application form:

You will need to upload a copy of your University transcript(s) containing the grades/marks you have received so far for your undergraduate degree.

Downloads or screenshots from student self-service online systems are permitted, but must clearly show: your name; the name of the awarding institution; details of your course; and a breakdown of grades.

When preparing your document, please save it with the following filename: SURNAME, First name, Transcript.

Your CV should include:

    • the schools you have attended
    • your GCSE and A-level results
    • your undergraduate results so far
    • any prizes or awards for your academic work at school or at university
    • any work experience (of any kind) that you have had
    • any extra curriculum activity or experience you feel is relevant to your application

When preparing your document, please save it with the following filename: SURNAME, First name, CV.

Your academic referee should be a member of university academic staff (eg a tutor, advisor or professor) who can comment on your academic ability, the quality of your work, your potential for further study, and your suitability for the ESRC/WRDTP Summer Research Experience Placement programme.

Next steps:

Once you have completed the Google Application Form, a PDF containing a copy of your answers will automatically be sent to you by email. (If you don’t receive a PDF copy, you may have entered your email address incorrectly. Please email enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk to request it is passed on to you).

When you have received the PDF, please then send an email to enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk with the Subject ‘ESRC Summer Research Experience Placement – Student Application’, attaching the following files:

  • The PDF copy of your application form submission
  • Your current transcript(s)
  • Your current Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • An academic reference

Application emails (with all necessary attachments) must be received by the application deadline of 12pm, Thursday 9 March 2023 in order to be considered. Form submissions alone (i.e. without sending an email with the 4 required attachments) will not be deemed eligible.

After the application process closes, a selection panel will assess all candidates and confirm the successful placement students.

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 24 March 2023.

Confirmed Summer 2023 Placement Projects

Project Project keywords University Academic lead
Matters of race, space and place Anti-racism, decolonial praxis, Narrative Inquiry, Critical Race Theory Manchester Metropolitan University Dr Josephine Gabi
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As a reminder:

  • Students don’t have to apply for a project at their home institution; any student from any of the WRDTP partner universities can apply to any of the projects on offer. Working locations will be discussed at the offer-making stage of the process if a student is shortlisted.
  • Placement students will be paid at least the national living wage for the duration of their placement.
  • Placements will start in the week commencing Monday 12 June 2023, and finish by Friday 4 August 2023.

Further details on the projects for the 2023 ESRC/WRDTP Summer Research Experience Placement scheme can be found below:

PROJECT SUMMARY

Are you inspired by how trainee teachers prepare for working in a range of schools with diverse groups of children? Would you like the opportunity to work with exciting youth organisations? Then we’re looking for someone like you to co-produce a project with us, delving into these ideas and much more!

We’re recruiting a student-researcher to explore how Black, Asian and minoritised trainee teachers narrate their experiences of Initial Teacher Education (ITE) at Man Met, with a particular focus on curriculum, pedagogies and placement practices. We want to understand how to better incorporate marginalised students’ living knowledges, as a process of decolonial thought and anti-racist praxis in ITE programmes. By ‘praxis’ we mean a way of bringing theory and practice together to drive change within education.

The student-researcher will be based in the Education department of the Faculty of Health and Education at Man Met and work closely with Dr Josephine Gabi throughout the 8-week placement. This research placement will be accredited by the University’s Rise programme (https://rise.mmu.ac.uk/) ensuring you gain new skills, experiences and knowledge, extra recognition and 30 credits towards your degree. You will have access to an online self-study package with information about the theoretical and methodological approach the project will take and the methods of inquiry the research could use. We are mindful that you will come with lots of ideas yourself, so although we have some initial plans, the 8-week placement is about developing a co-produced research project with you.

CANDIDATE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE

The candidate will have:
– knowledge of, and interest in anti-racist and decolonial practice in education (E)
– some awareness of Critical Race Theory (D)
– initial education or training in social science research (E)
– commitment to co-produced research in education (D)
– familiarity with social media platforms (D)
– competence setting up meetings on Microsoft Teams (D)
– some understanding of data management and GDPR (D)
– good keyboard skills (E)
– interest in developing deeper knowledge of, and skills in education research (E)
– good team working skills (E)
– interest in academic writing for publication (E)
– able to articulate the qualities they have that they think are needed in this field (E)
– free for a full block of 8-weeks (E)
– availability to travel to the Faculty of Health and Education’s Brooks Building at Manchester Met on occasions (D)

(E) = Essential skill for this project

(D) = Desirable skill for this project

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you have any questions about this project, please contact the project lead and academic supervisor:

Dr Josephine Gabi

Email: j.gabi@mmu.ac.uk

Starting a placement

Following the matching of students to placement projects, colleagues at our partner universities will help to confirm the student’s eligibility to work and arrange payment for the placement.

Placements will start in the week commencing Monday 12 June 2023, and finish by Friday 4 August 2023.

A cohort-wide virtual induction meeting and introduction to student mentors will take place during the first weeks of the placement, and placement students will be invited to meet their mentors and other placement students in-person, during the WRDTP’s Annual Conference, later in June 2023.

Once the placement is complete, the student and academic project supervisor will be required to complete a brief report on the outcome of the placement. There will also be a nationwide in-person celebration event for all participants, hosted by ESRC, during late Autumn 2023.

Key Dates

Date Process
1 Early November 2022 WRDTP to invite project proposal submissions from potential academic supervisors
2 12pm, Thursday 1 December 2022 Deadline for academic supervisors to submit project proposals to the WRDTP
3 5-15 December 2022 Assessment of project proposal submissions by WRDTP Academic Quality Committee
4 mid-January 2023 WRDTP to confirm the successful projects with all potential academic supervisors
5 Week commencing Monday 6 February 2023 WRDTP to list the available projects and invite student applications
6 12pm, Thursday 9 March 2023 Deadline for potential placement students to submit their application to the WRDTP
7 Friday 24 March 2023 WRDTP to notify all students of the outcome of their placement application
8 Week commencing 12 June 2023 Placements commence
9 Friday 4 August 2023 End of student placements
10 Late Autumn 2023 In-person, nationwide celebration seminar, hosted by ESRC

For all enquiries please email enquiries@wrdtp.ac.uk