Two students working together in a laboratory

Summer Vacation Early Career Research Competition 2022

Are you an Early Career Researcher (ECR)* interested in boosting your career? Would you like to support an enthusiastic and motivated Black second-year undergraduate student wishing to acquire research experience?

The Summer Vacation Early Career Research Competition is a new initiative for 2022 which has been designed to address the lack of diversity in research, a commonly recognised problem. The aim is to encourage Black undergraduates in all disciplines to consider potential postgraduate study, whilst giving ECRs the chance to run their own independent project with funding worth up to £2500 to work with an undergraduate intern for 4-7 weeks on their research.

This competition builds on the success of the University’s Summer Vacation Research Competition, which encourages Postdoctoral Research Associates, Research Assistants and Research Associates to develop their project and people management skills, and enables undergraduate students to gain valuable experience of working on real-life projects, thus learning more about the world of research whilst simultaneously enhancing their CVs.

Commenting on this innovative scheme to improve access to and participation in research, including postgraduate research for people from currently under-represented groups, Dr Jennifer Leigh, the competition’s lead organiser, said:

“Our new competition will be a win-win for both our ECRs and the undergraduates they will manage on their projects. Participation is likely to broaden their horizons and skills sets in a structured and supportive environment, and should encourage and inspire them to achieve great research outputs. I strongly encourage all eligible staff and students to apply for this interesting and rewarding opportunity which has been generously funded by Research England.”

Details of how to apply, including the application form for ECRs, are available on our ‘Internal Opportunities’ SharePoint page (Kent staff login required and VPN access if working remotely).

The closing date for ECR applications is 20 March 2022.

Good luck with your application – and please email with any queries.

* Please refer to the competition webpage for details of ECR eligibility criteria. (Postdoctoral Research Associates, Research Assistants and Research Associates are not eligible to apply for this competition but are encouraged to apply for the Summer Vacation Research Competition instead.)