E4 Doctoral Training Partnership

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).

Applications are now closed for Summer 2021. NERC usually announces REP funding towards February for the following Summer. This page will be updated in early 2022, as soon as we have information about next years' scheme.

Placement Details, Funding and Reporting

  • We have 5 REPs available for the Summer 2021.
  • Placements duration is 6 or 7 weeks over the summer vacation period (mid-June to the end of August). They include 4 or 4.5 days of annual leave which will have to be taken in agreement with the project supervisor.
  • Placements are paid at the University grade UE03 (£345.38 per week).
  • Placements can be undertaken full- or part-time.
  • There is no additional cost available for relocation.
  • Students will need to be in the UK (no remote placements from abroad).
  • The student and the project supervisor at the host organisation 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).
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 2 onwards;
  • Be applying for a placement in a different department to their undergraduate degree;
  • Be eligible for subsequent NERC PhD funding, i.e. be either:
    • an UK citizen OR 
    • an EU citizen with pre- or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme OR 
    • a non-EU citizen who have 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 2021

Important notes regarding eligibility

  • To international applicants with no current UK student visa: REPs do not meet the requirements for a visa request therefore non-UK students who are not currently studying and living in the UK and who don't have a suitable UK visa are NOT eligible to apply.
  • To applicants (UK and non-UK) with a valid UK student visa but not currently in the UK: We will accept applications from students who are currently enrolled on a UG degree in a UK Higher Education Institution (and therefore should have a  student visa valid until at least September 2021 if they are non-UK) but who are not currently in the UK, on the condition that they have, at the time of their application, arrangements in place to come back to the UK in time for the placement to start. Please check the latest University and Government guidance regarding travelling to the UK (note that the University will need to know you are coming back and why in order to give a formal approval and that quarantines are still in place when entering Scotland from outside the UK) before booking any flights and submitting your application. We will check your situation when reviewing your application.

Intention to travel | The University of Edinburgh

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on travel and transport - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Application Process

Applications for the summer REPs 2021 are now closed. The application forms will be available again when the next round of applications opens.

REP scheme repurposing 2021

NERC has repurposed the REP scheme this year 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 supervisor but will be looked at by the REP panel after the supervisor shortlists their preferred candidates. The REP panel might 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 apply via the University job vacancy system (link below), providing the following documents:

  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
  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 form, which are removed) and nominate up to 3 candidates
  3. The REP panel reviews the applications against the following criteria: marks, fit to project and interest in environmental topics. The panel also looks at the Widening Participation information available for each applicant who has returned the WP form, with the aim of prioritising candidates from under-represented groups, as instructed by NERC.

Successful candidates will be notified by early June.

Available Research Projects

REP projects on offer for Summer 2022 will be posted here when the next year's application round opens.


If you have any questions on the scheme please email e4dtp.info@ed.ac.uk