RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships

Funding area: Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Are you an undergraduate student studying astronomy looking for funding to further your research skills this summer? The RSE Cormack Vacation Scholarships are now open for applications.

The RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarships are for undergraduate students studying astronomy who have a class record indicative of good research potential and who would like to further their skills and experience by undertaking a period of research at a Scottish Higher Education Institution over the summer holiday period. Applicants should be full-time astronomy undergraduates, normally up to and including the summer before final year.

Scholarships have a value of £266 per week and will be funded for up to a total of six weeks. Applications with a clear link to mountain-top observing/data may also be considered for the Piazzi Smyth Bequest Award, also valued at £266 a week.

 

Applicant eligibility

  • The scholarships are open to full-time undergraduates (normally up to and including the summer before final year).
  • There is no restriction on home institution or nationality.
  • Applicants must be nominated by a department in a Scottish Higher Education Institution.
  • Applicants must have a record indicative of good research potential.

 

Project eligibility

  • The institution in which you are proposing to complete the project must be a Scottish Higher Education Institute.
  • The project must be specified by the institution, astronomical in content, and involve the applicant in original research work requiring initiative (for example, library survey projects are not supported).
  • Cormack will fund a maximum of six weeks at the rate shown on the front of the application form. If your project is longer and you are seeking/have sought other funding, please give details in the relevant section of the form.
  • All projects should be undertaken during the summer vacation of the year awarded.

 

Application process

The funding will open for applications from 9 March 2021; applicants are required to:

  1. Create a profile on the RSE CiviCRM, or log in using your existing details
  2. Once into your profile, access the online application.
  3. Complete the details on the online application form.
  4. Upload as part of the online form a statement of support from your supervisor
  5. Arrange for one referee letter of support to be sent to your supervisor to [email protected] by Friday 16 April 2021 at 12:00 pm.

 

Resources for applicants

RSE Cormack Vacation Scholarships terms and conditions (PDF, 183kb)

RSE Cormack Vacation Scholarships referee form (Doc, 159kb)

RSE Cormack Vacation Scholarships online application

Register on RSE CiviCRM to apply

 

Contact us

For more information regarding the award, please contact the Research Awards team on [email protected].

Fund deadline passed

This fund is currently closed for applications.

Fund value

The value of each Cormack Scholarship and the Piazzi Smyth Scholarship is £266 per week, and the maximum length of each Scholarship is six weeks. The total maximum value of the scholarship is £1,600.

Fund duration

The maximum length of each Scholarship is six weeks.

Additional Information


This scholarship for is funded from the Robert Cormack Bequest Fund. Robert Cormack, born in 1858, started work a the age of 14 as a cash boy at Jenners Department Store in Edinburgh, later rising through the ranks to become managing director. His chief hobby was astronomy and this led him in 1930 to make a bequest to the Society for the promotion of astronomical knowledge and research in Scotland.


Am I eligible to apply?
You are eligible for a RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship if you are a full-time undergraduate (up to and including the summer before final year) with an academic record which indicates strong research potential. Normally an average score of 70% or above (1st) is required for an application to be considered for an award, while exceptional scores in the upper second range (60-70%) may be considered for an award. Applicants with an average score of below 59% will not be considered. There is no restriction on home institution or nationality, but you must be nominated by a department in a Scottish Higher Education Institute.

 

What subject areas will be considered for the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
The scholarship is for undergraduates studying Astronomy who wish to further their research skills by undertaking a research project at a Scottish Higher Education Institution. The project should be specified by the Institution, be astronomical in context, and involve the Scholar in original research work requiring initiative.

Applications with a clear link to mountain-top observing/data may be considered for a Piazzi Smyth Bequest Award, which has the same conditions as the Cormack.

 

What is the funding value for the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
The value of the Scholarship is £266 per week of the project, with a maximum total of £1600.

An annual prize of £100 will be awarded to the best project, based on the work of the project and on the quality of the report.

 

What is the duration of the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
The maximum duration of funding is 6 weeks.

 

What expenses are covered by the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
The financial support of the Royal Society of Edinburgh is limited to the amount of the student subsistence Scholarship, and excludes further overheads, bench fees and the like.

 

What are the Reporting Requirements for the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship
A report, not exceeding 10 pages, on the results of the work undertaken during the scholarship accompanied by comments from the Supervisor should be prepared by the Scholar and submitted by the Supervisor at the end of the award.

 

Can I hold the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship alongside other sources of funding?
Cormack and Piazzi-Smyth awards may not be held together with other external Scholarships such as those from Carnegie and the Royal Astronomical Society. However, Scholars may receive top-up funding from their host institutions.

 

Will there be opportunities to share my research?
Cormack Scholars are expected to present a poster, based on their project, at the SUPA Cormack Conference held at the RSE at the end of the year they were awarded.


RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship – Terms and Conditions

 

RSE Cormack Vacation Scholarship terms and conditions (PDF, 183kb)

 

These are the terms and conditions of the RSE Cormack Undergraduate Vacation Scholarship. All applicants should read these carefully before completing and submitting an application.

INTRODUCTION

Under the auspices of the Robert Cormack Bequest fund, the Royal Society of Edinburgh is pleased to invite applications for a limited number of undergraduate Summer Vacation Research Scholarships in the field of Astronomy. These may include one Piazzi Smyth Bequest Research Scholarship for work clearly related to mountain top observing/data.

APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY

1. The Scholarships are open to full time undergraduates (normally up to and including the summer before final year).

2. There is no restriction on home institution or nationality.

3. Applicants must be nominated by a department in a Scottish Higher Education Institution.

4. Applicants must have a record indicative of good research potential

PROJECT ELIGIBILITY

5. The institution in which you are proposing to complete the project must be a Scottish Higher Education Institute.

6. The project must be specified by the institution, astronomical in content, and involve the applicant in original research work requiring initiative (for example, library survey projects are not supported).

7. Cormack will fund a maximum of six weeks at the rate shown on the front of the application form. If your project is longer and you are seeking/have sought other funding, please give details in the relevant section of the form.

8. All projects should be undertaken during the summer vacation of the year awarded.

SELECTION PROCESS

9. Once the application has been submitted this will show in the My Applications tab of the RSE members area.

10. Applications will be processed and a decision will be made at the Cormack Committee Meeting in May. All candidates and supervisors will be notified of the outcome of their application by email in May. The successful candidates will be expected to accept or decline the offer of a Scholarship as soon as practicable. To facilitate these arrangements, applicants should ensure that the RSE is able to contact them during May.

SELECTION CRITERIA

11. Applications will be assessed by a peer review panel composed of Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh with specialist expertise in the study and practice of Astronomy.

12. Applications will be graded as follows:
a) normally an average score of 70% or above (1st) is required for an application to be award worthy
b) exceptional scores in the upper second range (60-70%) may be considered for an award
c) scores of 59% or under will not be considered for an award.

13. In the event of equal quality and limited funds, preference will be given to six-week projects over longer and shorter projects.

FUNDING

14. The financial support of the Royal Society of Edinburgh is limited to the amount of the student subsistence Scholarship, and excludes further overheads such a bench fees.

15.Applications will be ranked by the Committee strictly in order of merit and with a hard line drawn under the listing to indicate award-worthy candidates. Funds are allocated on that basis up to a maximum of 6 weeks and of £266 per week.

16. If your project is longer than six weeks, please give details if you are seeking/have sought other funding sources.

17. Cormack/Piazzi-Smyth awards may not be held together with other external Scholarships (e.g. Carnegie, RAS). However, Host Departments may contribute toward candidates to (a) enhance the financial value of their Cormack/Piazzi Smyth award OR (b) to contribute part of the £266 Cormack/Piazzi-Smyth award level.

18. The applicant should notify the RSE of any awards made by external organisations and/or the Host Institution as soon as they receive notification of this.

19. Payment: the award is paid directly to the individual applicant by the date they request in their acceptance of the offer.

20. Financial reporting: in their report, awardees should detail the amount spent and any unspent funds. Unspent funds over £30 should be returned to the RSE using the bank details provided.

21. Changes to the project:

a) The RSE must be consulted on, and informed of any significant changes to, the proposed project following approval of the application. Failure to consult the RSE about proposed changes could result in funding being withdrawn

b) If the Scholarship has to be cancelled for any reason, you will be required to reimburse any monies already issued to you by the RSE.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FROM SUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS

22. A Report on the results of the work undertaken during the tenure of the Scholarship must be prepared by the Scholar and submitted by the Supervisor by 1st October in the year awarded. It should not exceed 10 pages, including all figures and tables. Should, exceptionally, a lot of graphic or even video material on results be thought to be crucial to the report, they should be submitted as separate files. This report must indicate very clearly where it is providing a review of previous work, whether and where it uses existing material such as codes, precisely what the Scholar did themself, and how they see the future direction of further work in the area.

23. On submission of the report, the supervisor of the vacation project should also submit a short commentary on the work enclosed, avoiding comment on the student themselves, but explaining the degree to which the work is in their view the student’s own or original ideas, versus prescriptive application of an existing code/project, and the level at which the work is to be disseminated, e.g. published in its own right, used in future work etc.

24. The report will be checked for accuracy by officers and then submitted to the Convener of the panel who, in consultation with relevant colleagues, will comment on the conduct, delivery and impact of the research.

25. An annual prize of £100 will be awarded to the best project, based on the work of the project and on the quality of the submitted report.

26. Should the report not be submitted by the due date, or if it be deemed incomplete or unsatisfactory, the recipient of the award will be invited either to submit it within two weeks or to revise the report in line with the assessors’ comments.

  • 27. If the report is still not forthcoming, or if the Convener continues to be dissatisfied with the report, the peer review panel will consider what sanctions are appropriate. Sanctions may include:
  • Request for refund of award
  • Letter to head of institution in which the recipient of the award is based
  • Penalty listing of recipient of award
  • Penalty listing of institution at which the recipient is based

MISCONDUCT

28. In accepting this award, the host institution is expected to have in place policies covering research misconduct together with procedures that would be applied were the awardee(s) to fail to abide by them. This award may be withdrawn should the awardee be found guilty of misconduct or unacceptable behaviour (both personal and work-related).

29. The RSE adopts the UK Research Integrity Office (www.ukrio.org) Code of Practice and definitions of good conduct and misconduct are available on our website:- https://www.rse.org.uk/codes-of-conduct/

ADDITIONAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS

30. Successful applicants will be invited to the annual Cormack/Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA) event and the Cormack evening Public Lecture, both normally held in November. Scholars will also be invited to bring posters to the Cormack/SUPA event.

ACCEPTANCE OF REGULATIONS

31. By signing this application form and accepting the grant offer letter both the Host Institution and the applicant for the award agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions upon acceptance of the award by the Host Institution. Both the Funder and the Royal Society of Edinburgh shall be entitled to enforce these Regulations.