Harry Smith Vacation Studentships

Harry Smith Vacation Studentships

The Society offers a limited number of awards to enable undergraduates to work on microbiological research projects during their summer vacation. The scheme also gives early- and mid-career scientists the opportunity to gain supervision experience.

These awards have been named in honour of Professor Harry Smith (1921-2011), Society President 1975-1978, for his well-known support of microbiologists and microbiology students at the start of their careers.

Please read all the information on this page carefully and ensure you have read and agreed to the grants terms and conditions before submitting and application. 


Eligible membership categories:

Full Concessionary Member

Full Member

Minimum membership period required:

A minimum membership period of one year and two consecutive membership payments is required.

Applications must be made on behalf of a named student.

Applicants will act as the project supervisor and must be PhD qualified or hold a senior research or academic position in a Higher Education Institution, research institute or Small- or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME - as defined by UK Companies House). Applications will be considered from International Members subject to compliance with employment laws and practices of the countries involved.

The student must be registered for their undergraduate degree in any area of biosciences or medical, dental, or veterinary science. Students should have completed a minimum of two years of study on the programme, but not have started their final year at the time they take up the studentship.

We recommend that principal investigators encourage early or mid-career laboratory members (e.g., postdoctoral researchers, new lecturers, and similar stage researchers in other sectors) to apply for studentships independently to gain vital supervision experience.

What is covered by the grant?

Eligible members can apply for up to a maximum of £3603.20 including:

For students:

The studentships provide a stipend of £400.40 per week for a period of up to eight weeks (minimum six weeks).

For supervisors:

Up to £400 for specific research consumable costs may also be awarded. The studentship application process will give supervisors the opportunity to develop their grant writing skills. Successful supervisors will also be able to advance their project management, leadership, and supervision skills as they mentor undergraduates during the summer project. Supervisors will gain experience in managing laboratory budgets and monitoring expenditure, and at the end of the studentship they will be able to develop their evaluation and reporting skills.


Application process

You will need to upload the following with your application:

  • A supporting letter from the student tutor or supervisor confirming the student’s recent grades and likely degree results to be able to make a judgement on how they are doing in their studies so far, and to determine if the student has the theoretical underpinning and academic abilities to understand and apply the experimental approach. Please provide clear, accurate and the most up to date information possible.

Please ensure you read the attached guidance notes carefully before completing your application via Mi Society.

Harry Smith Vacation Studentship Guidance 2024


Applications will be judged against the attached scoring criteria:

Harry Smith Vacation Studentship scoring criteria
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Harry Smith Vacation Studentship recipients

Discover how being awarded a Harry Smith Vacation Studentship Grant has enabled these microbiologists with the opportunity to gain an insight into the world of research, providing early- and mid-career scientists the opportunity to gain supervision experience.

Award Criteria

Awards are determined by competition. Applications are reviewed by at least two referees and funding decisions are made by an Award Panel comprised of members of the Sustainability Committee and are based on the reports of the referees.

Administration of awards

Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome of their application by email within two months of the closing date. Successful applications will also receive instructions on how to claim their award via their Mi Society account.

Awarded funds will be paid to the institution’s nominated account by bank transfer within one month of receiving a claim. Any errors in provided details may result in a delay in payment.