Dunn School Pilots UNIQ+ Summer School Alongside Department’s Own Summer Studentship

Dunn School Pilots UNIQ+ Summer School Alongside Department’s Own Summer Studentship

In the summer of 2019, the Dunn School is participating in UNIQ+, a pilot summer school at the University of Oxford aimed at expanding access to postgraduate education in the UK. In addition, the Dunn school is also running its own summer programme, which has also started this year. 

Lasting 6 weeks, UNIQ+ is designed to give talented undergraduate students the chance to experience what postgraduate study is like at the University of Oxford. Students are given the chance to carry out a research project, under the mentorship of Oxford academics and current PhD students, in the University’s state-of-the-art facilities. Targeted towards under-represented groups in UK universities, participation in the programme is fully funded. It is open to UK residents who have studied/are studying for their undergraduate degree, and who would have otherwise found it challenging to continue onto postgraduate study due to socio-economic or financial circumstances beyond their academic ability. About 30 students were accepted to this year’s pilot programme.

“The Department has strongly supported this initiative from the outset, and agreed to fully fund two of the students for this year’s pilot scheme,” said Professor Anton van der Merwe. These students are currently working on research projects in two different labs in the Dunn School. 

When asked about her motivation for applying to the programme, Lauren Atha in Van der Merwe’s lab said, “I applied for the programme because I’d previously only ever been in undergraduate teaching labs, so I wanted to experience what it’s like in a research lab to decide whether it’s right for me.”

“I was delighted when I found out I had been accepted!” she continued. “Any other programmes I’ve seen that provide similar experiences don’t cover all living costs, meaning they would never be an option for me. The fact that UNIQ+ is fully funded means that nobody is disadvantaged while here. I’ve learnt so many new things from day one! It’s been such an amazing experience to see how the lab works and everyone has been so welcoming.” 

While currently limited to the medical, biological, mathematical and physical sciences, the University hopes to expand UNIQ+ in future years. 

In addition to the UNIQ+ students, the Dunn School is also hosting the Dunn School Summer Studentship for the first year. Students accepted to the Studentship are given a competitive stipend, and a chance to work on a research project for 6 – 12 weeks in their choice of a participating lab. 5 students were enrolled in the Summer Studentship this year. The inaugural class was also especially diverse, with the students hailing from across the globe: the UK, Spain, Bulgaria, and Hong Kong.

Written by Derek Xu, @derekcxu


Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 10