Outcome of 2022 call to be notified by the end of May 2022.
2023 call expected to open late autumn 2022.

MRS Vacation Scholarships provide promising undergraduate students with hands-on experience of research relevant to human health or disease. The awards are intended to help students develop academically, make informed career choices and strengthen their career prospects.

Up to 50 Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships are available each year for projects lasting six to eight weeks, each with a student stipend of £270 per week.

Undergraduate students who intend to apply for a Vacation Scholarship should contact potential supervisors directly or seek advice from their tutors or advisers of studies about how best to find a suitable supervisor. Medical Research Scotland is not involved in matching students and supervisors.

Applicants can monitor their application by logging on to the Vacation Scholarship Applcation Management System.


Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible, students must be matriculated on an undergraduate degree programme at a university within the UK or Republic of Ireland and must not have graduated by the time of completing their Vacation Scholarship.

The Vacation Scholarships must be conducted in a Scottish Higher Education Institution or recognised Research Institution (the Host Institution) during the summer vacation. They cannot be held at an institution outside Scotland.

There is no requirement or restriction on the subject of the student’s undergraduate degree programme. We welcome applications from students studying any subject, provided the proposed project addresses a question relevant to human health or disease (the causation, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness or the development of medical or surgical appliances, including hearing aids) and will increase the student’s understanding of what a full-time research career involves.

Scholarships are not available for the completion of projects that are part of the student’s normal degree course.

Only one application is permitted per student in any one academic year. Students who have previously had a Medical Research Scotland Vacation Scholarship are not eligible. Only one application is permitted per supervisor in any one academic year.



Supervisors and students should develop the project and application together, but the application must be submitted by the supervisor through our online application management system (AMS).

Supervisors, not students, must initiate the online application by logging on to the Vacation Scholarship Applcation Management System and clicking the “Start form” icon, after which they should invite the student to contribute to the application via the AMS.

Application Forms, Guidance Notes and the Vacation Scholarship Standard Conditions are available here.


Application Review Process

Applications are each reviewed by at least two experts. Please note that the reviewers’ scientific and medical expertise may lie in a different specialism to that of the proposed research, which should be taken in to consideration when completing the proposal: it is important to make the application understandable to scientifically literate but non-specialist reviewers.

Applications are assessed on the experience the proposed Vacation Scholarship will provide for the student, taking in to consideration the laboratory experience for the student, the opportunity for the student’s personal development as well as the quality of the science.

The Board of Trustees of Medical Research Scotland use the reviewers’ assessment of the applications when they make final award decisions.



Project Supervisors will be notified (via email through the AMS) of the outcome of their application and the supervisor and student must accept the offer of award through the AMS. Award decisions will normally be available in April or May.



Following completion of the Vacation Scholarship, a short report on the project must be completed by the supervisor and student via the AMS.


The Vacation Scholarship award (£270 student stipend per week) will only be paid to the Host Institution after the Report has been received and reviewed by Medical Research Scotland as being satisfactory. Payment cannot be made in advance.

It is the responsibility of the Host Institution to submit an invoice to Lisa Stewart, Trust Administrator to Medical Research Scotland at Lisa.Stewart@turcanconnell.com. If an invoice is not received within six months of the agreed completion date of the Vacation Scholarship the funding will be forfeited.

Grace Alston explains the added benefits of taking part in the 2019 Meet the Researcher Showcase after carrying out her Vacation Scholarship.


Heather Walton explains the benefits of undertaking a Medical Research Scotland Vacation Scholarship.


Steven Tominey encourages others to apply for a Vacation Scholarship and get involved in scientific research.


Brian Leung talks about his Vacation Scholarship journey.


Keir Murphy on what MRS could do for you. Interviewed at the 2017 Meet the Researcher Showcase event.

Interested in a PhD?

Click here to find out more about the PhD scholarships.