The University of Sussex International Junior Research Associate (IJRA) Scheme is a pioneering programme which aims to develop future research leaders from strategic international partners.
A small cohort of talented and ambitious undergraduate students are given the opportunity to work alongside Sussex academics for eight weeks on a real-life summer research project. The scheme supports peer-to-peer relationships between leading Sussex faculty and high-achieving undergraduates considering a research career. The scheme was successfully expanded in 2014 to support the university’s strategic international partners, building on emerging collaborations for teaching and research. In 2016 Sussex hosted eight IJRA students from institutional partners, and in 2017 hopes to host up to 15.
The Sussex IJRA programme is a non-credit bearing programme intended to provide beneficial research experience in preparation for future PhD study; build connections between talented international researchers and Sussex faculty; and strengthen links between Sussex and its strategic partners. Where possible, we would like to encourage reciprocal arrangements.
- Overview and duration of the scheme
The International JRA scheme is run in collaboration with the International Summer School and runs for eight weeks during the summer vacation. The dates for the 2017 scheme will be from Monday 19 June to Friday 11 August 2017. We recommend students arrive for Saturday 17 June 2017. Sussex will provide on campus accommodation for the duration of the scheme.
Whilst at Sussex, the IJRA students are categorised as a small cohort of high achieving international research students. However, the students have the opportunity to meet both international and UK students participating in the International Summer School and other Junior Research Associate schemes at Sussex. Additionally, the IJRA scheme provides support and training to develop the IJRAs’ academic and research skills. Some of the IJRA social opportunities and training activities include:
- A University reception where students deliver a presentation about their research to Sussex colleagues including IJRA supervisors and Senior Management
- A workshop to support the creation of an academic poster summarising the research undertaken over the summer, to be displaced at an undergraduate research poster exhibition on campus in the Autumn term
- An introduction to postgraduate study session exploring consideration of further study
- An introductory session with the Sussex library research team and admission to the Sussex Research HIVE, a designated area for researchers, for the duration of the scheme
- Bi-monthly informal catch ups with the scheme coordinators
- Dinner with Sussex coordinators and supervisors
- A celebration event for all undergraduate researchers at Sussex over the summer including a barbeque, quiz, and ‘research speed dating’ networking session
- Information for Institutional Partners
Sussex will contact selected institutional partners inviting them to participate in and publicise the International JRA scheme to interested students in December.
Sussex offers the following support to its institutional partners:
- Up to two student places available for each partner institution
- Training to support the creation of an academic poster summarising the research undertaken over the summer
- Waiving the International JRA programme fee. Students will need to provide funding to support their subsistence and living costs for eight weeks;
- Provide suitable on campus accommodation at our Falmer campus, located 10 minutes from Brighton by train;
- Support students to participate in selected International Summer School social activities
- Provide appropriate academic advice, orientation and attend to the welfare needs of students during the programme;
- Identify a range of research areas that we can supervise. All being well, this will be expanded and we would like to work with partners to identify particular research areas interested in developing further;
- Where possible we would very much like to reciprocate, by sending similar numbers of our students to partner institutions over the next few years and we are keen to hear as to how we might support this objective. This might be in the form of Sussex supporting up to two students to attend a Summer School or cultural or language programme offered to international students;
- We would like to evaluate student’s participation in the scheme, to give feedback, in the same manner as home students, wherever practicable; and
- Provide an official report on each International JRA student at the completion of the scheme.
Further information for and about Sussex institutional partners can be found on the International Partnership Office webpages.
- Nomination and Selection Procedure
Sussex will write to institutional partners inviting them to promote International JRA research projects to students. We recognise that a number of students may be interested in the scheme and we ask partners to run an internal competition to identify the most suitable candidates (one to two for each project) for nomination to Sussex.
Nominations are to be sent to Julie Carr, University of Sussex JRA Programme Manager, (email@example.com), by the 1 March and are to include:
- Personal statement
- English language qualification
- Academic transcript
- Brief example of written work, ideally project report
- Future career interests
Please note that students may also be required to have a Skype interview with their supervisor to discuss their suitability for the research project.
Sussex will confirm successful candidates by the beginning of May.
- Entry Requirements
In order for students to be admitted to the International JRA scheme we require that nominees meet the following:
- English language requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in each section or equivalent qualification listed on our English language requirements pages
- Students must be in their middle years of academic study at the partner institution i.e. have completed one year of study and not be in their final year
- Be high academic achievers. We would expect a GPA of 3.0 or equivalent in year 1 of study
- Students should be able to demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in research
- Any research project pre-requisites, as detailed in project outline descriptions provided by Sussex
Students may be required to apply for a short term study visa for entry to the UK. Further information can be found on the Sussex International Student webpages.
- More Information
For more information about the International JRA scheme, or for exploring reciprocal arrangements, please contact Julie Carr, University of Sussex JRA Programme Manager firstname.lastname@example.org or Georgie Chesman, International Partnerships Officer email@example.com.
Further information for and about Sussex institutional partners can be found on the International Partnerships Office webpages.
"The IJRA scheme has allowed me to discover my passion for commercial law while giving me the opportunity to explorative. As a young person, I believe the IJRA experience is a wonderful opportunity anyone could wish for."
Precious Fasanya Wuraola, University of Lagos, IJRA student 2016