Undergraduate Summer Bursaries

For undergraduates wishing to complete a summer research project of six to ten weeks duration. (Undergraduate Summer Bursaries to be selected as category of grant when making the online application).  

Such bursaries would provide support to enable motivated undergraduates who are considering research as a career to work in a research environment for part of the summer before their 3rd or 4th year. The Society will fund at most one bursary per supervisor per year.

Please ensure that you clearly specify in the application:

  • The name of the student
  • The project title
  • The name of the supervisor

When are the deadlines?

Applications are assessed once a year; the deadline for these grants is 20 February each year. A call out will be made to announce when the online application process is open for each round.

How much can be applied for?

Applications should normally be for £1,200 - this is the maximum amount independent of length of project. Specific research expenses up to £250 will be considered, but general expenses (e.g., for consumables or travel) will not. The RAS does not pay overheads, and bursaries produce no National Insurance contribution liability.

RAS Summer Bursary Rules:
  • With the exception of certain Education and Outreach grant applicants[1], only Fellows may apply for grants. (Education & Outreach grants are applied for here.)
  • All applications must be to one of the two published deadlines. The only exceptions that may be considered are events which could not have been anticipated, or were not announced, in time for an application at either of the two deadlines (evidence will be required).
  • Only prospective supervisors who are FRAS may apply for summer student bursaries. Each prospective supervisor may submit only one bursary application, the student must be named on the application, and a statement from the student must be included.
  •  Any one student may only receive one bursary over their undergraduate career.
  • The submission of a report on the use of grant money will be mandatory for future eligibility. E&O grants will have specific requirements on evaluating the effectiveness of the activity, e.g. numbers reached and impact.

[1] Where the applicant is not an academic or research staff member or PhD student at a University, and also not FRAS, an application for an E&O grant will be permitted. 


The RAS will generally NOT provide funding for:

  • Professional academics based in the UK who would be expected to apply for departmental or research council funding.
  • Students seeking fees for organised courses at GCSE, A level, undergraduate degree, PhD or diploma level.
  • 100% grant funding for travel by postgraduates who can obtain some support from research council training awards. Applications for partial funding only will be considered.
  • Travel on research projects funded by, or eligible for funding from, research councils.
To apply

Please complete the online application form here.


Successful applicants should promptly acknowledge receipt of their award and must agree to adhere to the requirements:

(i) Payment will be made on submission of receipts, or invoices from audited bodies. Invoices from the applicant's institute are the preferred method of payment.

(ii) Payment will not be paid until a short summary (not exceeding 1 A4 page) of the outcome of the grant has been received.  This should be submitted to the Awards Officer ( awards@ras.ac.uk ) on completion of expenditure.

(iii) Any publications arising from the award, whether wholly or in part, should acknowledge RAS support (this includes online publications, such as conference websites). 


For awards in support of organization of professional meetings/conferences:

(iv) At least half of the sum awarded should be designated for the support of participation by scientists at an early career stage (e.g., postgraduate students).

(v) RAS sponsorship should be clearly indicated where appropriate.

(vi) A copy of any published proceedings should be made available to the RAS library.

If no invoice (or explanation for the delay) is received within a year of the award being made, the award is deemed to have lapsed.

Objectives of the Society

Competitively within each Grants round and the resources available, the Society will consider any applications that advance its charitable objects, namely to ‘advance astronomy and geophysics’: within this broad area nothing is explicitly excluded. However, given the modest scale of the its grants programme, which cannot compete with government funding, the Society wants to make contributions to its sciences that are additional to their normal functioning. It especially seeks applications for grants for purposes that are not usually supported by other organisations or for the benefit of people who are ineligible for grants from well-established sources.