Research Experience Placements

The NERC Research Experience Placement (REP) scheme recognises that there is a shortage of individuals with quantitative skills coming into environmental science, and also recognises demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences.

The REP scheme aims to address this skills gap and under representation by offering funding to support paid summer placements for undergraduate students, providing an opportunity to engage in active research projects, enhance skills, and gain valuable experience of what it is like to be a postgraduate researcher within the environmental sciences.

Summer 2023 placements

Seven projects will take place over the summer. Students have been recruited for each. Please check back in Spring 2024 for future announcements.

  • 4D feeding ecology of plumose anemones, University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS, Oban). PI: Joe Marlow.
  • Antarctic snow algae – single cell analysis from mixed populations, University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS, Oban). PI: Matt Davey.
  • Application of the ECOSSE-model to simulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a Scottish grassland, University of Aberdeen. PI: Mohamed Abdalla.
  • Assessing impacts of fish-farms on sediments, University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS, Oban). PI: Tom Wilding.
  • Building an understanding of vessel activity in the South Arran Marine Protected Area, Heriot-Watt University. PI: Lauren McWhinnie.
  • Heterogeneity and predator-prey dynamics in a non-equilibrium ecosystem, University of Aberdeen. PI: Anna Kellner.
  • The effect of viral infections in the honeybee brain on learning, University of Aberdeen. PI: Fabio Manfredini.


Supervisors should refer to our SUPER DTP REP guidance for important details regarding project responsibilities, funding, and student eligibility.

Information for undergraduate applicants on eligibility, funding, supervision, and reporting can be found in our REP FAQs.

The REP experience

Find out some of the outcomes and benefits of a Research Experience Placement from previous REP students and supervisors in our SUPER testimonials.

Previous placements

The following placements took place in the summer of 2022:

  • 3D benthos mapping with deep learning, University of the Highlands and Islands (SAMS, Oban).
  • Assessing the potential to develop an automated seabird survey protocol using UAV acquired images, University of St Andrews.
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a Scottish ombrotrophic peatland, University of Aberdeen.
  • Using topological and geometrical analysis to gain insights into how species respond to changing environments, University of Aberdeen.

The following placements took place in the summer of 2021:

  • Artificial Intelligence for intelligent fishing, University of Aberdeen.
  • Investigating food webs in and around streams under forest-to-bog restoration in the Flow Country, University of the Highlands and Islands (ERI, Inverness).
  • Optimizing a citizen-science tool used to inform mangrove crab fisheries management in Brazil, Edinburgh Napier University.
  • Optofluidic assessment of thaumarchaeota association with pollutant tolerance in halichondria panicea holobionts during ammonia perturbation, University of Aberdeen.