Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarship

The Vacation Scholarship Scheme is intended for eligible students undertaking a degree course at an eligible Scottish Higher Education Institution (HEI), who wish to develop their research skills by undertaking a programme of independent research during the Summer vacation. The scheme aims to encourage students to learn how to manage a small scale research project and prepare them for further study at postgraduate level.

Your project must be a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of twelve weeks. The value of the Scholarship is based on the Scottish Living Wage rate for 35 hours a week. The value is adjusted each year to take into account any increase to the Scottish Living Wage.

Who is it for?

  • Undergraduate students who enrolled at a Scottish university, the Glasgow School of Art or the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • Allowed to live and work fulltime in UK during the period from May to August
  • Approaching their final year of study: year 3 of a 4 year degree, or year 3 or 4 of a 5 year degree.
  • On track to achieve a 2:1 or higher in their final degree classification.

What’s a Vacation Scholarship?

  • It enables students to gain research experience and skills while undertaking lab work, field work, library or archive visits, interviews, surveys etc.
  • It aims to encourage students to consider postgraduate studies.
  • It is for new, innovative research projects that would not normally be part of the student’s course.
  • The project must address a specific hypothesis or research question.
  • It may lead to new scientific, academic or intellectual knowledge, a new product, technology, or creative product.
  • It must result in a final report, provide opportunities to present research findings to others and enable the acquisition or development of specific research skills and/or knowledge.
  • The student must design his, or her, own project and write the research proposal.
  • An academic has to provide supervision during the project and advise on the design of the proposal.
  • The scheme provides a weekly stipend based on the Scottish Living Wage.

What it isn’t

  • The scholarships can’t be used for language study or for participating in summer schools or group expeditions.
  • It does not support work placements or volunteering activities.
  • It can’t be part of the student’s assessed course work: e.g. it can’t be the same topic as the final year dissertation, although it could address a sub-set of issues or questions that could be expanded into a thesis.
  • It can’t be the continuation of an existing or ongoing project or study.


  • At any time between May and August.
  • It is full-time, 35 hours a week, for a maximum of 12 weeks and a minimum of 2- typically 6-8 weeks.
  • Weeks do not necessarily have to be consecutive.


  • The research project can be undertaken at the student’s own university, a host research organisation or elsewhere, as long as relevant research supervision and resources are available.
  • It can take place in Scotland or anywhere else in the world.

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland