University of Dundee

Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship Programme

The applications Portal is now closed for the 2022 Summer School


The School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee is delighted to offer Biomedical Vacation Scholarships funded by Wellcome. These awards provide promising undergraduates with valuable experience of working in real research laboratories during the summer vacation months, while being paid a salary. A key priority of this scheme is to provide research opportunities for groups that are currently underrepresented in postgraduate research. It is recognised nationally that that financial, socio-economic and other life circumstances can make it difficult for some to continue studying beyond an undergraduate degree. As such, we aim to award at least 50% of these scholarships to individuals meeting one or more of the criteria listed below.

Applicants who do not meet any of these criteria are still eligible to apply.

All applicants should note that there are also other vacation scholarship schemes open – details can be found on the menu bar on the right hand side.

Widening Participation Criteria

  • The postcode of your home address (during the final year of your secondary education) is in a Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) 20% zone. (You can find your postcode category at:
  • If the school that provided your secondary school education (during your final year) is on our priority list
  • Be in the first generation of your family to go to university (e.g. your (step)mother or (step)father did not go to University)
  • If your personal circumstances have been especially challenging.

For example: if you are or have been:

(i) looked after person (Care experienced);

(ii) someone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without your support;

(iii) Government refugee or asylum seeker.

For those studying at a University outside of Scotland, the following criteria will also apply

  • Studying at a Non-Russell group University (a list of Russell group Universities can be found here)

Fulfilling one or more of the criteria above will give your application a contextual flag and will be prioritised for funding.

If you are awarded a scholarship and have declared that you meet one or more of the criteria listed above you will be expected to evidence this.


We particularly encourage students from groups that are currently underrepresented in postgraduate research, including black and minority ethnic (BME) students and those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

1) You can apply for a Biomedical Vacation Scholarship if you're studying for an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject and you want to find out more about research in the biomedical sciences. Examples of relevant subjects include:

- science (including biological, biomedical, natural, computing or physical sciences)

- medicine

- dentistry

- veterinary medicine

- engineering

- mathematics.

2) The University where you are currently doing your undergraduate degree is in the UK or Republic of Ireland.

3) You are in the middle year(s) of your degree, and have not yet undertaken a substantial period of research (for example exclusions see below)*. You should typically be on track to achieve a final degree grade of a 2:1 or First degree.

*You must not:

- have previously undertaken a vacation scholarship from Wellcome or another funding body, or have had significant research experience 

- have completed or are currently undertaking an intercalated year

- have completed or are currently undertaking a one-year placement in research as part of your degree (e.g. a sandwich year)

- be a graduate-entry medical student who has completed a previous undergraduate degree in a science-related subject.

What support is provided?

  • A salary at the national living wage for a period of 6-8 weeks
  • Mentoring by experienced researchers
  • Participation in School of Life Sciences Summer School symposium
  • “Buddying” with an existing Wellcome funded PhD student
  • The host research group will be provided £500 towards the cost of materials and consumables for the project
  • Additional support (of up to £1500) to cover travel and accommodation expenses where required.
  • Eligibility to apply for additional funding under our Flexible Dependent Care Grant Scheme for those with primary care responsibilities (e.g. child care)

How to apply?

To be considered for funding all applicants must complete the University of Dundee Biomedical Vacation Scholarships 2021 application form. We welcome applications to work on a part-time basis- please indicate at point of application.

Part 1 of the application form will collect equality, diversity and inclusion information as well as information to inform whether candidates meet any of the widening participation criteria.  Candidates should note that this information will NOT be made available to those engaged in the vacation scholarship application shortlisting and interviews. The information will only be accessible by restricted administrative and programme staff. It will be used to flag applications that meet one or more of the widening access criteria. This will be shared with the shortlisting panel once all applications have been ranked and used to prioritse funding for underrepresented groups.

Part 2 of the application form gathers information about your research interests and motivation to participate in this scholarship scheme and will be used to rank applications.

Selection for participation in scheme

All applications will be assessed based on academic merit and potential to do research in biomedical sciences, as evidenced on academic record and answers provided in application form (e.g. motivation, contribution to host lab, skills to be gained).

We will be in touch on the outcome of your application by e-mail.