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Examples of high scoring answers from previous URSS applications

Here are some examples of high scoring answers from previous URSS applications to help you with your application.

Find examples below for:

What is your research project?

Example 1

‘Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a demographic boom and is projected to surpass Asia by 2070 with a population growth rate three times higher than the global average. New development potential is implicit in Africa’s population growth for socioeconomic transformation on a sustainable basis. For Africa to realise a demographic dividend from its rapid population growth, it would need to harness more investment opportunities and mobilise both external and internal resources. China had a similar experience in its development trajectory, and this comparative study aims to investigate and discuss the relevance of the China development model for Africa. The nature of the relationship between China and Ghana today is in the context of a bilateral partnership involving trade, aid, and investment. So, this study will compare the two experiences of Ghana and China and identify their similarities and differences and what lessons can be learned from China’s rapid growth.’

This answer clearly gives the context for the project by stating the issue and the problems it creates, and how this project will contribute to deepening knowledge or reaching a solution.

Example 2

[Puts the project in context]‘ Accumulation of Tau protein is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and its dysfunction is associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases. The protein's normal role is to stabilize microtubules in neurons, part of the cytoskeleton and required for the intracellular transport of essential materials. [States the problem]The reason for Tau becoming dysfunctional, whether through a loss of microtubule function or other toxic effect is unknown and the subject of ongoing research. To date, the majority of research has been directed at one part of Tau, the microtubule-binding site, while the initial part of the protein sequence, the N-terminal is being largely ignored. In this project,[What will this project attempt to achieve] I propose to introduce identified, disease-linked, mutations into the N-terminal region of tau, determining in vitro, if these have any altered effect on action potential and synaptic dysfunction. My hypothesis being that disease forms will be have more seere consequences than normal tau.’

Example 3

The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective border between the body and the brain, serving as protection for the central nervous system but also making it notoriously difficult to deliver drugs in neurodegenerative diseases or brain cancer. The tightness of the BBB depends on many components and recent evidence has shown that some are under the control of the circadian clock, i.e., the BBB is tighter at some times of day compared to others.

My project seeks to investigate the importance of Claudin5 (Cldn5), a protein that ensures tight junctions between endothelial cells and for the circadian changes in brain permeability of some drugs. For this, I will use an established in vitro BBB model to manipulate Cldn5 expression. Understanding the mechanism of Cldn5's temporal regulation and how this modulates BBB permeability offers an insight into how we can improve drug delivery to the brain, thereby increasing the effectiveness of drugs and decreasing unwanted side effects.

How do you plan to carry out your project?

Example 1

During this project I will:

  • Research graph convolutional networks
  • Familiarise myself with 3D image time series data
  • Generate new training data and use existing base of training data, includes a new VR tool for validating/processing training data
  • Use Python and the vtk toolkit (through pyvista) for visualising data
  • Use version control and collaborative software development tools
  • Continually document project progress and software developments

Example 2

The first couple of weeks will be dedicated to reading the literature around monocular depth estimation so that I can get a better understanding of the field which can be applied to the project. After that, I will begin implementing the models to be used within the project. All machine learning projects such as this one requires some training data, however, there are lots of different free and publicly available datasets which can be used for this project so I will not need to spend any additional time creating a dataset of my own. The necessary computer hardware to run these kinds of projects is already present within the computer science department and the SIP Lab, which could be used to train the models I make. If not available, there are alternative computing services online such as google collab which can be used for the project as well. By the end of the project, I will have trained a diffusion model that can effectively generate depth maps for monocular depth estimation.

Example 3

From April to mid-July, I will start the desktop research to build a comprehensive understanding of China and Ghana's historical and economic development backgrounds, focusing on the China reform era from1978 and Ghana’s post-colonial development. In late July, I will travel to Ghana for two weeks, collaborate with researchers at the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana and gather valuable insights into the local education system through a three-day visit to local partnered schools of Warwick in Africa program. I will use the Socioeconomic Panel Survey carried out by ISSER for my quantitative analysis, which has collected essential statistical estimates from the Randomised controlled trials. Besides, I will arrange a visit to local institutions and discuss with experts from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and GhIIA, a leading development Think Tank, to get a deeper understanding of Ghana's current challenges and policies.

Unsuccessful applications have been awarded low marks for many of the following reasons:

  • Although objectives have been provided, they may not all be clear or realistic within the scope of the project
  • Unclear how proposed activities will contribute to the research/project or how they will generate impact/legacy
  • Little or no precision or clarity surrounding the management or execution of the project
  • Little evidence that the student will develop any research and public engagement transferrable skills The student has given little indication of how the project would contribute to their current study or further study/career
  • The project description does not give evidence of: originality of the idea; timescale; timeliness; impact; skills development opportunity.
  • Minimal evidence of how the project will contribute to the student’s discipline specific skills and knowledge
  • The breakdown of expenses does not add up to the amount you are applying for
  • Evidence that the bursary is not been used as set out in the terms & conditions, e.g. paying a research assistant, equipment etc., which are project related costs that benefit the department ultimately
  • Group projects do not clearly define the separate roles of each individual member of the group
  • Students frequently refer to “we” instead of “I”