´╗┐International Junior Research Associate (IJRA) Scheme

Each year a small cohort of talented and ambitious undergraduate students from our institutional partners 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 supports the university’s strategic international partners, building on emerging collaborations for teaching and research.

In 2017 Sussex hosted eighteen IJRA students from institutional partners.

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 institutional partners. Where possible, we would like to encourage reciprocal arrangements.

Learn more about the international undergraduate research scheme

Overview and duration of the scheme

The Sussex IJRA programme is a non-credit bearing programme providing real-life research experience with leading Sussex faculty in preparation for future PhD study.

The scheme is run in collaboration with the International Summer School over eight weeks during the summer break. The 2018 scheme will run from Saturday 23 June (arrivals day) to Saturday 18 August and is only open to students at selected institutional partners.

The IJRA students are a small cohort of high achieving international research students. The scheme provides support and training to develop the IJRAs’ academic and research skills as well as social opportunities.

For IJRA students, Sussex will:

  • waive the programme fee
  • provide on-campus accommodation for the duration of the scheme
  • cover the costs of some International Summer School social programme activities.

Students will need to provide funding to support their subsistence and living costs for eight weeks. A guide to living costs at Sussex can be found here.

Students will be required to present their research, complete a project report and provide information about their participation on the scheme to successfully complete and receive an official report of completion.

Information for Institutional Partners

Sussex offers the following support to its institutional partners:

  • Identifying research areas that we can supervise. We would like to work with partners to identify particular research areas interested in developing further;
  • Waiving the International JRA programme fee. Students will need to provide funding to support their subsistence and living costs for eight weeks;
  • Training to support academic and research skills
  • Provide suitable on campus accommodation
  • 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;
  • Evaluate student’s participation in the scheme to provide an official report upon completion
  • 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;

Further information for and about Sussex institutional partners can be found on the International Partnership Office webpages.

Entry requirements and nomination procedure

The scheme is only open to students from selected institutional partners. Institutional partners will promote the opportunity to students and nominate applications to Sussex for review.

In order for students to be nominated to the International JRA scheme, they must meet the following:

  • Where applicable, 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
  • be in the middle years of academic study 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
  • A demonstrable 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 Support webpages.

The following information is also required for nomination:

  • CV
  • Personal statement
  • English language qualification (where applicable)
  • 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.

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 j.l.carr@sussex.ac.uk or Georgie Chesman, International Partnerships Officer g.chesman@sussex.ac.uk.

Further information for and about Sussex institutional partners can be found on the International Partnerships Office webpages.

IJRA Precious


"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


Dr Erica Mancing jpg

"Over the summer we had the pleasure to host Thanadol, a JRA student from Mahidol University, Thailand. Thanadol fitted straight away into our team and, under our supervision, worked on understanding how interactions between DNA binding proteins drive the early differentiation of stem cells into red or white blood cells. In the process, Thanadol became proficient at a number of laboratory techniques that, we are sure, are going to benefit him in his future scientific career. Now back to his studies in Bangkok, Thanadol has written to us to say what a wonderful experience he has had here at Sussex. We were lucky to host Thanadol who, through the Sussex International JRA scheme, has contributed to our research."

Dr Erika Mancini, Mancini Lab, School of Life Sciences, IJRA supervisor 2016

Dr Mancini leads a team of researchers in the Mancini Lab, which work on the structural basis of gene expression regulation by chromatin and transcription factors. The lab is based in the Biochemistry and Biomedicine group in School of Life Sciences at Sussex.  Dr Mancini is also part of the Gene Expression Research Group comprising eight research groups spanning Life Science subject groups and the Brighton and Sussex Medical School with specialized state-of-the-art school and specific laboratory-based instrumentation underpinning the research. The Gene Expression Research group investigates all aspects of the regulation of gene expression, studying how the flow of information from DNA to protein is controlled.