How do I apply? | Graduate Access Programmes | University of Oxford
Natural History Museum
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History
(Image Credit: Yunli Song / Graduate Photography Competition)

How do I apply?

The deadline for applying for the UNIQ+ Graduate Access Research Internship Programme and/or a Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship (BVS) at Oxford was 12 noon on Monday 24 February 2020.

Applications for our 2020 programmes have now closed. Register your interest to keep up-to-date with news about the future of Graduate Access Programmes at the University of Oxford.

Information for applicants to our 2020 programmes

You only need to submit one application. If you're only eligible for one of the two programmes, eg due to your subject area, you'll only be considered for that programme. If you are eligible for both programmes and are successful, we will match you to UNIQ+ or Wellcome BVS on the basis of your interests, project/supervisor availability, and closest match with the eligibility criteria, in order to maximise the number of places we can offer.

To apply, you will need to complete our online application form. As part of the application process you will be required to provide information about your education, submit supporting documents, state your subject interests, provide a personal statement, and source two references. The application form will ask if you have undertaken or are undertaking a sandwich year/intercalated year as part of your undergraduate degree. Please specify in your personal statement the type of placement and whether or not this involves/has involved a significant research component. The information below will help you to prepare the information you need before you start the form.

The information below is correct for our 2020 programmes.

Your education

In addition to information about your undergraduate/postgraduate degree, the application form will ask you to provide the name and address of the school(s)/college(s) that you attended when you passed your GCSE(s) or equivalent (usually at age 16) and in your final calendar year of secondary education (usually Sixth Form/FE college at age 18). Don’t worry if the name has changed or the school has now closed – just include as much detail as you can. You will need to provide a postcode, which you can search for using an online service such as the Royal Mail’s Postcode Finder.

Supporting documents

The application form will require you to upload several documents in support of your application. You will first be required to upload your CV in PDF format (or as a PNG/JPG). When preparing your document, please save it with the following naming convention: SURNAME, Firstname, CV.

You will also need to upload a copy of your University transcript(s) containing, if you have not completed your degree, the grades/marks you have received so far for your undergraduate (and, if applicable, postgraduate) degree(s). Downloads/screenshots from student self-service online systems are fine, but must clearly show your name and details of your course and institution. You will have the opportunity to add up to 5 files and we kindly request that you use the following naming convention: SURNAME, Firstname, type of document (eg Undergraduate Transcript/Postgraduate Transcript etc).

If relevant, you may also need to upload a copy of your most recent Student Finance letter about any financial support package that you receive(d) for your undergraduate degree (detailing any loan/grant in addition to the standard government loan that all UK-resident students are eligible for).

Your subject interests

Research projects offered as part of UNIQ+ and Wellcome BVS at Oxford will be available in the subject areas listed on our Projects page. The application form will ask you to outline your preferred field of study and any potential supervisors or research groups you would be interested in working with.

If you are successful, we will try to match your interests to available projects and supervisors. Please note that we will not always be able to meet your preferences for a project/supervisor, but we will try our best to do this wherever possible.

Your personal statement

The application form will ask you to provide a personal statement of up to 4,000 characters in length. We recommend that you draft this offline and double check the number of characters you have used before copying this into the application form.

Your statement should explain why you are interested in UNIQ+ and/or the Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarships, and why you believe your background and/or personal circumstances qualify you. Think about what interests you about the programme, why you believe you meet the programme criteria (outlined in the After you apply section below), what motivates you to study your subject now, how you have engaged more closely with your field over time, and what you would like to get out of the programme.

As part of the application form, you will be asked if you have undertaken or are undertaking a sandwich year/intercalated year as part of your undergraduate degree. Please specify in your personal statement the type of placement and whether or not this involves/has involved a significant research component.

Write your statement in Word or Notepad, keeping it under the 4,000-character limit, then copy-paste your text into the form when you are happy with it. There isn’t one ideal structure or style for a personal statement - focus on what you want us to know about you and how this programme would fit into your academic development. Make sure that you have read the programme criteria carefully to see what the programme is looking for before you start.

References

The application form will ask you to provide information about your two referees. At least one should be a member of university academic staff (eg a tutor, advisor or professor) who can comment on your academic ability, the quality of your work, your potential for further study, and your suitability for the programme(s).

Please note that we will not contact your referees on your behalf, so you will need to contact your referees yourself and make sure they are happy to write a reference for you by the deadline.

You should ask your referees to send their references to us by email to uniqplus@admin.ox.ac.uk by 12 noon on Monday 24 February 2020. If they want more information about UNIQ+, you can give them this link: http://www.graduate.ox.ac.uk/access/referee

After you apply

Selection for the UNIQ+ and Wellcome BVS at Oxford will be made on the basis of the following information collected in the application form:

  • financial circumstances;
  • socio-economic information;
  • any relevant contextual information supplied in your application form and personal statement;
  • your academic merit and potential to do research in the relevant field, as evidenced by your academic record and references; and
  • all other things being equal, ethnicity may be taken into account, and preference given to applicants who identify as Black and Minority Ethnic.

We will let you know the outcome of your application by email, and we aim to contact all applicants by the end of April 2020. If you have been successful, the offer will confirm whether you have been awarded a UNIQ+ research internship or a Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship at Oxford. It will also include what you’ll need to do next and information on how to prepare for your research placement. If you aren’t successful, you might be placed on a waiting list – if so, we will let you know when you can expect to hear whether you’ve got a place.

We aim to notify all applicants of the outcome of their application by the end of April 2020

If you are made an offer, in accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will request information about relevant, unspent criminal convictions. This will enable us to take appropriate steps to facilitate effective support and/or assess whether an applicant poses an unacceptable risk to students and staff. Your offer letter will include instructions to this effect.

The declaration, and if relevant assessment, of a criminal conviction will be a condition of the offer of a place. Please refer to our Criminal Convictions Policy for full details.

Night time view of the Radcliffe Camera
Night time view of the Radcliffe Camera
Credit: Rob Paton

Information for referees

Referees are kindly requested to submit a reference letter, to assist the University in making a full assessment of each application. We ask that referees comment on the academic ability and general suitability of the applicant for participation in a graduate access programme at Oxford, and any other information you may consider relevant. Please read the guidance below, which provides a suggestion of what to include in your reference letter and instructions for sending your reference.

If possible, please include the following in your reference letter:

  • the name of the applicant, so that we can attach your reference to the correct application;
  • the duration and extent of your familiarity with the applicant;
  • the specific course the applicant is/was on;
  • their general aptitude and academic potential;
  • their academic achievements (including prizes, publications etc);
  • their relevant skills and experience (eg academic writing, work and/or research experience,laboratory skills, etc);
  • their suitability for participating in a graduate access programme at Oxford; and
  • their relevant personal characteristics (eg independence, innovation or determination).

Our graduate access programmes, UNIQ+ and the Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarships, provide a 7-week research internship offering the chance to experience what postgraduate study is like at the University of Oxford. They are aimed at those from areas of low progression to postgraduate study. 

Your reference will need to be sent to us by email as a PDF attachment. To be considered valid, you should send your reference from your professional/institutional email address. Where this is not possible (eg because you have retired), could you please explain the circumstances in your reference letter.

Please email your reference to uniqplus@admin.ox.ac.uk by 12 noon on Monday 24 February 2020.

Please ensure that the applicant's name is clearly visible in your reference letter