An intern looking at books on a shelf
A Graduate Access Programme participant visits the library
(Image credit: Phil Brooks)

UNIQ+ eligibility requirements

Eligibility criteria for entry in 2024

To be eligible for UNIQ+ you must:

  1. 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
  2. be currently undertaking or have completed an undergraduate degree at a UK or Irish university; and
  3. have completed at least one full year of your undergraduate degree at the point of application if you have not graduated yet; and
  4. 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
  5. 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 attended university, or completed 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 of Black or Mixed Black, Bangladeshi or Mixed Bangladeshi, Pakistani or Mixed Pakistani ethnicity, or a member of the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showman or Boater communities; or
    • be from a low-income background and in receipt of more than the minimum levels of support detailed from your regional funding body in the most recent year during which you received finance for your undergraduate degree (see the Financial eligibility section of this page to find out how to check whether you meet this financial criterion).

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 Google DeepMind 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.

Google DeepMind placements

In addition to meeting the UNIQ+ eligibility criteria, to be considered for a Google DeepMind placement, you will need to be currently studying an undergraduate degree or have already completed an undergraduate degree in computer science, or AI facilitatory related technical field.

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:

  1. 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
  2. not have undertaken or be currently undertaking an intercalated year; and
  3. not have completed or be currently undertaking a one-year placement in research as part of your degree (eg a sandwich year); and
  4. not have previously undertaken a vacation scholarship from Wellcome or another funding body, or have had significant research experience; and
  5. not be a graduate-entry medical student who has previously completed an undergraduate degree in a science-related subject; and
  6. be studying an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject area, for example:
    • science (including biomedical, natural, computing or physical sciences)
    • medicine
    • dentistry
    • veterinary medicine
    • engineering
    • mathematics

Eligibility definitions

The additional information below provides further details about the definitions we use when assessing your eligibility.

Ordinary residence

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 people who have ever lived in public care under the age of 18, or been classed 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 three months.

Caring responsibilities

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 three months or more occupying more than 10 hours per week.

Estranged student

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.

Refugee

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. 

Financial eligibility

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 in the most recent year during which you received finance for your undergraduate degree’).

If you completed a part-time undergraduate degree during this period, please contact us using our online form (or by email: uniqplus@admin.ox.ac.uk) for information on eligibility thresholds.

Applicants who received at least the following levels of support from their regional funding body in the most recent year during which they received finance for their undergraduate degree will meet the financial eligibility criterion for UNIQ+. 

England

Students who received at least the following levels of maintenance loan:

Table of minimum qualifying support levels and location of residence during that year
 Minimum qualifying support level
Studying outside London, not living with parentsStudying in London, not living with parentsLiving at home
Final year maintenance loan in 2020-21£7,384£9,787£5,985
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 
Maintenance loan in 2023-24 (not final year)£8,552£11,571£6,988
Final year maintenance loan in 2023-24£8,010£10,614£6,492

If you completed your degree prior to the academic year 2020-21 and believe that you were in receipt of the maximum loan from Student Finance England, please contact us by email (uniqplus@admin.ox.ac.uk).

If you are currently on a placement year and only eligible to receive a non-means tested level of loan, or on a year abroad/interrupted year, please refer to the maintenance loan in 2022-23 and upload both your placement year finance letter and your 2022-23 finance letter as part of your application. 

Scotland

Young Student bursary of at least £500.
Or Independent Student loan of at least £7,500 in 2023-24, £6,600 in 2022-23 or at least £6,250 in 2021-22 or earlier.

Northern Ireland

Maintenance grant of at least £689.

Wales

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.

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, ethnicity, and gender for projects in certain subject areas.

Can I apply for UNIQ+ if...

I have applied or plan to apply in 2024 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 have not yet completed a full year of my undergraduate degree?

If you are currently in your first year of your undergraduate degree or if you are attending a university where you have entered directly into the second year of your degree, you need to have completed year 1 and be in at least year 2 of your undergraduate course at the point of application, ie any student who has not yet completed a full year of their undergraduate degree 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 feel UNIQ+ would still be beneficial to you.

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