International Summer School

Independent research

Session 1 and 2

4+4 Mentored Independent Research
Module Code: IS260
Level: 6
2017 Syllabus [PDF]
This module allows you to undertake a mentored independent research project while studying abroad. You undertake four weeks of studying a Session 1 module, followed by four weeks of mentored research, supervised by the module tutor. Your research topic will grow out of your engagement with the module and the tutor, who will approve and supervise the independent research that follows. Ideally the research would involve some element of a site visit, data research such as using and working with relevant archives, libraries, databases and research sources, or a laboratory, and writing up of the work. Undertaking independent research develops your skills and ability, including your motivation, initiative, ability to Independent research Independent research define the problem, design the research, analyse the data, revise in the light of discoveries made and supervisor’s comments and generate a report or creative project and presentation. If you are attracted to the idea of mentored research, view our available session 1 modules. We hope to be able to offer this in a range of subjects including anthropology, art, business and management, English literature, history, media and psychology, but we may not be able to accommodate all requests. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 or above, and must submit their transcript and resume electronically to the International Summer School. In some cases we may be able to pair student and tutor beforehand to enable the research period to be of eight weeks duration.

Contact us at for assistance and more information.

Mike’s perspective

waddellEven though my area of interest and past research is in Physics and Mathematics, I was able to get a crash course in the science and beauty of the honey bee's waggle dance through many long and caffeine fueled discussions with Professor Ratnieks and the other members of the lab. We were able to diagnose and make steps toward solving a long standing problem in just a couple of months. The nature of science is that the need for discovery and room for progress is a never-ending process, and so of course the project was left incomplete. However, Professor Ratnieks and I have agreed to continue collaborating remotely on the outstanding problems we only began to address during my short time at Sussex.

In this way, doing research at the University of Sussex's International Summer School not only opened up a new field of research interests in my future career, but it also allowed me to make what I hope to be a long term friendship and academic partnership with a professor who is considered a preeminent expert in his field.

Mike Waddell
Florida International University, USA

Savannah’s perspective

miller 2My project was working with Dinosaur Ants in William Hughes lab assisting with Victoria Norman's PhD Dissertation. The project I worked on specifically focused on if there was consistency of behavior within ant colonies.

It will totally help to further my career by giving me research experience in the lab as well as practice with writing scientific papers. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to students because it allows them to try out a career path that they might be interested in without having to commit to it after college. You also learn so much and work so much harder than your originally anticipated - which might allow you to learn new things about yourself.

Savannah Miller
Berkeley, USA