An intern typing on a laptop computer in an office
A Graduate Access Programme participant working on their project
(Image credit: Phil Brooks)

Application Guide for UNIQ+

The application process

This guide explains how to apply for a UNIQ+ Research Internship, including how to complete the application form and provide supporting documents. This is a guide for making an application to our 2024 programme.

We encourage applications from talented individuals who would find continuing into postgraduate study a challenge for reasons other than academic ability. 

If you wish to apply for UNIQ+ but have personal commitments (eg childcare or other caring responsibilities) that make it difficult to be in Oxford for the full seven weeks, we would still encourage you to apply. If you are offered a place on the programme, we will discuss with you possible alternative options to undertake the internship depending on your circumstances and the type of project.

Preparing to apply

  1. Before you apply for a UNIQ+ Research Internship, you should first check that you meet the eligibility requirements for entry in 2024
  2. If you are confident that you meet the criteria to apply, you should then review the list of projects that are available in 2024. Our application form will ask you to select at least one and up to three preferred projects that you are interested in working on, and provide further information on your reasons for your interest in the project(s).
  3. You will need to nominate one referee when you complete the application form and their reference must be submitted by the deadline (12:00 midday UK time on Wednesday 21 February 2024). Therefore, we suggest that you contact your referee as soon as possible to check that they're willing to provide a reference. Guidance for UNIQ+ referees is available on this website and you can share this short link with your intended referee:

Getting started

Once you have identified your preferred projects and a potential referee, you should consult the guidance in the next section of this page. It contains a link to our application form and provides details of how to complete it and upload your supporting documents.

How to apply

To apply, you will need to complete and submit our online application form by the deadline of 12:00 midday (UK time) on Wednesday 21 February 2024. We recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least one week in advance.

As part of the application process you will be required to provide information about your education and your background, answer a series of questions about your experience instead of providing a CV, submit supporting documents, outline your reasons for choosing your project(s), provide a personal statement, and source one reference. We strongly encourage you to read our Medium article about Five things we really want you to know about applying to Oxford.

We recommend you use a computer to complete the application form and not a smart device (ie phone or tablet), as you will need to upload a number of documents in support of your application.

You are responsible for making sure that all required documents, including your reference, are submitted by the deadline and meet the University’s requirements. If your application is submitted late, or it is incomplete or ineligible, it will not be put forward for assessment.

Completing the application form

You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents. If any document does not meet the specification, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed. Expand each section to show further details.

About you

The first section of the form will collect information about you, including your personal details, contact information and residence details. This section and the ‘Referee and reference letter’ section (described below) can be submitted before the remaining sections of the form. Once submitted, this section will be locked from further editing, so you should check the information you have entered before proceeding.

Your personal details

Please enter your details as they appear on your passport or other official document, such as a driving licence.

Your contact information

When providing your primary email address, please enter a personal email address and not a university email address. All communications will be sent to you at this email address. If you register with a university email address, you must also include a personal email address as part of your application.

Your residence and eligibility

When completing the declaration, you will be asked to confirm that you are ordinarily resident in the UK. Your country of ordinary residence is the country in which you are normally resident, out of choice and for a settled purpose, apart from temporary or occasional absences. It is not a country in which you are studying, working or living temporarily. You would usually have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK in order to be considered ordinarily resident. Those with a time limitation on how long they can stay in the UK (for example, a time-limited UK visa) would not usually be eligible for our programmes.

Your referee and reference letter

The application form will ask you to provide information about your referee. Your referee 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. Please enter your referee’s institutional or professional email address. If this is not possible, you will need to provide additional details when registering your referee so that we can, where necessary, seek confirmation of their authenticity. Your referee will also need to explain the reason for this in their letter. 

To give your referee as much time as possible to submit their reference for you, we recommend that you add your referee's details and submit the first two sections of the application form (‘About you’ and ‘Reference’) as soon as possible. As soon as you submit these sections of the form:

  • your referee will be sent an automated email that will explain how to submit their reference via a form; and
  • the completed 'About you' and ‘Reference’ sections will be locked from further editing.

Therefore, before submitting the first two sections of the form you should:

  • contact your referee to make sure that they are happy to write a reference for you and submit it before the deadline of 12:00 midday UK time on Wednesday 21 February 2024; and
  • make sure that all the information you have entered in the ‘About you’ and ‘Reference’ sections is correct – you will not be able to change it once it has been submitted. Take particular care when adding the email address of your referee. 

After you have completed and submitted the first two sections of the form (‘About you’ and ‘Reference’), we advise you to contact your referee to make sure that they have received the email notification. You should then continue to complete the remainder of your application.

If your referee would like more information about the UNIQ+ Research Internships, you can provide them with a link to the Guidance for UNIQ+ referees page on this website. You can share this short link with your intended referee:

Once you have submitted your full application, you will receive an email confirmation when your referee provides their reference.

Reference Authenticity

If we suspect that your reference is not genuine, or has not been submitted by the registered referee, we will take reasonable steps – including contacting third parties – to determine their authenticity. If the reference turns out not to be genuine, your application will be withdrawn and will not be considered for UNIQ+. Where possible your referee must be registered with an institutional or professional email address. If this is not possible, reference letters must explain why. References you upload to your application yourself are not permitted and will not be considered authentic. Personal references (ie from family, friends or neighbours) are never acceptable.

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.

The form will also require you to upload several documents in support of your application:


You will need to upload a copy of your university transcript(s) containing the grades/marks you have received so far for your undergraduate (and, if applicable, postgraduate) degree(s).

If you have not yet completed your current degree and/or you do not have access to a transcript of your final results, you will need to submit an official interim or provisional transcript with details of your grades achieved to date. We will also accept screenshots from self-service portals.

If you are providing a master’s transcript that does not yet contain any grades, you must include your undergraduate transcript to be considered ready for assessment.

To be accepted, any transcript you provide (including downloads/self-service screenshots) must clearly display:

  • your name;
  • your institution; and
  • a breakdown of grades.

You will have the opportunity to add up to five files. Please use the following naming convention: SURNAME, Firstname, type of document (eg Undergraduate Transcript/Postgraduate Transcript, etc).

The following formats are acceptable for assessment purposes:

  • a scanned version of an official transcript. This will often have a signature or stamp to certify it. The document(s) provided must be readable, but may show watermarks caused by copying or scanning;
  • an official e-transcript via a secure third-party electronic system. If you'd like to share an official transcript using an electronic system such as Digitary, register the email address [email protected] and choose the longest possible time for the document to be available. We will then add your transcript to your application;
  • an electronic copy of an interim or provisional transcript provided by your institution. If you are currently studying and/or you do not have access to a transcript of your final results, you should submit an official interim or provisional transcript;
  • screenshot images from self-service portals, if you are unable to obtain a transcript document;
  • a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR); and/or
  • a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) certificate.

We do not accept:

  • Word documents (.doc and .docx)
  • Transcripts you have typed or translated yourself.

A degree certificate will not usually qualify as a transcript as it does not include detailed grade information.

If your application is successful, you will be required to arrange for a final and/or official transcript to be sent directly from the institution or accredited e-transcript provider or to post a hard copy of your original transcript. Your institution may need several weeks to produce your transcript, so you should look into your institution's arrangements as soon as possible.

Your experience

You are not required to submit a separate CV to apply to the UNIQ+ Research Internships. You will instead be invited to answer a series of questions (as relevant for you) that collect information that would usually be included in a CV/ résumé including information about:

  • research experience;
  • employment experience;
  • prizes and awards;
  • skills and interests; and
  • professional qualifications and training courses.

If a separate CV/résumé is uploaded, it will be removed from your application.

Your background

You will also be asked a series of questions about your student finance. We recommend having your most recent student finance letter available before you answer the questions on ‘Your financial circumstances’.

As you complete the 'Your background' section of the application form, you will also be asked to submit supporting materials concerning your financial circumstances:

Student Finance summary

You will be required to upload a scanned copy of the most recent official letter/screenshot with your entitlement summary from Student Finance confirming the undergraduate financial support you receive/have received from the UK government.
This should detail any loan/grant in addition to the standard government loan that all UK resident students are eligible for.
Any screenshot must include:

  • your name;
  • the name of the Student Finance body, eg, Student Finance England;
  • the year; and
  • the amount of maintenance loan/grant/bursary that you received and/or were entitled to.

A copy of an application for funding will not suffice. Please note, we do not require evidence of any loans received for master’s courses.

If you are currently on a placement year or year abroad and only eligible to receive a non-means tested level of loan, you will be asked to upload the most recent official letter/screenshot AND the official letter/screenshot for the last year that you received finance. For example, if your placement year is 2023-24, you should upload the letter for 2023-24 and for 2022-23.

You will also be asked a series of questions about your socio-economic circumstances. You will be able to select ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘prefer not to say’ for all these questions, but if you are eligible for any of these criteria, we would encourage you to select ‘yes’ and provide as much detail as you can. If you have any questions or concerns about responding to these questions, please email us at [email protected].

Your subject interests

You can find more details about the UNIQ+ projects that are available this year on the project pages. These are grouped into broad areas (Humanities and Social Sciences, Maths and Physical Sciences and Life and Medical Sciences) and then into subject areas. As part of the project description, a theme has also been provided to help you to decide if this is in your area of interest. 

The application form will ask you to select at least one and up to three preferred projects that you are interested in working on and explain your interest in each project you select. It is expected that the projects you select would usually be in a similar subject area.

Please use the relevant project code to indicate your preferred projects in the application form. Make sure that you select the correct projects as once your application is submitted, you won’t be able to change your selection.

If you are successful, we will try to match your interests to available projects and supervisors. We will also match you to funding 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.

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. Only projects that are matched to successful applicants will run this year.

Your personal statement

The application form will ask you to provide a personal statement that is divided into two sections with up to 2,000 characters per section. We recommend that you draft this offline and double check the number of characters you have used before copying this into the application form.

The first section of your statement should explain why you are interested in applying for UNIQ+. Think about what interests you about the programme and the projects you have selected, 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.

The second section of your statement should explain why you are applying and why you believe your background and/or personal circumstances qualify you. Think about which eligibility criteria you meet and your reasons for applying to UNIQ+ that have been designed to introduce students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds to postgraduate study.

We encourage you to mention any extenuating circumstances or personal circumstances that you would like to bring to the attention of the academic assessors. For example, if you have been in care, if you are estranged from your family, if you have experienced homelessness, or experienced other situations that have had a significant impact on your education. 

Write your statement in Word or Notepad, checking that each section is under the 2,000-character limit, then copy-paste your text into the form when you are happy with it. Make sure that you have read the programme criteria and project descriptions carefully to see what the programme is looking for before you start.

There is no 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.

Start or continue an application

You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please refer to the requirements above and consult this guide for advice. You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.

Closed to applications

Submitting your application

Only complete and eligible applications that are submitted by the deadline will be considered. For your application to be considered complete, your application will need to include all required documents and your referee will need to have submitted their reference by 12:00 midday UK time on Wednesday 21 February 2024.

Please submit your application as early as possible – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least one week in advance.

What happens next?

Please consult our After you apply page for further information about how your application will be assessed, including information about how and when you can expect to hear the outcome.

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