URC/IAS Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Internship Scheme (IRIS)


As a catalyst for promoting new interdisciplinary research across the University, the University Research Committee (URC) offers around 20 research internships to undergraduate (UG) students to undertake interdisciplinary research projects (IRPs) over the summer.


Any UG students registered at the University of Bristol, not in the first or final year of study, may apply to undertake an IRP co-supervised by an academic member of staff in the school or department in which they are registered for their degree (home school or department) and an academic member of staff in another school or department, with a different research background to that of the home supervisor. Applications for research projects co-supervised by academic members of staff in different faculties are particularly welcomed.

Description of internship

Successful UG applicants will carry out the IRP during the summer vacation. The standard length of the research project will be eight weeks. Students registered for a course with a shorter summer vacation, e.g. medics, may carry out a shorter than eight week research project, and should specify this on the application.

Successful applicants in 2017 received a bursary of £270 per week, based on an hourly rate of £7.70 per hour and a 35 hour working week. Students are expected to work full time on their IRP and they should not carry out any other paid work or hold any other scholarships for the duration of the project.

Research project

Interested undergraduates should first consider the research area that they would like to undertake the research project in. Information about research at the University can be found on research web-pages and via the Explore Bristol Research portal.

Students should then develop a brief project outline for the research project they would like to undertake. In developing the project outline, students should consider which academic member(s) of staff in their home school or department and which academic member(s) of staff in another school or department may be interested in co-supervising the research project. Students should ensure that project ideas are discussed with the potential co-supervisors at an early stage.

Application process

To apply, students must complete and return the URC/IAS IRIS Application Form (Office document, 66kB), along with a copy of their academic transcript. The form must be signed by the two academic members of staff prepared to co-supervise the project if the application is successful.

The next deadline is Friday 16th March 2018

Selection criteria

Applications will be reviewed by members of the URC. The Committee will base its judgement on the academic merit of the applicant and the research proposal and will also consider the extent to which the research project will potentially act as a catalyst to promote new interdisciplinary research at the University.

Project presentation

In the autumn term 2017, successful applicants will be asked to present their project to the other students and supervisors, and senior members of the University, in academic poster format and as a short oral presentation. Presentations may be videoed for promotional purposes. Further information, training, and templates for posters, will be provided to successful applicants.


[n.b. these deadlines have passed but we include them here for reference]

Deadline for submission of application forms:  

Friday 17 March 2017
Review and selection of projects by University Research Committee Thursday 13 April 2017
Briefing session, to include presentation skills training June 2017 (tbc)
Interdisciplinary research project (up to 8 weeks duration – see above) Summer vacation 2017 (Monday 12 June 2017 to Friday 15 September 2017)
Submission of posters and presentations
poster template (Office document, 26kB)
Summary slide presentation (max. 2 slides, 2 minutes) 
Friday 15 September 2017
Project presentation afternoon Monday 2 October 2017

Any general queries about applying to the scheme should be sent to the Interdisciplinary Internships Mailbox (interdisciplinary-internships@bristol.ac.uk)