Research Experience Placements (REPs)

Research Experience Placement is a summer placement scheme funded by NERC, aimed at undergraduate students to address demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences as well as thematic skills gaps (e.g. quantitative skills).

The E4 DTP will not organise any REPs for the Summer 2024. You can check REPs opportunities from other NERC CDTs/DTPs.

Placement Details, Funding and Reporting

  • We have 6 REPs available for the Summer 2023.
  • Placements duration is 7 or 8 weeks over the summer vacation period (between 19 June and 4 September 2023). They include 4.5 or 5 days of annual leave which will have to be taken during the placement in agreement with the project supervisor (untaken annual leave will not be paid).
  • Placements are paid monthly, at the University grade UE03 (£20,400 annual, pro rata).
  • Placements can be undertaken full- or part-time.
  • There is no additional cost available for relocation.
  • Students will need to be physically based in the UK during the whole duration of the placement. The placements will be in-person although some short phases of remote working might be acceptable (whilst being in the UK - no remote working form abroad)
  • The student will be required to complete a brief online report on the outcome of the placement at the end of the placement (see the previous' years report template below).
REP Final Report Form (120.5 KB / DOC)
Students in the Biochar lab in the School of GeoSciences
Students in the Biochar Lab in the School of GeoSciences

Eligibility of students

Students must meet ALL of the following criteria to be eligible to apply for a REP. The students must:

  • Be undertaking their first undergraduate degree studies (or integrated Masters) in a UK Higher Education institution in any science discipline - Year 1 onwards; Note: students in their final year who have graduated and no longer have student status at the time the placement starts are not eligible. If the student meets the eligibility criteria (i.e., has student status) at the beginning of the placement, we would consider the eligibility criteria to be met even if the student graduates during the course of the placement.
  • Be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding as defined here, i.e. be either:
    • an UK citizen who has been living in the UK for at least the past 3 years OR 
    • an EU citizen with pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme OR 
    • a non-EU citizen who has obtained the right to remain in the UK - known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (ILR) OR
    • an International/EU student already studying in the UK and currently under a Tier 4 or Student Route Visa with validity until at least September 2023

Important notes regarding eligibility of international students not in the UK

REPs do not meet the requirements for a visa request therefore international students who are not currently studying and living in the UK and who do not have a suitable UK visa (Tier 4 or Student Visa) are NOT eligible to apply.

Application Process

Deadline for applications is 9 May midnight (end of day).

Widening Participation

Through the REP scheme, NERC aims to address demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences as well as skills-gap. Therefore, we include a Widening Participation form for candidates who are from an under-represented group to complete and return with their application if they wish to. This WP form will not be passed onto the project supervisors but will be looked at by the REP panel after the supervisors shortlist their preferred candidates. The REP panel may decide to prioritise candidates who are from under-represented groups.

We also include an Equality and Diversity Monitoring form to comply with NERC's reporting processes.

In order to be considered for a placement, please gather the following documents and email them together to by the above deadline.

  1. A cover letter detailing your motivation to apply for the REP scheme and stating which project you would like to be considered for and why (see the available projects below) - You can only apply for one project.
  2. A recent CV
  3. A reference from your Personal Tutor or Advisor or any suitable referee (they can also email it directly to us if they prefer, to
  4. An interim transcript if available
  5. The below Equality and Diversity Monitoring form (please see further information on the form itself)
  6. *OPTIONAL* The below Widening Participation form if you are from an under-represented group and wish to let the REP panel know

Uncomplete applications which do not include the essential documents (n.1 to 5 above) will be rejected.


Selection Process

  1. Applications are screened for completeness and eligibility for the scheme.
  2. Supervisors are sent the applications (with the exception of the Widening Participation and the EDI forms, which are removed) and nominate up to 3 candidates per project.
  3. The REP panel independently reviews the selected applications against the following criteria: marks, fit-to-project and interest in environmental topics and ranked them in a single pool (independently of projects applied). The panel also looks at the Widening Participation information available for each applicant who has returned the WP form, with the aim of potentially prioritising candidates from under-represented groups, as instructed by NERC.
  4. The top 6 candidates are offered a placement (or the relevant next first-ranked candidates if some of the top 6 candidates have applied for the same project). A reserve list is operated until all the placements are accepted. 

Successful candidates and the project PI will be notified by 2 June 2023. The placements cannot start before 19 June.

Available Research Projects

You can only apply for one project so please make sure the project you have chosen is clearly stated in your cover letter.

Projects will be listed here when the next call opens.


If you have any questions on the scheme please email