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Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of work can I give to a placement student?

The student should be given a brief that provides a genuine and valuable learning opportunity in terms of the development of research skills and awareness, preferably involving authentic experience of a number of steps in the research process. Administrative or organisational work which prepares the way for research is not suitable. Many previous placements have resulted in joint publications between supervisors and students. If your work plan for the student would not warrant shared authorship you may want to re-consider whether the level of input can be raised.

I already have a student in mind, can I appoint without advertising?

No. While it is good if there interest from a particularly motivated student researcher, we would like the opportunity to be open to those who may not have considered a research career or heard about UROP before. All placements must be advertised for the specified minimum period before you interview any candidate and selection must be made on the basis of the person specification outlined in your application. (Interviews are not mandatory but are considered best practice.)

How often should I see my placement student?

A well-structured placement is likely to be a steep learning curve for a student and they will require a lot of support, particularly in the early stages of the project. It is essential, therefore, that the supervisor is close at hand in the first few weeks and provides a detailed, planned induction.  Once the placement project is running, meetings at which feedback is given should be held at least weekly. Some previous supervisors have included a colleague or PhD student as second supervisor.

Can there be a second supervisor?

Yes. Arranging to have a second supervisor is a good way of ensuring that the student always has someone to ask for help and experiences working in a team.  A PhD student in a related field may be a second supervisor and this provides useful supervision experience. 

What preparation should I make?

Not having all the equipment in place before the placement starts wastes precious time in such a short period. Before the placement, devise a more detailed programme of work which you may wish to share with candidates and arrange an induction. Arrange all seating, printing and access issues prior to the placement. 

What if I am on holiday or travelling during the placement?

We recommend that supervisors are not absent for more than 1 weeks of the placement and supervisory presence is crucial for the first and last week.  If you will be away from campus it is helpful to have a second supervisor in place and a structured programme of work for the student to follow. 

Do I need to acknowledge my student's work?

Yes. Where students make a significant contribitution to an area of a study (data collection, analysis etc), they should be offered authorship or acknowledgements (as appropriate) on any resulting publications. Many previous placements have resulted in authorship for students.

Is there any funding for research expenses?

Whilst in previous years we have been able to provide a small budget for for research expenses unfortunately this is no longer available and therefore research expenses are not covered by the scheme.

Can I work off-site with my student?

If your student is working off-campus they will need professional indemnity insurance. For further information on how to obtain this see the Insurance Guidance Notes.

Can my student work from home? 

A little home working is fine, however we do not enourage placements to consist only of home working as the benefits of working in a department among other staff and postgraduate researchers are missed. 

Can I select an international student?

As UROP placements are not classed as employment, any students may apply to do a placement even if they do not currently have a legal right to work in the United Kingdom.

Can I select a mature student?

Yes. Many successful UROP students have been mature students. 

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