BSGCT Undergraduate Research Bursaries

The purpose of the awards is to give experience of research to undergraduates with research potential and to encourage them to consider a career in scientific research. The awards provide support for the student at a rate of £200 per week for a period of between 6 and 8 weeks.

Previous Winners 

Awards 2020

UPDATE - 20 MARCH 2020

Due to the current restrictions and closures affecting UK universities and research institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately we are not able to run this year’s Undergraduate Research Bursary scheme.
We anticipate running the scheme again next year, and news about this will be communicated via our mailing list and social media channels. To ensure you receive these notifications, please check “My Communication Preferences” in your online account; the option for “Can we send you BSGCT announcements?” needs to be set to “Yes“.

Nature of Awards
The purpose of the awards is to give experience of research to undergraduates with research potential and to encourage them to consider a career in scientific research.
The awards provide support for the student at a rate of £200 per week for a period of between 6 and 8 weeks.The closing date for receipt of applications is 5pm Thursday 9th April 2020.
Interested students can identify potential host supervisors for this scheme by searching our Supervisor Bank

Eligibility                                                              

  • Applications are made by researchers who are members of the British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (BSGCT) on behalf of a named undergraduate student who is also a BSGCT member.
  • Researchers in the field of gene therapy at universities and research institutions within the UK are eligible to apply.
  • Applications from BSGCT Industry members will be considered if they can secure funding for 50% of the proposed studentship.
  • Projects must be focused on gene and cell therapy. Subject areas include non-viral gene therapy, viral gene therapy, immunotherapy, monogenic and hereditary disease, stem cells, cancer and oncolytics, cardiovascular/ocular disease and vectorology or genetic vaccines. Postdoctoral researchers and new lecturers, early in their careers are also encouraged to apply, and should note this on the application form, as they will benefit from an early career researcher uplift in score.
  • Only one application should be submitted by a supervisor.
  • Preference will be given to host supervisors who have not previously been awarded a BSGCT URB grant in previous rounds of the scheme.
  • Strictly no more than two awards will be made to an individual department or subject area within multidisciplinary departments or schools. Please bear in mind that this is a national scheme with a limited number of bursaries. 
  • Students will take up the award during the summer vacation in their penultimate year (i.e. 2/3 or 3/4) of their degree. Applications on behalf of first- or final-year undergraduates, or graduates, will not be considered.
  • Medical students, and medical students studying for intercalated science degrees, are not eligible for these awards.
  • Mature students are eligible to apply, but must not have a previous degree in any subject.
  • Students must be registered at a UK institution for the majority of their undergraduate science degree.
  • Bursaries will not be awarded for projects that are a part of degree work or for work which will take place overseas.

How to Apply
The application must be made by the person who will supervise the research and not the student. However, supervisors should discuss the project in detail with the nominated student who should also contribute to the project design. Applications must be on the new form for 2020 which can be downloaded here.

Interested students can identify potential host supervisors for this scheme by searching our Supervisor Bank

Please read our guidelines before making an enquiry or completing an application form.

Completed applications with all the relevant signatures should be sent by email to careers@bsgct.org with URB 2020 in the subject heading.

The closing date for receipt of applications is midnight Thursday 9th April 2020 and all applications will be acknowledged by e-mail to Supervisors by Friday 17th April 2020. Decisions will be communicated to Supervisors by mid-May 2020.

View GuidelinesDownload Application FormDownload Final Report Template

If you have any queries please contact Linda Popplewell on careers@bsgct.org.

Previous Winners

2019 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicants for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2019.  Congratulations to:

Hester Chu, UCL School of Pharmacy, who undertook a summer project entitled “Developing AAV for gene therapy for ACTA2 vascular disorder” under the supervision of Dr Joanne Ng at the UCL EGA Institute for Women’s Health.

Holly Ellard, University of Bath, who undertook a summer project entitled “Developing AAV-mediated gene transfer into human saphenous vein bypass grafts” under the supervision of Prof Andrew Baker at the University of Edinburgh.

2018 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicant for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2018.  Congratulations to:

Wojciech Lason, University College London (UCL) who will undertake a summer project entitled “Quantifying the immune checkpoint signalling landscape in cancer for improved predictions of response to immunotherapy” under the supervision of Dr.Maria Secrier at University College London (UCL).

BSGCT would like to take this opportunity to wish the successful student and supervisors all the best for their summer research projects. Details of the 2019 scheme will be announced in January 2019.

2017 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicant for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2017.  Congratulations to:

Andrei Claudiu Cozmescu, University College London (UCL) who will undertake a summer project entitled “Setting up a potency assay for the development of a gene therapy product for argininosuccinic aciduria” under the supervision of Dr. Dany Perocheau at University College London (UCL).

2016 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicant for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2016.  Congratulations to:

Rivani Shah, University College London (UCL) who will undertake a summer project entitled “An evaluation of lentiviral mediated gene delivery to Schwann cells for the purpose of tissue engineering” under the supervision of Dr Ahad Rahim at University College London (UCL).

2015 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicants for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2015
Congratulations to:

Marina Safeer, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) who will undertake a summer project entitled ” DNA self-assembled scaffold with dual functionality; cell and gene delivery platform” under the supervision of Dr Alvaro Mata at the Institute for Bioengineering, QMUL.

Jiayi Zhang, University College London who will undertake a summer project entitled “Synthetic viruses capsid design: new tools to improve nuclear transport of plasmid DNA” under the supervision of Professor Giuseppe Battaglia,University College London.

2014 Outcome

The BSGCT would like to congratulate the successful applicants for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme 2014
Congratulations to:

William Bennet, University of Portsmouth who will undertake a summer project entitled “Development of CRISPR/Cas technology for efficient site-specific integration of genes into the human genome” under the supervision of Professor Len Seymour at University of Oxford.

David Preston, University of Leeds who will undertake a summer project entitled “Investigating the potential role of circadian rhythm in adenovirus-mediated gene therapy” under the supervision of Professor Eric Blair at University of Leeds.

2013 Outcome

The BSGCT and Nuffield Foundation would like to congratulate the successful applicants for our Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme!

Congratulations to:

Natalie Cox, Cardiff University to be supervised by Dr Alan Parker at Cardiff University on a project entitled “Identification of cancer stem cell binding oligopeptides and incorporation into the Ad5 fiber region”

Yusef Eamon Badi, Queen Mary University to be supervised by Dr Petra Disterer at UCL on a project entitled “Treatment of Acromegaly using Growth Hormone Receptor Truncation by Alternative Splicing”

Benedikt Thomas Best, Imperial College to be supervised by Dr Claire Booth at UCL on a project entitled “Lineage restricted SAP transgene expression – development of a vector suitable for clinical trial in X-linked lymphoproliferative disease”

Thomas Watkins, Cardiff University to be supervised by Dr John Bridgeman at Cardiff University on a project entitled “Generation of CD8 variants for optimising adoptive T-cell therapy”.

2012 Outcome

The BSGCT and Nuffield Foundation would like to congratulate the successful applicants for our inaugural Undergraduate Research Placement Scheme!

Congratulations to;

Micheal McDonald, University of Glasgow who will undertake a summer project entitled “Role for the adenovirus hexon in gene transfer” under the supervision of Professor Andrew Baker at University of Glasgow.

Ellyn Hughes, Cardiff University who will undertake a summer project entitled “A critical comparison of T-cell receptor modifications for improving gene-modified autologous T-cell transfer” under the supervison of early career researcher Dr. John Bridgeman at Cardiff University.

Gary Duncan, University of Glasgow who will undertake a summer project entitled “In vivo and in vitro validation of haemogenic endothelial cell microRNA expression profile” with early career researcher Dr. Nicole Kane at the Institute of Child Health, UCL.

Katherine-Linsey Collins-Taylor, University of Glasgow who will undertake a summer project entitled “Assessment of genotoxic risk by computational analysis of lentiviral integration sites” with Dr Chris Boyd at the University of Edinburgh.