Applicants aged under 18 years
We welcome applications from students under 18 years who are part of the Nuffield Research Placements Scheme (previously Nuffield Science Bursaries). Over 1000 bursaries are awarded per year, for students to work alongside practicing scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Projects take place during the summer holidays, giving students an insight into the world of scientific research and development.
Students in the first year of a post-16 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) course are eligible to apply for a bursary of £80 per week to support them during their project. Placements are available across the UK, in universities, industry or research institutions (including the Institute of Neuroscience) and are organised through regional coordinators. The length of placements can vary, but is usually six weeks.
Unfortunately we are not able to take students on for very short periods, such as a week.
Applicants aged 18 years and over
If you are over 18, have or are in university education and are looking to move into research we may be able to offer you an unpaid internship so you can gain some experience. If successful, you would be offered the opportunity to work voluntarily as a research assistant to gain specific research experience. Your hours and days of work would be flexible and the length of the placement would be negotiated with your academic supervisor.
If you are interested in applying for an internship, send a short (no more than 500 words) personal statement and current CV to email@example.com. In your personal statement you should outline your background in neuroscience or related subjects, the area(s) of neuroscience that you are interested in pursuing and why. Include when you are available to carry out the internship and the approximate time you can devote to it, ie full / part time etc. You can find out what areas of research we specialise in on our Research pages.
Once we have received your personal statement and CV, we will forward this information onto our academics. Placements are not guaranteed and would be dependent on the availability and interests of our academics. Occasionally we may actively recruit for an internship position, in which case it will be advertised here. If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work undertaken by interns often contribute to published papers.
Would you like the chance to study in a Neuroscience Institute which is ranked as one of the top 10 in the UK? Each year we offer a summer school scheme for current undergraduate students who want to learn more about Neuroscience research techniques. Perhaps you are considering a career in research after you graduate but want to learn more?
We are a diverse Institute with many different research groups, these include: animal welfare and comparative neuroscience, human behaviour and evolution, audition, vision, motor control, neurological conditions such as epilepsy, psychiatry, psychology, autism, stroke, ageing and neurogeneration, motor control and mitochondrial disease. You can find more information on these and many others on our research pages.
If accepted you will be placed into one of our research groups for 6-8 weeks. This will allow you to gain a detailed insight into one area of Neuroscience research. You will participate in the on going research projects and experience a real research environment. You might even contribute to published papers.
There is a program of taught sessions which will teach you about different areas of Neuroscience, different techniques and methods, and the basics of research. These sessions are specifically designed to for summer students and it is expected that all summer students will attend these. You can also attend the various Institute talks and seminars.
If you would like the opportunity to come and study in our Institute which is ranked within the top 10 in the UK then please contact us using the details below. You will learn valuable new skills and gain a better understanding of how research works.
The scheme lasts 6-8 weeks.
You must attend a Health and Safety induction at the start of you placement.
We accept applications from both Newcastle students and those at other Institutions.
How to apply
We receive many applications each year and cannot take on all those that apply. We advise you to start applying in October / November. To be considered for a place at the summer school please take a look at our research pages and our list of academic staff. If there is a supervisor you are keen to study with please contact them directly.
If you are unsure who to contact please get in touch via email email@example.com and we will be happy to help you. Please include your current CV and a covering letter / personal statement. This should include details of any relevant experience you have and any specific areas of interest in neuroscience. This will help us to match you with a suitable supervisor.
If you are offered a place over the summer you will be responsible for covering all costs; accommodation, transport and general living expenses. The Institute cannot offer funding for the summer school but other organisations do, here is a list of some of them.
Unfortunately we are not able to offer financial support for internships. If offered a place you will be responsible for paying your expenses whilst you are here such as accommodation, travel and living costs.
A number of organisations do offer bursaries to undergraduate students taking on a summer placement. Schemes often have eligibility criteria so please check these carefully. Below is a list of some of the available schemes, this is not a complete list and there may be others available.
The deadlines are usually early in the year. The application forms often ask for a project outline and named supervisor, so we advise you to start the process as soon as possible; and ideally contact a supervisor before Christmas.
Use the links below for more information on each scheme:
- Action on Hearing Loss
- Alzheimer's Society
- Anatomical Society
- Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour Undergraduate Project Scholarships
- Biochemical Society
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Reseach Council (BBSRC)
- British Pharmacological Society
- British Psychological Society
- British Society for Neuroendocrinology
- Experimental Psychology Society Undergraduate Research Bursary Scheme
- Newcastle University Vacation Scholarships
- Pathological Society
- Society for Endocrinology
- The Physiological Society Undergraduate Vacation Studentship Scheme
- Universities Federation for Animal Welfare Student Scholarship
- Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarships
Students based outside the UK
Many of the schemes listed above are only open to UK students. If you are at an Institution outside the UK we recommend speaking to your administrator. Many have funding for their students to pursue research placements abroad.
Many students and interns contribute to work which is published in scientific journals or presented at conferences.
Published paper: Mukaetova-Ladinska EB, Abdel-All Z, Mugica ES, Li M, Craggs LJ, Oakley AE, Honer WG, Kalaria RN. Tau proteins in the temporal and frontal cortices in patients with vascular dementia. JNeuropathol Exp Neurol. 2015 Feb;74(2):148-57.
ES Mugica was an undergraduate summer student in Dr Mukaetova-Ladinska's group in 2014.
Poster prize: Roshni Bhudia a summer student with Mark Cunningham and Stuart Watson in 2014 won best poster presentation at the Royal College of Psychiatrists General Adult Psychiatry conference with their project on the effects of antipsychotic mediations on NMDA receptor function. She also won the medical student prize at the Encephalitis society.
Published paper: Read JCA, Begum SF, McDonald A, & Trowbridge J (2013) The binocular advantage in visuomotor tasks involving tools. i-Perception 4(2); 101-110.
SF Begum and A McDonald were Nuffield summer students. J Trowbridge was a local sixth former.
Published paper: Baron AW, Rushton SP, Rens N, Morris CM, Blain PG, & Judge SJ (2013) Sex differences in effects of low level domoic acid exposure. NeuroToxicology 34; 1-8.
N Rens was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.
Published paper: Nettle D, Harper Z, Kidson A, Stone R, Penton-Voak IS & Bateson M (2013). The watching eyes effect in the Dictator Game: It's not how much you give, it's being seen to give something. Evolution and Human Behavior 34; 35-40.
Z Harper, A Kidson, R Stone and I.S. Penton-Voak were all 3rd year Psychology project students.
Published paper: Read JCA, Robson JH, Smith CL, Lucas AD (2012) The scintillating grid illusion is enhanced by binocular viewing, i-Perception 3(10); 820-830.
JH Robson was a 3rd-year Biomedical Sciences project student. CL Smith was a 3rd-year Physiology project student. AD Lucas was a Nuffield summer student.
Published paper: Nazarpour K, Barnard A, Jackson A, (2012) Flexible cortical control of task-specific muscle synergies. Journal of Neuroscience 32(36); 12349-60.
A Barnard was a 3rd year Biomedical Sciences project student.
Published paper: Powell KL, Roberts G & Nettle D (2012). Eye images increase charitable donations: Evidence from an opportunistic field experiment in a supermarket. Ethology 118(11); 1096-1101.
KL Powell was a 3rd year Applied Biology project student.
Conference presentation: Maccione A, Hennig MH, Gandolfo M, Muthmann O, Down M, van Coppenhagen J, Jones A, Eglen SJ, Berdondini L, Sernagor E (2012) Following the assembly of functional circuitry: high resolution large-scale population neuronal dynamics in the neonatal mouse retina. 8th Int. Meeting on Substrate-Integrated Microelectrodes, ISBN 2194-5519.
A Jones was a 3rd year Biomedical sciences project student.
Published paper: Ernest-Jones M, Nettle D & Bateson M (2011) Effects of eye images on everyday cooperative behavior: a field experiment. Evolution and Human Behavior 32; 172-8.
M Ernest-Jones was a 3rd year Psychology project student.
Published paper: Basu AP, Pearse J, Kirkpatrick EV, Ling ITC, Tan GSL, Eyre JA (2011) Raising awareness of the myth of the “unaffected hand” in childhood hemiplegia. Pediatric Research 70(5); 152.
ITC Ling and GSL Tan were both Medical students.
Published paper: Ling ITC, Basu AP, Kisler J, Kelly S, Gibson M, Pang K (2011) Is Botulinum Toxin A (BTXA) to calf muscles as effective for children with Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis as for those with cerebral palsy? Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 53(S3); 25 (PMID: 21618729).
ITC Ling was a Medical student.
Published paper: Serrano-Pedraza I, Manjunath V, Osunkunle O, Clarke MP, Read JCA (2011) Visual suppression in intermittent exotropia during binocular alignment Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science 52(5) 2352-2364.
Osunkunle was a local lad studying medicine at Cambridge who did an internship in my lab over the summer.
Published paper: Read JCA, Vaz X, Serrano-Pedraza I (2011) Independent mechanisms for bright and dark image features in a stereo correspondence task. Journal of Vision 11(12):4 1-14.
X Vaz was a 3rd-year Physiology project student.
Published paper: Gartside SE, Speers SA (2011) Effects of mephedrone on monoamine release in the brain: Comparison with D-amphetamine. Journal of psychopharmacology 25(8); Sup A40-A40.
SA Speers was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.
Published paper: Bateson M, Desire S, Gartside SE, Wright GA (2011) Agitated honeybees exhibit pessimistic cognitive biases. Current Biology 21(12); 1070-3. PubMed PMID: 21636277; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3158593.
S Desire was a 3rd year Biology project student.
Published paper: Holland SM, & Smulders TV, (2011) Do humans use episodic memory to solve a What-Where-When memory task? Animal Cognition 14, 95-102. DOI: 10.1007/s10071-010-0346-5.
SM Holland was a 3rd year Psychology project student.
Published paper: Watts G, & Nettle D (2010) The role of anxiety in vaginismus: A case-control study. Journal of Sexual Medicine 7: 143-8.
G Watts was a 3rd year Psychology project student.
Published paper: Zinkivskay A, Nazir F, & Smulders TV (2009) What-Where-When memory in magpies (Pica pica). Animal Cognition 12, 119-125.
F Nazir was both a summer intern and Psychology project student.
Published paper: Basu AP, Tan GSL, French MI, Kirkman M, Biagi L, Tosetti M, Cioni G, & Eyre JA (2009) Can acquired prosopagnosia (“face blindness”) be cured? European Journal of Paediatric Neurology 13(S1), P346.
G Tan was a summer intern funded by the Wellcome Trust vacation. M French was a summer intern funded by the Newcastle University scheme.
Published paper: Gartside SE, Griffith NC, Kaura V, Ingram CD (2010) The neurosteroid dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its metabolites alter 5-HT neuronal activity via modulation of GABAA receptors. Journal of Psychopharmacology 24(11); 1717-24. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 19493957.
NC Griffith was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.
Published paper: Stanger HL, Alford R, Jane DE, & Cunningham MO (2008) The role of GLU K5-containing kainate receptors in entorhinal cortex gamma frequency oscillations. Neural Plasticity Volume 2008, Article ID 401645.
HL Stanger was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.
Published paper: Gartside SE, Cole AJ, Williams AP, McQuade R, Judge SJ (2007) AMPA and NMDA receptor regulation of firing activity in 5-HT neurons of the dorsal and median raphe nuclei. European Journal of Neuroscience 25(10); 3001-8. Epub 2007 May 17. PubMed PMID: 17509083.
AJ Cole was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.
Published paper: Judge SJ, Young RL, Gartside SE (2006) GABA(A) receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing in the median raphe nucleus: implications for the action of anxiolytics. European Neuropsychopharmacololy 16(8); 612-9. Epub 2006 Mar 13. PubMed PMID: 16531019.
RL Young was a 3rd year Pharmacology project student.