Undergraduate bursary scheme

The Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB) is offering financial grants to support undergraduate research bursaries in human biology. It is anticipated that a maximum of two awards will be made in 2017. Each award will be up to £1200 (£180 per week student bursary for a maximum of six weeks plus up to £120 in total for incidental and consumable costs; it is expected that other research costs, if any, will be met by the supervisor’s institution). Students supported by an undergraduate bursary will also be given a complementary student membership of the Society.

The purpose of the bursaries is to give undergraduates (normally between the second and third years of study) the opportunity to undertake a specific supervised research project during the summer vacation. The research project must fall within the remit of the SSHB (the general advancement and promotion of research in the biology of human populations in all its branches, including human variability and genetics, human adaptability and ecology, and human evolution). Retrospective applications are not permitted.

Successful applicants must submit a report on the pro forma provided on award of a grant within one month of completion of the project. Those who receive an undergraduate research bursary are strongly encouraged to present their work at a meeting of the Society.


The scheme is open to full members of the Society who currently supervise, or have the opportunity to supervise, undergraduate project students. Applicants may be based in any organisation that undertakes research into human biology, including (but not confined to) universities, museums and NGOs, provided that adequate supervisorial, research and infrastructure support are available and outlined in the application. The undergraduate project student must be named but is not eligible to apply directly to the scheme; the supervisor applies on behalf of the student. Applicants who are not full members of the Society are permitted to apply for full membership at the same time as they submit their application. Membership application forms can be found on the SSHB website, and will also be printed in the Annals of Human Biology from time to time.

How to apply

Applications should be on the official application form which will be provided here when the 2017 call is announced.

Applications include a short abstract (250 words) and a 1000 word summary of the proposed project. The supervisor’s experience in supervising undergraduate and other students should also be detailed, along with the research environment and facilities for the research. A brief CV of supervisor and named project student (including assessment transcript) should also be included on the form.

Applications will be assessed in relation to the quality of the work submitted, the suitability of the student to undertake the proposed project and the relevance of the topic to the aims and scope of the SSHB. Applications that fail to adhere to the guidelines will not be considered.  All applications will be reviewed by referees appointed by the SSHB committee, none of whom can be staff at the institution at which the applicant is based.

Deadline and submission

The deadline for receipt of applications will be confirmed in due course. Decisions will be communicated to applicants no later than 1 April 2017. Applications should be submitted by email on the official application form as an electronic pdf to the SSHB Grants and Awards Officer, Dr Silvia Costa (sc808@medschl.cam.ac.uk).

For further information, please contact the Secretary of the SSHB, Dr William Johnson (William.Johnson@mrc-hnr.cam.ac.uk).


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