Cormack/Piazzi Smyth Undergraduate Vacation Research Scholarships in Astronomy

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

Under the auspices of the Robert Cormack Bequest Fund, the RSE is pleased to invite applications for undergraduate Vacation Research Scholarships in the field of Astronomy.

Applicants must be full-time undergraduates, normally up to and including the Summer before final year.  All Scholarships have a duration of six weeks.  Cormack Bequest Scholarships carry a value of £200 a week.  Applications with a clear link to mountain-top observing/data may be considered for the Piazzi Smyth Bequest Award, also valued at £200 a week.

Fund deadline passed

This fund is currently closed for applications.

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.


The application deadline for the 2018 Scholarships has now passed. Applications will open again in early 2019. 

If you have any questions about the award, please contact Hannah Ormston, Research Awards and Impact Officer.

In the meantime, you may wish to refer to the documents below:

Terms Conditions

Application Guidelines