Department of Anthropology


Calling all academics: Applications for Sussex’s Junior Research Associate scheme opening soon

Applications will soon open for Sussex’s annual Junior Research Associate (JRA) scheme.

This pioneering programme gives outstanding undergraduate Sussex students the chance to undertake an eight-week research project, working alongside a supervisor, over the summer break.

Each student taking part in the scheme will receive a bursary of £1,600, plus a £200 allowance for research expenses, to allow them to work full-time on their research. In 2017, nearly 100 undergraduates researched a staggering array of topics, several of which are now becoming academic papers.

We are currently looking for academics to act as supervisors this summer. Supervising does require a time commitment (which naturally varies by discipline) but offers significant rewards.

Here is some of the feedback we received from last year’s supervisors:

  • “Excellent, really rewarding. I believe the JRA has killer value in discovery and recruiting new PhD students.”
  • “The JRA scheme is an excellent way of finding out whether someone is suited to research, and vice versa for the student to find out whether research work suits them. On a previous occasion I gained an excellent student, who subsequently became my PhD student and later postdoc.”
  • “Advantages: finding out the answer to research questions that I don't have time to investigate by myself; learning new things from the students; watching them develop as independent researchers.”

We would be grateful if you could share news of the scheme, and encourage your students to apply.

They can either formulate their own projects or undertake a clearly defined piece of research within the context of a larger existing research project already under way at Sussex.

Each project should have clearly defined aims, and the student should possess the ability to influence the direction and outcome; a JRA should not merely be a research assistant.

We have heard from our past supervisors that guiding a JRA project can be extremely rewarding. For example, if you lead an existing research project, or you are independently researching an upcoming article or book, a funded, high-achieving undergraduate can help you approach areas you might not currently have the capacity to explore, and also bring a fresh perspective to familiar questions.

There is also, of course, a real satisfaction to be gained simply from supervising a top undergraduate as they research their passions over summer. The JRA scheme is often a transformative experience for the students involved, many of whom go on to future MA or PhD study.

Applications for the scheme open on 1 February 2018. If you are interested in taking part, visit our web pages for more information, and email Dean Brooks ( with any questions.


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Posted on behalf of: Sussex Undergraduate Research Office
Further information:
Last updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2018