Eligibility criteria for entry in 2023
To be eligible for UNIQ+ you must:
- be ordinarily resident in the UK (your UK residence should not have been wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education, eg you moved to the UK for educational purposes at the start of your course); and
- be currently undertaking or have completed an undergraduate degree at a UK or Irish university; and
- be in at least the second year of your course if you have not graduated yet; and
- not have already completed or be currently studying a PhD/DPhil, or have an offer to start a PhD/DPhil (see the Who should apply? section of this page for advice if you have applied for PhD/DPhil study and are waiting to hear the outcome); and
- meet at least one of the following criteria:
- be in the first generation of your family to go to university (ie none of your parents, stepparents or guardians have higher education qualifications); or
- be care experienced (for a period of more than 3 months); or
- have had caring responsibilities for 3 months or more occupying more than 10 hours per week; or
- be estranged from your parents/guardians; or
- have been considered as statutorily homeless and qualified for assistance under your local authority’s ‘main homelessness duty’; or
- be a refugee, stateless person, or asylum seeker, or been otherwise forcibly displaced within or outside your country of origin; or
- be from a low-income background and in receipt of more than the minimum levels of support detailed from your regional funding body (see the Financial eligibility section of this page to find out how to check whether you meet this financial criterion).
The University of Oxford is committed to increasing the participation of students from underrepresented backgrounds across all its programmes. We would strongly encourage applications from students of Black, Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity, who are underrepresented at Oxford, and from members of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showman and Boater communities, who are underrepresented across higher education as a whole.
If you have previously completed a UNIQ+ Research Internship at the University of Oxford, then you are not eligible to apply for the programmes.
The Eligibility definitions section provides further details including how to ensure that you meet all the requirements (eg 'ordinary residence', 'care experienced' etc) and the Financial eligibility section of this page will allow you to check whether you meet the financial criterion (see above).
Eligibility for ESRC and Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarships (BVS) placements
Our UNIQ+ Research Internships are funded through a number of different sources and your application will be automatically considered for all programmes that you are eligible for. Some of these placements have additional eligibility criteria.
ESRC-funded placements in Social Sciences
In addition to meeting the UNIQ+ eligibility criteria, to be considered for a placement with Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding, you will need to be in the middle years of your first-degree studies and studying for a UK honours degree. These placements can only be undertaken in projects in the social sciences that are eligible for ESRC funding, which will be indicated in the project description where applicable.
Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarships
In addition to meeting the UNIQ+ eligibility criteria, to be considered for a Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship (BVS) placement, you will need to:
- be in the middle year of your course (not the first or final year) when you have not yet undertaken a substantial period of research; and
- not have undertaken or be currently undertaking an intercalated year; and
- not have completed or be currently undertaking a one-year placement in research as part of your degree (eg a sandwich year); and
- not have previously undertaken a vacation scholarship from Wellcome or another funding body, or have had significant research experience; and
- not be a graduate-entry medical student who has previously completed an undergraduate degree in a science-related subject; and
- be studying an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area, for example:
- science (including biomedical, natural, computing or physical sciences)
- veterinary medicine
The additional information below provides further details about the definitions we use when assessing your eligibility.
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 you can stay in the UK (for example, a time-limited UK visa) would not usually be eligible for our programmes.
Care experienced student
We define ‘care experienced’ as those students who under the age of 18 have ever lived in public care or as a looked-after child, including:
- living with foster carers under local authority care.
- living in a residential children's home.
- being 'looked after at home’ under a supervision order.
- living with friends or relatives in kinship care – either through a formal arrangement (eg a Special Guardianship order) or an informal arrangement without local authority support.
To be eligible for UNIQ+, your care experience should have been for more than 3 months.
As well as caring for children, we define a carer as anyone who has a commitment to providing unpaid care to a family member or friend who could not cope without their support. This may be due to illness, disability, a mental health issue, or substance misuse. To meet this eligibility criterion, your caring responsibilities should have been for 3 months or more occupying more than 10 hours per week.
We consider an estranged person to be someone under the age of 25 who has not communicated with their parents/ stepparents/ guardians due to a breakdown in their relationships and has had no physical and financial support from them for at least 12 months. Estranged persons may also have been assessed as independent by Student Finance during undergraduate study.
We include those who are now in the UK and have ever been a refugee, stateless person, or asylum seeker, or been otherwise forcibly displaced within or outside their country of origin. This could include those with discretionary leave to remain in the UK, and those granted other forms of humanitarian or human-rights related protection in the UK.
The information below is provided for applicants who would like check whether or not they meet the financial eligibility criterion ('be from a low-income background and in receipt of more than the minimum levels of support detailed from your regional funding body').
Applicants who received at least the following levels of support from their regional funding body during their degree meet the financial eligibility criterion for UNIQ+. The minimum qualifying support levels for the different regions are set out below:
Students who received at least the following levels of maintenance loan:
|Minimum qualifying support level|
|Studying outside London, not living with parents||Studying in London, not living with parents||Living at home|
|Final year maintenance loan in 2020-21||£7,384||£9,787||£5,985|
|Final year maintenance loan in 2021-22 (not final year)||£8,130||£11,001||£6,642|
|Final year maintenance loan in 2021-22||£7,615||£10,091||£6,171|
|Maintenance loan in 2022-23 (not final year)||£8,318||£11,255||£6,796|
|Final Year Maintenance loan in 2022-23||£7,791||£10,324||£6,314|
If you are currently on a placement year and only eligible to receive a non-means tested level of loan, please refer to the maintenance loan in 2021-22 and upload both your placement year finance letter and your 2021-22 finance letter as part of your application.
Young Student bursary of at least £500.
Independent Student loan of at least £6,600 in 2022-23 or at least £6,250 in 2021-22 or earlier.
Maintenance grant of at least £689.
Students who began their undergraduate course from 2018-19 minimum qualifying support levels:
- Studying outside London, not living with parents: Maintenance grant of at least £5,208
- Studying in London, not living with parents: Maintenance grant of at least £6,408
- Living at home: Maintenance grant of at least £4,488
Students who began their course from 2012-13 to 2017-18 inclusive:
- Grant of at least £1,142
Who should apply?
We are looking for proven and potential academic excellence. Applicants would usually be on track to achieve or have achieved a final undergraduate degree grade of a strong 2:1 or First, in a subject area related to the listed projects that you are interested in. If your transcript shows year on year grade progression towards the upper range of a 2:1 or above, then we’d encourage you to apply for the programme.
We encourage students at non-Russell Group institutions to apply. You can check if your institution is a member of the Russell Group.
The aim of the programme is to provide research experience for individuals from groups that are currently underrepresented in postgraduate research who have not yet been able to experience a period of substantial research. Places will be offered in priority to those who have not yet had extensive research experience and will therefore most benefit from the programme.
Our After you apply page provides information about the criteria we will take into consideration when selecting applicants. These include academic merit and potential, socio-economic information, contextual information, and gender for projects in certain subject areas.
Can I apply for UNIQ+ if...
I have had or will have some research experience?
The aim of the programme is to provide research opportunities for individuals from groups that are currently underrepresented in postgraduate research who have not yet been able to experience a period of substantial research. Therefore, places will be offered in priority to those who have not yet had extensive research experience and will most benefit from the programme.
If you have had or will have some research experience during this academic year (eg because you are in the fourth year of your undergraduate study or because you are a current Master’s student), please give further details in your statement of the extent of your research experience and why you think UNIQ+ would still be beneficial to you.
If you have previously completed a UNIQ+ Research Internship at the University of Oxford, then you are not eligible to apply for the programme.
I have applied or plan to apply in 2023 for a PhD/DPhil course?
As graduate admissions are still underway at most institutions for next academic year, you may not know the outcome of any PhD/DPhil application you have made/intend to make. We recommend you apply to UNIQ+ if you meet the criteria, but if you are then successful in your application for a PhD/DPhil, please let us know so we can withdraw your application.
I have previously completed a UNIQ+ Research Internship at the University of Oxford?
If you have previously completed a UNIQ+ Research Internship, ESRC-funded UNIQ+ Research Internship, Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship or UNIQ+ DeepMind Internship at the University of Oxford, then you are not eligible to apply for the programme.
I am undertaking a foundation year as part of my degree?
If your course includes a foundation year, you need to have completed the foundation year, and be in at least year 2 of your undergraduate course, ie any student who is in Year 1 immediately following a foundation year would not be eligible.
I am in my final year or have already graduated from my undergraduate degree?
You would normally be in the middle years of your degree as the programme is aimed at those who have not yet experienced a substantial period of research; however, if you are in your final year, or have already graduated, your application will be considered where a clear benefit to taking part in UNIQ+ can be demonstrated (eg your degree did not include a research project or you graduated a long time ago or you did not gain much research experience from your project, etc.) Please give further details in your statement of the extent of your research experience and why you think UNIQ+ would still be beneficial to you.