Sussex Undergraduate Research Office

Applying for the JRA scheme

The JRA scheme is open to undergraduate students from all schools and subjects, including Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

Applications Closed

Applications are now closed for the 2024 JRA Scheme as of 25th March 2024.

Check out the JRA 2024 Launch Event (Slides availaible currently, video coming soon.), which explains more about the program.

More information on next year's scheme will be available in early 2025. 


You can follow the step by step guide below to support you with the application process. Please note that the application is submitted online via CareerHub. The scheme is competitive, so it is important to put time and effort into your application and please ensure that you read all the provided guidance materials carefully.

Step 1: Check your eligibility
Before applying, you should make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the scheme. Please note that potential JRAs must:
  • be undergraduate students at the University of Sussex
  • be in their middle year of study (i.e. have completed one year of study and not to be 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. The application process for the JRA scheme usually begins in February each year. You can send an email to to express your interest in the JRA scheme or 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 & Conditions document. This will give you a clear idea of how the scheme works and what will be expected of you.

Step 3: Find a supervisor
Depending on your subject area and research interests, you might decide to either join a pre-existing research project or to 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 that 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.


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 1500 words  and should be checked by your potential supervisor.
When you have 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 which will be submitted via CareerHub, along with additional supporting documents (see Step 5).
Examples of previous application forms (please note the form is updated slightly each year):
Step 5: Compile additional documents

A complete JRA application consists of four documents:

    • A completed JRA application form or BSMS 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, where you can detail any challenges you have overcome and provide additional information in support of your application (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 no more than two A4 pages in length, focusing on academic experience and including all modules and grades.
    • 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 referee are submitting their forms to us directly, then please let us know by email:

 All of the required forms can be downloaded by clicking on the links above or at the bottom of this page, under current application documents. Once completed, please submit all four documents through the online portal on CareerHub.

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.


Please use the JRA Application Checklist to ensure you submit all the required JRA documents.


All applications must be submitted by the student via CareerHub. 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.

Current Application Documents 

Please note that there is an application form for Sussex students and a separate application form for BSMS students, so please ensure that you complete the correct form.


You can: