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SENSE Research Experience Placements – Summer 2021

Research Experience Placement is a summer placement scheme funded by NERC, aimed at undergraduate students to address demographic and diversity-related challenges in the environmental sciences as well as thematic skills gaps (e.g. quantitative skills).

SENSE REP students will become part of a network with SENSE interns at all base locations. They plan to keep in touch with their interns after they complete their internship and support them with their future PhD applications whether they decide to apply to SENSE or another PhD programme.

Students taking part in a SENSE REP in 2021 will be guaranteed an interview for a SENSE studentship for our next round of recruitment for entry in 2022.

Placement Details, Funding and Reporting

  • Placements duration is 6 weeks full time the summer vacation period (mid-June to the end of August). They include 4 days of annual leave which will have to be taken in agreement with the project supervisor. Exact dates will be at the discretion of the project supervisor.
  • Placements are paid at the University grade UE03 (£345.38 per week).
  • Due to COVID 19 all placements will be available to be completed by remote working.
  • There is no additional cost available for relocation.
  • Students will need to be in the UK due to employment regulations.
  • The student and the project supervisor at the host organisation will be required to complete a brief online report on the outcome of the placement at the end of the placement.

Visit the SENSE website for full details on all the projects listed below >>

At the University of Leeds:

  • Detecting water leaks from space
  • Quantifying the impact of the 2015/2016 El Niño event on regional wild-fire-induced ozone air pollution using Earth observation and modelling
  • Investigating changing surface melt patterns on the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Dust storms in the Sahara and Sahel: nowcasting and its application to understanding dust emission and transport
  • Assessing the benefits of trees outside woodlands using earth observations
  • Understanding extreme weather caused by convective storms in south-east Asia

At the University of Edinburgh

  • A multidisciplinary approach to quantifying oceanographic pathways around Antarctica and their impacts on climate
  • Supporting the development of a Children’s vulnerability to climate change index in Uganda
  • Poverty Estimates in Mozambique and Zimbabwe Using High Resolution Satellite Data
  • Mapping forest height in Ghana to support carbon-based conservation

Application Process

Applications for the summer REPs 2021 will open on 26th April 2021 with deadline for application midnight on 16 May 2021.

Please note that the application process for the University of Leeds and University of Edinburgh will be different. However for both institutions the following documents will be required. Please make sure you indicate clearly which project you are applying for.

  1. A current CV (including contact details for two referees)
  2. A short (one page) statement on your motivation for applying for a placement
  3. A transcript of current marks (a screen shot from your university record system is sufficient)

To apply for a placement at the University of Leeds

Apply for a placement using this form and you must also email supporting documents to

Only applications with both a form and supporting documents will be considered – it is your responsibility to ensure you have filled in the form and emailed your supporting documents.

To apply for a placement at the University of Edinburgh

Indicate your interest in a placement by completing this form and you must also email supporting documents to

Applicants will then be invited to complete a University of Edinburgh online application form once this has been made available on the university People and Money system.

Deadline Midnight on 16 May 2021.

All shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a short online interview with the project team.

Successful candidates will be notified in early June.