Apply for a Summer Student Research project

Applications for 2019 projects will open February 1st 2019

 The Animal Free Research UK Summer Student Programme was established to assist undergraduate or recently graduated students in gaining practical animal-replacement research experience by working in a laboratory environment.

These short summer projects are a great way to get students to begin their research careers. They also allow students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of how to conduct animal-free research. Former students have found that these short projects influence their career decisions and encourage them to pursue non-animal based research careers.

Summer Student Project Overview

  • For undergraduates who have completed at least 2 years of a degree relevant to advancing replacement science (biomedical science etc.)
  • Duration: 8 weeks
  • Stipend: £180/week
  • Consumables: up to £500
  • Projects must show the potential to replace any regulated animal experiments in the UK.

Student and Supervisor Eligibility

Students must be studying on a biomedical science or related degree course. Students cannot apply for the funding for either scheme directly. Applications must be made by a staff member at an appropriate research facility (University, Hospital, Research Institute). We encourage students who wish to undertake a Summer Research project to get in touch with a potential supervisor to discuss the opportunity to work with them. The supervisor may then apply as the grant holder on their behalf. Students must be available to attend our 3-day Summer School in August 2019 (specific date will be confirmed before applications open), which may be either during or after the period of their research project.

Supervisors (grant holders) do not need to be tenured or have a permanent contract to apply; PostDocs, Research Assistants, Technicians or Lab managers are also eligible to be the Grant holder for the Summer project.

Project Criteria

Summer research projects must show the potential to replace any regulated animal experiments in the UK. We particularly welcome projects with the potential to replace the use of cats, dogs or primates in regulated procedures in the UK.

Research that requires or involves the use of animals (defined as any organism of the Kingdom Animalia, excluding humans) in any way, even though the ultimate aim may be to replace their use, will not be supported. 

Animal Free Research UK will not support the use of any animal-derived biomaterials (such as foetal calf serum (FCS), animal-derived antibodies, collagen, trypsin etc.) during a project for any reason. We have published a website where you can search for FCS-free media for many cell types –

How to Apply

Applications for 2019 projects will open February 1st 2019

We have moved to an online application process

We only accept applications through our online application portal. You will need to register for an account, which will allow you to return and edit your application at any stage before submission. There is no need to send us a hard (printed) copy of the application or other associated documentation.

To help you prepare your application, you will need at least the following information

  • Research project statement (including background, objectives, how the student will be supervised and a consumables breakdown);
  • A non-technical summary of the project that a non-scientist can understand;
  • Examples of the number and species of animals the project has the potential to save.
  • Examples of the types of animal experiments conducted that relate to the work that this project could replace if successful (include references).
  • A statement on the impact of the project on biomedical research, humans, and animals in research.

There is no need to specify a particular student at the time of application, but it will speed up the application process if you have a student in mind when applying. The student will need to provide the following information to the applicant during the application process:

  • Personal contact details for the student;
  • Student degree details (including expected classification for fellowship applicants);
  • Personal statement from the student that includes their education history, why they want to undertake a studentship/fellowship, their future plans/career aspirations and how this particular project will help.

This information can be collated separately prior to applying and then the information inserted into the application form in the relevant sections.

Share this page