Sussex Undergraduate Research Office

Interested in Applying?

Virtual JRA projects conducted online will be considered for the JRA scheme in 2023. If you'd like to undertake a JRA virtually this must be discussed with your potential supervisor and agreed before your application is submitted.

Applications are open from 13 February to 17.00 on Monday 27 March 2023.
If you missed the application writing session you can watch the recording to help with writing a successful application. 

Due to industrial action taking place in the lead up to the JRA application submission date of 27 March, we advise you to speak to your supervisor and academic referee as soon as possible so you can submit your JRA application.  If there is a delay with the reference or statement these can be followed up after the deadline once your application is submitted.

About the scheme

The Junior Research Associate (JRA) scheme allows selected undergraduate students to take part in a summer research project under the guidance of an academic. It lasts eight weeks and gives you a taste of working in a research role at Sussex.

Who can apply

The JRA scheme is open to students from all Schools and subjects, including Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). Students must be in the middle year(s) of their undergraduate degree. Both UK and international students at the University of Sussex can apply.

The scheme is competitive, so it is important to put time and effort into your application. Good luck!

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Before applying, you should make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme.

JRAs must:

  • be an undergraduate student at the University of Sussex (including integrated Masters students)
  • be in their middle year of study (i.e. have completed one year of study and are not in their final year)
  • have a genuine interest in pursuing postgraduate study
  • have a good academic track record.

If you match the criteria above you are eligible for the scheme. You can send an email to with any questions regarding the application process.

Step 2: Get to know the scheme

The next thing to do is to familiarise yourself with the JRA Terms and Conditions 2023 [DOCX 182.99KB]. This will give you a clear idea of how the scheme works and what will be expected of you.

You should also watch the recording of the information session for the 2023 JRA Scheme to hear from previous JRA students and supervisors on the benefits of taking part. 

Step 3: Find a supervisor

Depending on your subject area and research interests, you might decide to either join an existing research project or propose your own research project. Either way, you will need to identify an academic who is willing to act as your supervisor for an eight-week period over the summer.

To join an existing research project, you should approach faculty in your department to learn what research projects are currently underway on campus and whether you are able to join any of these as a JRA.

If you are hoping to propose your own project, you should look for academics who have research interests similar to your own. When you have identified a suitable faculty member, you might wish to approach them to find out if they have the capacity to act as a JRA supervisor over the summer, and if they would be willing to supervise your research project.

Some past JRAs have found it useful to approach a potential supervisor with a clearly developed and refined research proposal. Doing so will allow you to ‘pitch’ your idea to the academic. Alternatively, other past JRAs have approached potential supervisors with a looser idea of what they would like to study – a certain subject perhaps, or key themes – and have asked for their advice. This allows the academic to ensure that the research also interests them and is something they feel comfortable supervising.

How you approach your potential supervisor will depend on your previous relationship with them, as well as on the type of research you wish to undertake. This is an important part of the JRA process, and something you should think about carefully. We know this part of the process might sound daunting, so we’ve put together some guidance. If you're thinking of proposing your own project, see our Guidelines for approaching a supervisor [PDF, 154.32KB]

Step 4: Prepare a project proposal

Once you have identified your supervisor and your research question, it is time to write your research proposal. This should be no longer than 1,500 words and should be checked by your potential supervisor. We understand that in some disciplines where you are joining an existing research project, it is necessary for the supervisor to write the research proposal. In that case we ask you to write an additional statement reflecting on the importance of the research, the wider context, and why you feel the research needs to be undertaken.

When you are finished your proposal, be sure to proofread it! Once you are completely happy with it, it needs to be added to a completed JRA application form via CareerHub (see the Application Pack). 

Examples of previous application forms (note the form has been updated slightly for 2023): 

Step 5: Compile additional documents

A complete JRA application consists of four documents - see Application Pack for the forms:

  • A completed JRA application form via CareerHub which will include your research proposal along with a research summary (no more than 150 words) and an optional Widening Participation statement (see FAQs for more details). If you are applying for a project based in BSMS, please ensure you apply using the separate BSMS application form.
  • A Supervisor Statement to be completed by your JRA supervisor.
  • Your current academic CV (to be not more than two A4 pages in length).
  • An Academic Reference to be completed by an academic (not necessarily your potential supervisor) who knows you well and is able to comment on your previous academic performance. 

It is your responsibility to ensure that your supervisor and referee are aware of these forms, and that they complete them by the application deadline.

If your supervisor or academic referee does not want to disclose their letter it can be sent directly to

The application form is now online and open from 13 Febraury until 17.00 on Monday 27 March 2023.

Step 6: Submit your application

Applications must be received by the day and time specified – any applications that arrive after that deadline will not be considered. 

All applications must be submitted by the student. Supervisors and referees are permitted to send their statements directly, however they should not submit applications.

All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by mid-May 2023


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