Summer studentship

Summer Studentship 2024

Summer Studentships provide undergraduates with the opportunity to undertake research in a University, research institute, or industrial setting.

Two excellent suggestions from a past Summer Studentship Awardee (Bells Hann, University of Roehampton):

  1. Plan your studentship project around a subject area you’re passionate about, if possible. This will keep you engaged and motivated to complete your project to a good standard.  
  2. Consider what you’d like to do for your dissertation in your third year. Can your studentship help prepare you for that?

Applications reopen early January 2025 

The Nutrition Society offers Summer Studentships aimed at undergraduate members interested in a career in nutrition science. The studentships will provide undergraduates, registered on nutrition (animal or human) or related degree programmes, with the opportunity to undertake a period of research in a university, research institute or industrial setting.  All applicants must have an academic supervisor based at the university at which they are registered. 

Studentships are available for up to eight weeks and are worth up to £2500. There is a stipend of £1600 for the student. The applicant’s university will receive a payment of £400 towards research expenses associated with the project. Additionally, a conference grant will be available up to £500, for travel and accommodation to enable the student to attend the annual Nutrition Futures Conference in September, to present their research project. 

To be eligible to make an application, please read the following requirements carefully. You must meet of all of the requirements to be considered:

  • It is anticipated that students will have already undertaken at least two years of study at university for their FIRST degree (undergraduate), and have at least one year of their course remaining.The applicant must hold a current student membership which started before 1 November 2023 (i.e. the preceding year). It is expected that the recipients of the award will continue membership of the Society for two years following the award.
  • The online application should be submitted by the student who will be doing the project.
  • The project must be carried out and supervised by the names listed on the application form.
  • The proposed project supervisor and host school or department will each need to confirm their willingness to support the project and confirm that appropriate facilities will be made available. 
  • The University will be expected to administer the grant. 
  • All projects should be original research. A research project that has already begun or that has already been presented/started by another researcher, will not be acceptable. To clarify - you cannot join a research team that has already started on a project to be eligible for this grant, it must be all your original work.
  • If you are selected as a winner, it is expected that you will formally accept the project within 7 days, so that we may offer it to a 'runner up'.

The project must be concluded by the end of August 2024 as students will present an abstract of their findings at the annual Nutrition Futures Conference in early September.

The application and judging process

Applications will consist of a proposal of no more than 500 words, detailing your project including aims, hypotheses and methodology (not including references), and a statement of no more than 150 words explaining how the project will enhance your future career aspirations in nutritional science.

Closing Date for Applications - Midnight on 11 March 2024. Applications will be sent for judging within a few days of closure and all applicants will be notified by the end of March.

Judging of the application

Projects outlined in the application will be judged on their merits based on the criteria outlined below. 

Marking scheme

A total of 20 marks will be awarded by each of the judges. These will be combined to determine the highest-scoring recipients. Those with the highest aggregate scores will be offered the studentships. The Society reserves the right to only fund the best two applications from any one institution should multiple applications be received. Applications will be reviewed and scored independently by at least three Nutrition Society Trustees, Advisory Council Members and/or Science Committee Members.      

The proposal (out of 15) will be awarded for the:

Clarity of writing – Clearly and concisely outlines the nature of the topic to be addressed and the methods to be used (out of 5)

Hypothesis, Aims and Objectives – A logical and appropriate hypothesis to be tested and a clear indication of how the stated aims and objectives will test this (out of 5)

Novelty – The project addresses an important aspect of nutrition (animal or human) and the approach suggested is novel (but achievable in the timescale outlined) (out of 5)

Marks for the statement (out of 5) on:

Future career aspirations (out of 5) - The statement clearly articulates the candidate’s future aspirations for a career in nutritional science (or an appropriate related discipline) and indicates how completing the project will help them realise these aims.

The projects will be judged and the award for the Best Project will be presented at the Society's Annual Drinks Reception ahead of the Winter Conference.

How to apply 

Please read the sections on eligibility and the application and judging process.  if you are then eligible, we look forward to receiving your application to be part of the 2024 Summer Studentship programme.

Apply here.

Kaydee Shepherd & Bells Hann

2023 Winners

Best Summer Studentship Project 2023

Kaydee Shepherd, Leeds Beckett University

Project title: A pilot-study to determine the feasibility of a clinical tool to establish patient adherence to the Eatwell Guide.

"I applied for the Studentship as I am keen to pursue a career in research. This felt like a great opportunity to gain key skills and experience in a world where I had never been able to do so. My expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Through the studentship I got the opportunity to present my work at a Rank Prize funded forum, and at the Nutrition Futures conference. This boosted my presentation skills, improved my confidence in networking, and helped my organisational skills by planning and managing my time and workload. I would recommend it to anyone- whether interested in a research career or not."


Also awarded a studentship for 2023:

Bells Hann, University of Roehampton

Project title: A preliminary examination of the gut microbiota, cognition, and emotion in vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores.

"I was lucky enough to receive the 2023 Summer Studentship Grant. Carrying out my own research project was a very rewarding experience and I gained so much from it. Not only did it help me improve my research skills, I also developed experience in recruiting participants, collecting and analysing data, and interpreting the results. I gained a lot of confidence through presenting my research at the Nutrition Futures Student Conference in Glasgow in September 2023.   Doing the Studentship really helped me to prepare for my final year dissertation and the invaluable experience and knowledge is so worth it. I would hugely recommend applying!"


Maxine Di Vico, Liverpool John Moores University

Project title: Unlocking the complexities of appetite and cholesterol metabolism: A novel computational model



2022 Winner - Abbie Colosimo, University of Coventry

Project Title: The effect of pure orange juice consumption on postprandial blood glucose levels on normal weight and overweight/obese young adults.

Here is what Abbie thought of the experience

1. What made you apply for the Summer Studentship? I thought the summer studentship would be an amazing opportunity to apply my knowledge acquired throughout the first two years of my undergraduate degree, alongside gaining some practical experience in the field of Nutrition. In addition, I thought it would help me improve my knowledge and understanding as well as increasing my lab expertise.

2. How did you hear about the Summer Studentship? I first read about theSummer Studentship on the Nutrition Society's website, so I then discussed applying with my supervisor.

3. What was the process like? The process of applying for the internship consisted of meeting with my supervisor to discuss different potential projects and how and if they would work. Once we had decided upon a project, the application consisted of writing a rough outline of the project including a time plan and methodology of the project.

4. What was you research on and how did you feel it went overall? My research project was entitled “Comparisons of postprandial glycaemic response following orange juice and bread consumption between healthy weight and overweight/obese adults.” It investigated the glycaemic response following both the consumption of wholemeal and white bread along with orange juice in two different weight categories, those with a healthy BMI (body mass index) 18-24, and those with a BMI measuring overweight or obese 25+. I think overall that the project went really well, one of the problems we initially struggled with was recruiting participants, however, we eventually managed to get 10 participants in each weight category across a variety of different ethnic backgrounds. We recruited participants by advertising on the university’s social media accounts via the use of a gatekeeper letter, as well as by word of mouth throughout the university.

5. What advice would you give to a student thinking about applying? I would definitely recommend to students to apply for the Summer Studentship. It is an excellent opportunity and has provided me with some important skills which will help me both in my future career, and when completing my final year. It also provided some excellent networking opportunities as well as helping me prepare for my dissertation.

6. How might winning the Studentship and doing the project help with your career progression? Completing this studentship has helped me to advance for my future as it is unique experience which sets me apart from others when applying for graduate schemes and future internships. In addition, it has built on the foundations and provided me with key skills when starting both my dissertation and my proposal modules, in my final year.

7. What are you looking to do now or as a career? I am currently looking to apply for a postgraduate MSc inPublic Health and hope to pursue a career in population health or health policy.


2019 - 2021 Summer Studentships did not run due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

2019 Best Project Summer Studentship Winner:
Benjamin Narang, University of Bath

Project title: The effect of glucose-calcium co-ingestion during endurance exercise on exogenous glucose oxidation in healthy adults.

Other 2019 winners:

Rebecca Brooks, University of Leeds
Project title: Computational Modelling of Novel Iron Supplements

Avril Cassell, St Mary's University, Twickenham
Project title: Impact of cultural ethnic norms, body image and health perceptions on views and practices relating to healthcare messages of British Afro-Caribbean UK populations.

Lesley Yates-Cinti, Edge Hill University
Project title: Agricultural sustainability and farming practices past and present

Rachel Moon, University of Leeds
Project title: The link between PUFA metabolism and breast cancer — a Mendelian Randomisation approach/study.

Maria Wesolowska, Ulster University
Project title: Maternal Fish Intake and Child Cognitive Outcomes

Are Summer Studentships open to all students?

Applicants must be current student members of the Society and their membership must have started before 1st November 2023. Students from any university (UK or overseas) can apply as long as they are undergraduates, & still have at least a year of their first-degree course in human or animal nutrition, left to go.

Do I need to have permission from my university to apply?

Yes – you need to have the permission of the school or department and the tutor who will be supervising and supporting your project and can confirm that facilities will be there for you to use.

Are there any restrictions on applications?

The only restrictions are that the Nutrition Society reserves the right to limit the number of successful applications from any one university and to also ask for a refund from anyone who is found to not be meeting the eligibility criteria, despite having stated they comply.

Can two students from the same University work together on one project?

This is acceptable if you can define the specific role each student will play, however we can only pay up to £2500 for the project as a whole (not per person). You may also need to demonstrate that the project can be completed with only one person, should a student withdraw from the project.

How long is the research project?

It is intended to be up to a maximum of eight weeks during the summer vacation period and must be completed (including the write up) by the end of August.

What are my chances of securing one of the studentship grants?

There are always plenty of high quality applications which means it is a very difficult decision and details may matter. This means it is worth spending time and taking care with the application form in the first place.

How much funding will I receive?

You will receive up to £2500. Your university will be given £400 for incidental expenses. You will receive a stipend of £1600 for your research project. The grant will be paid to the University & they must manage the grant with/for you. A travel grant of up to £500 will also be awarded to enable you to attend & present your research at the 2024 Nutrition Futures Conference.

How will application forms be judged?

Volunteer members from the Society's Trustee Board, the Advisory Council and/or Membership Committee will make up the judging panel and will assess the applications on the academic achievement of the applicant, the scientific merit of the proposal and the reasons for how the candidate might benefit from carrying out a studentship. An aggregated score from all judges is then created to determine the successful applicants.

What will I be awarded?

All Studentship awardees will be given £2000 of funding, £1600 for you, £400 for the university and up to £500 to cover your costs of presenting at the Nutrition Futures Conference, where they will present their research project. A further award will be made for the best project which will be presented with their certificate at the Annual Reception.

Do I have to be a member of The Nutrition Society to apply?

Yes, all applicants have to be current student members and the membership must have started before 1 November 2023.

When is the closing date?

Applications must be received by midnight on 11 March 2024. Applications received after this date or time will not be considered.