Undergraduate Student Vacation Bursary

The British Mycological Society offers Vacation Bursaries to enable undergraduate students to gain valuable practical experience in any area of fungal biology research. The awards of up to £3,300 are intended to support the student for a period of between 4 and 10 weeks in the summer vacation prior to their final year of study.

Vacation Bursaries are awarded annually.  The deadline for applications is 30 April and outcomes are communicated to applicants by the end of May.





The supervisor will normally be an employee at a university or research institute within the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and must have held current membership of the BMS for at least 6 months at the time of application.  Supervisors should hold a PhD or a senior research position. In addition to Principal Investigators, we welcome applications from Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Fellows, as such studentships provide the opportunity for early career researchers to gain key grant writing, supervisory and project management skills.

Only one application will be considered from each laboratory.

Students must be registered for a degree course at an institution within the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Awards will not be made for projects that are a required part of degree work or expeditions, or for work outside the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

  • Students on an undergraduate degree must undertake the bursary-funded work during the summer vacation before their final year of study.  Applications on behalf of students in their final year will not be considered. 
  • Students on a combined undergraduate / MSc degree (typically 4 years) must undertake the bursary-funded project in the vacation between the second and third years of study.  Exceptions to this may apply, depending on the course specifications.  Please contact the BMS with any queries before applying.

What is covered by the grant?

Students will receive a weekly stipend of £290. Supervisors can request up to £400 as a contribution towards essential research consumable costs. Such costs must be justified in the application. Overheads will not be paid.

How to apply

The application must be made by the supervisor of the research project using the online form.  Supervisors are expected to discuss the project in detail with the nominated student and the student is encouraged to contribute to the project design.  The project description (up to 750 words) must include Background, Aims and Objectives, Methodology, Supervision and Educational Value.

The student should supply a statement of up to 350 words explaining why they would like to undertake the research project, and the supervisor is required to submit a statement of up to 350 words in support of the nominated student.

Applications are assessed by BMS Council and Committee members and awards are made on the understanding that the institution ensures that the investigation complies with all relevant safety, regulatory and ethical requirements.

Award criteria

Applications are assessed by BMS Council and Committee Members. Up to 10 Vacation Bursaries will be awarded annually. Applications will be ranked on:

1. The quality of the science underpinning the project and the feasibility of the research proposed for an undergraduate student.

2. The research training and environment provided, including: supervision; the range of techniques to be used; how the student will obtain a broad research experience

3. The suitability of the student to understand and execute the project.

Conditions of the award

A short report on the project, written by the student with assistance from the supervisor as necessary, is required as a condition of receiving the award. This report should be aimed at a general readership, helping to illustrate how the project supports the Society’s mission of 'promoting fungal science'. The inclusion of photographs and images from the project is encouraged. 

Details of the awards made and the subsequent reports will be highlighted on the BMS’s digital channels (website and social media) and in the BMS members’ newsletter. Supervisors may also be offered the opportunity of showcasing their research at a future BMS-organised event.

Administration of awards

Applicants will receive notification of the outcome of their application within one month of the closing date. If the application is successful, the Award will be paid to the institution in advance. The institution is expected to administer the award.