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

Are you an undergraduate studying Astronomy looking for a way to further your research skills this summer? The RSE/Cormack Vacation Scholarship scheme is now open for applications.

The Cormack Vacation Scholarship scheme is 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 over the summer holiday period.

Applicants should be full-time undergraduates, normally up to and including the Summer before final year.  All Scholarships – which have a value of £200 per week – 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 £200 a week.

This call is currently closed for 2019. The RSE is currently undertaking a review of its Research Awards Programme and announcements on future funding opportunities are planned for Spring 2020.

Fund value

The value of each Cormack Scholarship and the Piazzi Smyth Scholarship is £200 per week, and the maximum length of each Scholarship is six weeks.

Fund duration

The maximum length of each Scholarship is six weeks.

Additional Information


Applicants must be full-time undergraduates (normally up to and including the summer before final year), be nominated by a department in one of the Scottish higher education institutes and have a class record indicative of good research potential.  There is no restriction on home institution or nationality.

A Scholarship may be held at any of the Scottish higher education institutes but not necessarily at the applicant’s home institute.  Students interested in holding a scholarship at another institution are advised to contact that institution at the earliest opportunity.  Projects will be specified by the Institution and must be astronomical in content.  The Scholar must be involved in original research work requiring initiative on his or her part (for example, library survey projects are not supported).

A Scholarship cannot be held in conjunction with other external vacation awards (e.g. Carnegie, Nuffield) though additional Departmental support is permissible.  Please see the application guidelines for further details. Normally not more than one Scholarship will be made to an individual during their degree.  Applicants should indicate on the form if they are applying for other funds for similar vacation scholarship schemes.

The financial support of the RSE is limited to the amount of the student subsistence Scholarship, and excludes further overheads, bench fees and the like.


This call is currently closed for 2019. The RSE is currently undertaking a review of its Research Awards Programme and announcements on future funding opportunities are planned for Spring 2020. If you have any questions, please contact us.