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URSS and Department Affiliation

URSS has become increasingly popular over recent years. Around 15-35 maths undergraduates participate each year, each supervised over about 6-10 weeks in the summer vacation by a member of staff. This includes students who are funded by the department. The deadline is Friday 2nd February 2018, but you should not leave applications to the last minute. There is only one on-line application form and students and supervsiors will have to work together to complete the form.
URSS has multiple purposes including enabling undergraduate students to enhance both their research and transferable skills in a wider community, making the experience invaluable for a range of both academic and non-academic careers.

Recent Projects in Mathematics

These can generally be found by ticking the "mathematics" box on the link below. Details of these recent projects are included to varying degrees. 

Affiliated Department Funding and LMS

As in recent years, the department will try to fund good applications (capped at £1,000) by maths students that do not get funded by the University. This also applies to any applications for the LMS scheme (, although departmental funding will also be capped at £1,000. Those students funded by the department have to fully engage in the university URSS scheme as a condition of the departmental funding.

For Students

  • Students should approach staff to supervise a summer project after it is advertised by the University.
  • Students who leave it to the last week before the URSS deadline of 26 January are however much more unlikely to be successful in finding a project supervisor.
  • All students must apply for a URSS award to be eligible for department funding.
  • We strongly encourage applications from female students as part of the Department's commitment to the Athena Swan principles, in particular addressing the underrepresentation of women at all levels in mathematics.
  • All successful URSS applicants (including those who are funded by the department) must fully engage with all elements of the URSS process and experience.

Application Form for Students and Supervisors

The application form for URSS and the student and staff guidance are available from the linked URSS page. The form consists of 3 sections:

Part 1 - to be completed by the URSS applicant (student)

Part 2 – to be completed by the Lead Academic Supervisor

Part 3 – to be completed jointly by the URSS applicant and lead supervisor

The Application Review Process section at the end of both the staff and student guidance lists the assessment criteria (impact on student, quality, and value for money). Please complete carefully with this in mind to maximise the chances of a successful application.

Please note the following:

  • If you do not know the exact dates for the project, please put indicative dates for the appropriate length of time.
  • A realistic and thorough funding breakdown is required on the form (see below). Amendments cannot be made to a form once it has been submitted.
Funding breakdown required on the application form

The following extract is from the URSS student guidance:

" ....You will have your own specific needs regarding these living costs. However, at the most basic level, the following information may help you when working out your funding breakdown:

  • On campus accommodation (Summer Vacation 2017): £13 - £20 per night = £91-£140 per week. The cost may be increased for 2018
  • Subsistence (food) suggested spend, based on self-catering all meals): £25-35 per week
  • Travel: based on West Midlands Day-Saver: 5 ticket scratch card = £19

Total per week- £135 - £194

You can apply for bursary of £1000 maximum in the UK, and £1500 if you wish to research abroad. You therefore need to consider how this will support your entire living costs. E.g. £1000 over 10 weeks = £100 per week - campus accommodation costs £91 per week minimum, leaving £9 per week. To ensure you can buy food & pay travel costs, you may need to reduce the length of your project. "

Poster costs are not eligible costs and should not be included; these costs will be met by the department.

Other information required on the form

The responses to the following questions on the supervisor's on-line application form are:

  • Please provide the name and email of a finance contact for your department to whom all financial queries may be directed:
    (a) Finance contact name * Finance Officer
    (b) Finance contact email *
  • Please give the code for transfer of the bursary if necessary? * 00MADS11 [zero zero MADS eleven]
  • What type of code is this? * Cost code
  • Please assume that the Head of Department has given approval for all project applications which are submitted with the approval of the academic supervisor.

Notification of Funding Outcomes

Project supervisors will normally be made aware of the funding outcomes of the URSS scheme (including department funding where applicable) shortly after the outcomes of the URSS scheme have been made available (around the end of the term). Students in receipt of university funding will also be notified directly by the URSS organisers.