Summer Studentship Grant

The Healthcare Infection Society Summer Studentship Grant Scheme aims to support and develop student interest in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) and medical microbiology.

This scheme is indented to provide students with research experience in a project that relates to the clinical practice of IPC in preventing healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs). This project is intended to generate data that can lead to a future translational clinical research project. 

The student will be paid weekly whilst carrying out a research project between, at minimum, their second and third years of a degree programme. 

Up to £500 is available for consumables for the research project and after successful completion of the project, the student will be given HIS associate trainee membership for one year, and will have the opportunity to attend and present their work at the annual Federation of Infection Societies (FIS) conference. HIS will cover the costs of the registration fee and expenses of the student for the conference. 

Please see the HIS Research Strategy 2020-2025 document for full information on our funding remit. 

  • Total amount available for research consumables: £500
  • Student stipend: £420 per week for projects based in London and £400 per week for projects based elsewhere in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland. 
  • Duration: minimum of 6 weeks, maximum of 8 weeks (35 hours per week)
  • When: projects to take place from June to September
  • PI must be UK or Ireland based and a member of HIS at time of submission

Application deadline: 15 February at 11.59 pm - applications for 2024 have now closed

Frequently asked questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

Eligibility requirements for the Primary Applicant: 

  • Member of HIS at time of submission - awardees can re-apply once every 2 years 
  • Be part of a research group at a UK or Republic of Ireland institution
  • Have research experience or include an experienced researcher as a Co-Investigator on the application
  • Have clinical research experience in infection prevention and control (IPC) or include a Co-Investigator to act as a mentor for the project who is either a Consultant Microbiologist (or Speciality Registrar on a microbiology pathway), a Specialist Clinical Scientist or an Infection Control Nurse
  • PhD qualified postdoctoral researchers and fellows are welcome to apply but they must identify Co-investigator/s with research and clinical IPC experience to be named on the application to act as a mentor to guide them with supervision of the student. The mentor must be a HIS member at time of submission
  • Apply with a named student on the grant

Eligibility requirements of the named undergraduate student:

  • Will have completed a minimum of two years of a microbiology/bioscience degree, intercalated degree, or a nursing degree
  • Will not have started the final year of their degree at the time of the summer studentship
  • Registered for a degree at a UK or Republic of Ireland institution
What research do you fund?

The scheme can be used to:

  • Fund short lab based research projects to generate data that can lead to a future translational clinical research project 
  • Create proof of principle data to underpin external applications for additional funding
  • Develop a student's experience in laboratory based IPC research
  • Provide access to funds for hypothesis testing
  • Encourage innovative and interdisciplinary research in IPC
  • Build consortia for specific funding calls


Funding is not available:

  • For the commercial exploitation of work already being undertaken, or intellectual property protection;
  • For studentships or fee waivers for students;
  • For equipment purchase only
  • To purchase contracted-out services
  • For indirect and estates costs
  • As start-up funds for new staff
  • As honorarium payments to visitors or fees for undertaking teaching
  • To buy-out PI staff time

Please see 'How to apply' for the scoring criteria related this this scheme.

What costs do you fund?
  • The total amount available for research consumables is up to £500
  • We will only pay the direct costs of research at UK and Irish Universities and research institutes.
  • The UK higher education funding bodies provide funding for directly allocated and indirect costs associated with charity-funded research.
  • In England, this funding is called the Charity Research Support Fund. Similar funding is provided by the Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Northern Ireland government. Higher Education Authority block grants support research costs within the Republic of Ireland.
  • We will pay a UK or Ireland based University or research student the amount to pay a student a stipend of £420 per week for projects based in London and £400 per week for projects based elsewhere in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. 
  • After successful completion of the project the student will be given HIS associate trainee membership for one year will have to opportunity to attend and present their work at the annual Federation of Infection Societies (FIS) conference. HIS will cover the costs of the registration fee and expenses for the student attending this conference. 
How do I apply?

Your application must be reviewed and approved by your host organisation. The application and terms and conditions require signatures from an authorised authority within your institution who undertakes financial management of award, in addition to a Director of Research, Dean of Medicine or equivalent.

Applications must be sent to by 11.59 pm on the application deadline.

The following items must be included in your application:

  • Abridged CVs for the lead applicant and Co-Investigators/mentor (maximum 2 x A4 pages)
  • Abridged CV for the student (maximum 2 x A4 pages)
  • Letter of recommendation from PI for the named student (maximum 2 x A4 pages) - this should outline how the student is coping with their studies, why they are a good fit for the Summer Studentship Scheme and their motivations for undertaking a summer project
  • Letter of support from mentor if the primary applicant is a postdoctoral researcher or research fellow educated to PhD level (if applicable, maximum 2 x A4 pages) - this should outline what support will be available to the early career researcher whilst they are a PI of the research project and why they are appropriate to act as PI of the research project
  • Personal statement from the named student (maximum 2 x A4 pages) - this should include an explanation of their motivations for working on this specific project, why they are interested in IPC, microbiology, and research and should explain how the endeavour aligns with their career goals
  • Gannt Chart
  • Ethics committee approval and Risk Assessments (if applicable)
  • Signed copy of ‘The HIS Summer Studentship Research Grant Terms and Conditions’ form

Next steps:

  • Applications will be triaged for completeness, eligibility and fit to the HIS remit 
  • Applications will be sent the Research Committee for peer review, who will meet to discuss the applications
  • Applicants will be notified of their progress at this stage
  • After reviewing, the Research Committee will make a recommendation to the HIS Council regarding the proposal to fund
  • All applicants will be notified of the outcome


November The call opens

15 February

Application submission deadline

March to April

Research Committee (RC) review applications


RC meeting- discussion of applications

Award allocation




Project management and monitoring

The following Conditions of Funding are absolute and apply in all cases unless otherwise stated:

Reporting on project outcomes

Successful applicants are required to report on project outcomes (including publications and follow-on funding). Failure to report the outcomes of your project may result in your department being ineligible to receive HIS funding in the future. 

In line with the Society’s terms and conditions, publications resulting from the research must be submitted to the Journal of Hospital infection for first refusal.  Award holders will be required to acknowledge HIS funding in oral and poster presentations, and may be asked to present at a HIS meeting or conference.

Research Integrity

Projects are supported on the understanding that all applicants are familiar with the MRC’s policies and guidance on research ethics and research integrity and that the PI has taken ethical considerations into account in the project design, and has or will receive relevant formal ethical review and sign-off by  the relevant research ethics committee and governance committees  (and any relevant external committees), prior to the commencement of the research. The responsibility for identifying and responding to ethical considerations, referring them for review, and securing approval before the research commences lies with the PI: failure to do so can constitute misconduct.


Projects should be completed within a maximum of 8 weeks of the grant start date.