The NERC Research Experience Placement scheme
Research Experience Placements (REPs) are paid Summer internships for Home/EU undergraduates from any university who are studying Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, Computing, or other quantitative disciplines, who wish to gain experience of research in the Environmental Sciences.
Successful undergraduate applicants are paid a stipend of at least £200 per week for a placement of 8-10 weeks during the Universities' summer recess. Up to £500 funding is also available to supervisors to use for expenses incurred by the research project. Successful candidates will later be encouraged to apply for a NERC-funded PhD in the Environmental Sciences.
Applications will open in April for EnvEast's 2019 REP scheme.
Candidates may apply for up to two EnvEast REP projects (see below) each year. To apply, candidates should send a C.V., a statement of up to 200 words stating which project you wish to apply for and why, and the name of a member of staff who can vouch for your academic abilities (e.g. your academic adviser/tutor).
The deadline for applications is Thursday 16 May 2019.
Any enquiries about the EnvEast REP scheme should be sent to David/Mavis at email@example.com.
2019 EnvEast Research Experience Placement projects:
2. Choose up to two projects from the list below.
3. Apply by sending a CV (to include an academic referee) and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, by 27 May 2016. Separate covering letters should be sent for each project applied for.
One candidate for each project will be selected by supervisors to be put forward for a short interview by an independent panel at UEA in Norwich, on 10 June 2016. Telephone/Skype interviews will be available. At least four top ranked candidates will then be offered placements (possibly more if funding is available).- See more at: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:safIQf0c30cJ:www.enveast.ac.uk/research-experience-placements/information-for-applicants+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-b-ab#sthash.ZutLtDL3.dpuf
Does sexual selection create superior invaders?
Lead supervisor: Prof Matthew Gage.
Invasive species can have major influences on ecosystems, and their impacts are growing as many more animals and plants are moved around the world. We know a lot about the consequences of biological invasion for biodiversity, but we know little about what makes a successful invader. This project will assess the importance of animal mating patterns for invasion. Mating patterns vary hugely in nature, generating big differences in strengths of sexual selection which, in turn, could influence a population’s ability to invade. Sexual selection (SS) acts within the struggle to reproduce, and we now know that SS has far wider impacts than the evolution of bright feathers or big antlers. When competition and choice occur in reproduction, SS theoretically improves the genetic health and fitness of a population, because only the ‘best’ individuals reproduce. If that’s true, SS should create better invaders. On the other hand, if SS biases investment into reproduction at the expense of naturally-selected traits (like growth, feeding, survival etc), we can hypothesise that these conflicts in SS create less successful invaders. This project will experimentally test between these ideas using evolution and experimentation in the lab.
What will you do?
You will join a friendly and welcoming research group conducting world-class science into the evolution of reproduction. Although you will be part of a supportive team, you will maintain and run your experiments, and gain experience in life sciences research. We use a small flour beetle Tribolium castaneum to study evolution in the lab, which has a short generation time, and is an ideal model for breeding experiments. For this project, we will use our unique selection lines that have ‘evolved’ in the lab for 10+ years under sole variation in the strength of SS. The experiment will trial these lines through a biological invasion assay to test whether SS creates superior invaders.
T. castaneum has a sister species, T. confusum, which will be the ‘resident’ species, into which we will ‘colonise’ T. castaneum invaders from different SS backgrounds. By running multiple replicate populations, and then subsampling and counting offspring from the two competing species through time as they reproduce following initial colonisation, you will track and compare invasion rates by the different castaneum SS backgrounds. We will train you in all aspects of the project, and you will spend time managing multiple experimental lines, counting and processing biological samples, logging and, finally, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting on the data.
What will you learn?
You will be based in UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, which is also a friendly and interactive environment. The placement will allow you to conduct a piece of original research into a topical and relevant question in evolution and ecology. You will help to design, conduct and analyse the invasion experiments, and interpret and present the findings. You will gain skills in experimental design, insect culture, general lab methods, microscopy, imaging, statistical analysis, and critical and creative thinking for scientific research. In addition to the Tribolium work, we also work on issues arising from Atlantic salmon farming; there will be an opportunity to spend some time in our molecular lab under guidance from an experienced researcher, conducting DNA-based research into farm salmon reproduction. We regularly host interns in our group, and all have benefited from the experience, and you will attend lab group meetings to discuss ongoing research at UEA and in other labs. You will interact with PhD students and researchers tackling different life sciences questions across the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at UEA, including other work in our group on adaptations to climate change and inbreeding. The placement will be a great opportunity to experience life sciences research first-hand, and to further your understanding of evolution and ecology. Your contributions will make you a co-author on the publication we hope to produce from this work.
Preferred background of the student
We encourage applications from keen students who are keen to experience some experimental research, while learning more about evolution and biodiversity. We prefer students who will be organized and thorough in the lab (because these experiments require careful attention to detail). Enquiries are welcome at email@example.com.
Duration: 10 weeks (start date TBC and by arrangement with the supervisors)
Please check your eligibility before applying. You can apply for up to TWO projects from those advertised on this website by sending a C.V., a statement of up to 200 words stating which project you wish to apply for and why, and the name of a member of staff who can vouch for your academic abilities (e.g. your academic adviser/tutor).
Applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 15 May, 2018.