Undergraduate research

The University of Sussex pioneers several schemes to encourage the development of talented and ambitious undergraduates into future research leaders

As a research-led university, we want to offer our most talented and ambitious undergraduates the chance to participate in our research community. We work closely with the British Conference of Undergraduate Research, and offer a variety of schemes and activities.

If you have a query regarding Undergraduate Research at Sussex, please email undergraduate-research@sussex.ac.uk.

The University of Sussex Junior Research Associate (JRA) scheme rewards academic excellence by supporting our best undergraduates during the summer vacation as they work alongside Sussex’s top research faculty on real-life research projects. This pioneering scheme gives talented undergraduates who consider a career in research the opportunity to get research experience.

The Doctoral School offers a number of JRA bursaries worth up to £1,800 each for talented and ambitious undergraduates to participate in original research during the summer vacation. JRAs are expected to seriously consider post-graduate research and the scheme aims to help them realise this ambition. Find out more about who is eligible for the scheme, and how to apply.

Through the International Junior Research scheme, we provide opportunities for our partner institutions to send undergraduate researchers to the University of Sussex to undertake research projects and build peer-to-peer relationships with the University’s Junior Research Associates.  Undergraduates from overseas may also be interested in some of our International Summer School offers.

Alongside the JRA scheme, the Sussex Undergraduate Research Associate (SURA) scheme encourages First-Generation Scholar students to explore and realise the possibility of postgraduate studies and a research career. The SURA scheme is part of the University’s commitment to widening participation.

JRA Scheme - video

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"The JRA scheme allowed one of the most rewarding experiences in my academic career. I studied honey bees in the new £250,000 bee and social insect lab for ten weeks over the summer, loving every minute. I carried out original research [which] I'm hoping to publish soon in a scientific journal. The scheme catapulted me into real-life research with real-life animals, and thus I now feel more confident overall as a student, as well as having a much clearer idea of the career I want to pursue. When you take part in this scheme, its not just research you undertake; you understand your degree topic from many further angles, you see how your university functions, and you make contacts and friends invaluable to your academic success."

Heather Moore - JRA (Biology)

The University’s Research and Enterprise Services Division supports faculty in bidding for summer undergraduate graduate research placements.  We are grateful for the support received from the following organisations: The Wellcome Trust, Royal Astronomical Society, Biochemical Society, Alzheimer’s Society, Royal Society of Chemistry and Action on Hearing Loss. 

The programmes are funded from a variety of sources, but we would particularly like to acknowledge the support of our alumni. You can support Undergraduate Research at Sussex through our Alumni & Development Team.  We would also like to recognise the work of the British Conference of Undergraduate Research  in driving forward this agenda in the UK and are proud to be represented on its steering committee.