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There’s a range of opportunities available for undergraduates interested in doing a Physics project over the summer months. Candidates for such projects are selected on a competitive basis. 

Read the relevant tab below for more detailed information about each type of summer project, including the name of the contact at Royal Holloway, the application procedure and deadlines.

What is SEPnet?

SEPnet (South East Physics network) is a consortium of nine partner universities working together to advance and sustain physics as a strategically important subject for the UK economy and its science base in the South East Region of England. Royal Holloway is one of the partner universities; the other partners are University of Kent; Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL); University of Surrey; University of Southampton; University of Sussex; University of Portsmouth; University of Herts and The Open University.

SEPnet summer internships

The Physics Department takes the employability of its graduates very seriously. Research suggests that students who have completed internships during the course of their degree have a distinct advantage over other graduates. During the summer after your second year and third year (for non-finalists students), you will have the opportunity to participate in various summer internships. All internships are awarded on a competitive basis and students are encouraged to maintain an up to date CV to allow applications to be made in advance of the closing date.  Your SEPnet Employer Engagement Officer will circulate a list of paid internships with Physics employers at the start of the spring term. 2014 SEPnet internships for Royal Holloway students included; NPL, Culham, Echo Group (Science publishing), AMEC, Accelogress (Programming solutions), Online Lubricants, University of Surrey and Ensilica.
Other employer internships

Other employer run opportunities with large employers such as IOP, SPiN, NPL, AWE, DSTL, P&G, Nuffield, SURE and DAAD are open to Physics Undergraduates and you are encouraged to apply for these. They are usually advertised from October and your SEPnet Employer Engagement Officer will circulate as many as possible.

If you have any questions about internships you can contact Claire Hepwood, SEPnet Employer Engagement Officer:

Claire.Hepwood@royalholloway.ac.uk   07785 621575

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Summer student bursaries 2018

As has been the case in previous years, it is likely that the Physics Department will support a number of bursaries, awarded on a competitive basis, to support summer research projects in the department, for undergraduates.  The projects are likely to be of interest to those students wishing to continue in physics research after their degree.  They are supported at a rate of £170pw, for a possible period of up to 8 weeks, during the summer vacation.  This scheme is aimed at students who are not in their final year.

A list of projects suggested by members of staff for Summer 2018 are available on this page.  Students interested in any of the projects should contact the member of staff concerned.  Students are also free to approach members of staff with a view to jointly developing other projects.

Projects to develop teaching in the Department are also eligible.


For reference, please see the list of supported students and projects from last summer.

DEADLINE FOR Application Friday 30th March 2018: Applications for projects should be emailed  to Andrew Casey ).  The following information is required:

  • Name of supervisor

  • Name of student(s) interested in project

  • Duration of project

  • Brief description of project

  • All students interested in applying for an internal summer bursary must submit a CV as part of the application process

  • If you are interested in more than one project please rank order you preference in the application email.

ELIGIBILITY: Summer bursaries will be awarded on a competitive basis. More advanced students will be preferred. MSci students will be preferred over BSc students.Potential PhD candidates will be preferred. Academic performance in previous examinations and coursework and attendance records will be used as award criteria, as necessary. Final year students are not eligible.

Where possible, the decisions as to which projects/students will be funded, will be made before the start of the summer term. The number of awards will be subject to academic performance/potential of applicant, quality of project and available funds. Students will be informed of the outcome by email.

Once a project has been completed, it is expected that the students will submit a one-page report on the outcome of their summer project. The report must be signed off by the supervisor and submitted to the RRC chair at the end of the studentship. The report will be filed with the student records.

As part of a strong research collaboration with the Department of Physics at Royal Holloway, the National Physical Laboratory (based in Teddington) offers a small number of prestigious summer studentships to Royal Holloway students. NPL is the UK’s physical and measurement standards institution, but they also undertake significant amounts of fundamental physics research. Their research is partly related to the maintenance and development of the S.I and other systems of units and partly related to fundamental curiosity driven research in quantum detection and other areas. Many Royal Holloway physics students have taken up these studentships in recent years and have highly praised the scheme. These students were in turn praised very highly by our colleagues at NPL.

Who can apply?

The NPL studentships are particularly aimed at third year MSci students but 2nd and 4th years are also invited to register their interest. The studentships will especially suit students who envisage a future career in science and would provide good background preparation for PhD level. Some students have indeed gone on to do PhDs on joint Royal Holloway/NPL projects

The studentships

The studentships are likely to be between eight and ten weeks long, depending on the project and will be paid at a rate similar to other schemes.
In the past our students have been involved in:

  • work on nanoelectromechanical devices in the quantum regime (with Drs Ling Hao and John Gallop)

  • work on superconducting quantum information processing (with Professor Alexander Tzalenchuk and Dr Tobias Lindstrom)

  • work on nanomagnetism  (with Dr Olga Kazakova)

  • work on graphene and the development of new quantum electrical standards (with Professor Alexander Tzalenchuk

  • work on Quantum Current Standards (with Dr Masaya Kataoka)

  • other areas involving condensed matter and atomic physics for quantum measurement.

The studentships are located on a competitive basis and are usually limited to three or four students. NPL seek enthusiastic physicists, but you should expect to be asked to do some day-to-day laboratory work as well. There is no doubt the experience will be highly educational and interesting.

How to apply 

Applications tend to open in the winter term and you’ll be asked to email Phil Meeson by mid-February. Short listing and selection interviews will then be arranged. Interviews (with NPL scientists) take place before the end of the spring term. 

There are a number of very prestigious summer schools organised at international physics research laboratories. Such summer schools usually include a lecture programme, as well as the opportunity to participate in a supervised research project.

Competition for places is extremely high, as candidates are drawn from a large pool of applicants from all over Europe, and beyond. Royal Holloway undergraduates have been selected for these summer schools in the past and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work in an international environment in a world-class physics laboratory.

The options

We have listed a few summer schools (selected on the basis that research staff in the department have on-going collaborations with the lab organising the school). Follow the links for more information, including eligibility, application procedures and deadlines. If you have any questions about a given summer school you may wish to get in touch with one of the contacts listed.






Other internship opportunities



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