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Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme

The Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme offers students the opportunity to work with UCLan academics on research projects, which have real research outputs.  The scheme was developed and previously run by the Centre for Research Informed Teaching.  Since the scheme launched in 2008, it has sponsored approximately 435 interns who have worked directly with researchers on projects as diverse as digital publishing, wind power, facial composites, and business triangles.

Internships are advertised to students in the spring.  Following a recruitment and selection process, interns start work around the end of June.  At the end of the internship, students present posters of their research work to the University community at a special exhibition attended by the Vice Chancellor and Senior Executive Team.

Undergraduate Research Internships were pioneered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1960’s and have since become a feature of the American Higher Education Landscape.  There is a National Council of Undergraduate Research, and Undergraduate Research conferences are becoming more common across the U.S. In the UK, opportunities for students to work directly with researchers have historically been more limited, and those that were available tended to be from science-based disciplines.  The UCLan Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme began in 2008 and aimed to be multi-disciplinary, opening up research opportunities in the Humanities, Health, and Business fields as well as in Science.

The scheme is viewed as a success by staff and students alike, allowing real experience of life as a researcher. The scheme enhances a variety of academic and employability skills, which can lead to some fantastic outputs, including presentations at conferences, journal articles, new research projects and more. To date the scheme has funded around 435 research projects and is aiming to support approximately 50 more projects in the summer of 2017.

Project Lead: Research Development and Support (Research Office)

 

Impact

  • Research interns have published journal articles as first and second authors, or have been acknowledged in research papers written by academic staff.
  • Research interns have contributed towards research grant applications.
  • Research interns have attended conferences both nationally and internationally to present their research.
  • Research interns have become postgraduate researchers and in some cases gone on to have interns of their own.
  • Research interns consider themselves to have a flying start into their dissertation or final year project.

 

Clients or Funders
HEFCE

Collaborators
All schools within UCLan

Timeline
2008 - present

Further information:
To find out more about the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme, please contact the Research Development and Support Office via urisinternships@uclan.ac.uk