UROP opens up opportunities

The applications for UROP, the scheme offering research internships to undergraduates at the University of Reading, are closing today, March 31. This programme gives students the chance to participate in research projects led by academics, gain a wide range of transferable skills, and kick-start their career in the area of their interest.

Two of the students who participated in the scheme in 2016, Francesca McPeanne (Education) and Hamza Abu-Elmagd (Pharmacy), took their research projects further and, after being selected as overall winners at the Undergraduate Research showcase event last November, presented the outcomes of their research work at ‘Posters in Parliament‘ in Westminster during March.

The annual exhibition, hosted by University College London, showcases some of the best UG research in the country and saw 52 students from 27 universities display their research to a range of MPs and higher education policymakers. While Francesca’s project explored the controversial ‘bilingual advantage’ in word learning, Hamza’s work focused on evaluating stakeholder experiences of pharmacists in General Practice clinics. His poster was one of eleven research projects to be shortlisted for the overall Posters in Parliament competition on the day and was awarded joint third prize by the judging panel, which was made up of leaders in the higher education and research sectors.

A growing number of universities are engaging their undergraduates in research. Reading remains at the forefront with 2016/7 being another record breaking year for the number of UROP applications received and the number of projects being funded across the university.

Posters in Parliament, Photos by Kirsten Holst

Posters in Parliament, Photos by Kirsten Holst

Try out the summer internships

If you were standing in the queue for the Summer Ball tickets on the cold 23rd day of March, you certainly noticed the Careers Gazebo. From 11-2pm the team bravely faced the wind, welcomed passers-by, and handed out hundreds of goody bags.

The gazebo was put up on the occasion of the Summer Sorted scheme. This Careers programme was created for you to gain professional experience during the summer. If you are interested in research projects, then UROP is the programme for you. However, you may want to build up your working experience; in this case RIS is the way to go. Get started and apply for the internships on offer because the closing date for the UROP opportunities is March 31 while some of the RIS vacancies will expire on April 4.

What are the benefits of doing a summer internship? Professional development is the main one. Add to it all the people you will meet and the insights into your area of interest. In the long run these advantages will increase your chances of securing the job you want after graduation.

Until then, seize the opportunities and make the most of your summer!


Study in the USA with Fulbright!

The US-UK Commission have announced three ways in which they are supporting students into postgraduate study in the US:

1. USA Grad School Day – London

  • Date: 7 March (6pm-9pm) and October 2017 (TBC)
  • Location: American School in London (1 Waverly Place, London, NW8 0NP)
  • Cost: £10/person

The event provides students with an insider’s view of how to successfully navigate the US postgraduate admissions process. Fulbright advisers and experts in the field will cover a variety of topics: choosing the right programme; admissions exams; application components; and funding opportunities, including the Fulbright Awards for 2018-2019.

This bi-annual event is sponsored by the University of South Florida and Kaplan Test Prep and kindly hosted by the American School in London.

Registration: Students should register on www.fulbright.org.uk

2. Fulbright Scholarships for 2018-19 – For UK Citizens to Study in the USA

  • Application deadline for UK Awards: 6 November 2017

Fulbright is the only organisation that offers scholarships for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university. Each year, the Fulbright Commissions give Awards to approximately 20-25 UK postgraduates.

More than funding, the Awards offer scholars the opportunity to have a ‘transformative’ cultural and academic experience and provide unparalleled support both during and after their Fulbright year. Further information can be found on the Fulbright website.

3. Fulbright Advisory Service

The US-UK Fulbright Commission is funded by both governments to promote and facilitate educational exchange between the US and the UK. As part of the EducationUSA network of over 400 advising centres worldwide, Fulbright’s advising team is the UK’s official source of information on US higher education. Visit the Fulbright website for a step-by-step guide on applying to US universities, including a section specifically for advisers.

This blog post has been provided by a third-party, please see our terms & conditions for details on third party submissions.

The 3rd BES Summer School, 17th-21st July 2017. Dalefort Field Studies Centre, Pembrokeshire

Applications are now open for the BES Summer School due to take place at Dale Fort Field Studies Centre in Pembrokeshire 17th-21st July 2017.

We have just 50 places for any Undergraduate in their 1st  or 2nd year  at any UK or Irish University with an interest in an ecological career and ecological research.  We’re offering a fully funded week long residential to the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast and a chance immerse yourself in ecology, fieldwork, networking and guest speakers and workshop leaders from across the breadth of ecological science. Alongside an exciting scientific programme we have a strong careers programme and as always our PhD mentors are on hand with support, advice and a packed social programme.

We are very pleased to confirm that Prof Jane Memmott will open the Summer School as our welcome plenary speaker.

The school is open to anyone in their 1st and 2nd year and we will try our best to support everyone in accessing the  school.   If you have any questions about the nature of the school, the activities you will undertake or any access arrnagements that might need to be confirmed prior to applying, please get in touch with Karen Devine

Applications process

Your application form:  Please  download, complete and return the form.  Do make sure you read the forms carefully and complete all the necessary sections returning to the BES no later than the deadline specified.  In 2016 98 people applied for 50 places and we will not be able to accept late returned applications.

*Disclaimer: the contents of this blog have been provided by the British Ecological Society. Please see our terms and conditions for details on third party submissions to the blog.

All of our fairs have passed, but there’re still plenty of other events left…

With Beyond Profit last Wednesday 1st, all of our major fairs for this academic year have now passed! But what if you missed them? Or are still looking for inspiration? Luckily, all is not lost.

There are many other job fairs hosted across the country, and even in Reading, ranging from graduate fairs, fairs for specific vocations, and even part-time job fairs.

The next one coming up in Reading is this week, on Wednesday 8th February at Broad Street Mall, where The Jobs Fair will be offering all sorts of opportunities from 10am-2pm. For full details, see their website: https://www.thejobfairs.co.uk/event-details.php?id=562

And, of course, careers fairs aren’t the only way to find a path into the working world; we run a number of skills sessions, employer meet & greets, as well as one-to-one advice appointments. Feel free to drop by Careers in the Carrington building between 9-5 on weekdays, or check out the vast number of resources on our website: www.reading.ac.uk/careers

“I had absolutely no idea I would end up doing this, but everything’s worked out fine in the end and I’m perfectly happy.” – Andy’s Answer

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Andy Grayson, Secondary School Teacher

“Hello, my name’s Andy and I graduated in 2014 from Bath University, with a 2:1 in Sociology.

Having always had low aspirations, my intention since about GCSE stage had been to take the easiest possible subject at the best possible university, then by hanging onto the coattails of the institution’s prestige worm my way into a mediocre office-based role with a large firm. Ideally, this company would be large enough to engulf me into its badly-run workforce so inefficiently that my idleness would go unnoticed, and I could look forward to 40 years of uneventful chair spinning and a comfortable retirement package.

In view of this, I took a work placement in a little known Japanese outfit that apparently made some sort of technological items, within the obscure “sales operations” department (we were responsible for processing theoretical price quotes for server configurations, on the basis of which potential clients would compare with other similar manufacturers and subsequently decide whether they wanted to actually become future customers. Quite.)

Exactly in line with my long-term plan therefore, and I arrived with the full intention of becoming a run of the mill undervalued member of the lacklustre “team”. In the event however, the job turned out to be so chronically boring that even my puerile attitude couldn’t lighten the mood (I got moved desks twice for “being silly”), and in the end I only just made it through the year without being asked to leave the premises.

As such, my life goals in disarray, I had to have a complete reassessment of exactly what I was going to do with the bit of your existence between grinning shiny-faced wearing a flat hat and holding a fake scroll for your parent’s mantel piece, and putting my name down for a stair lift. One option was of course to spend a year desecrating ancient monuments in the Far East while wearing board shorts and stroking comatose tigers for my tinder profile, but even I’m not unbearable enough for that.

After a few confused months of applying to all sorts of bizarre career paths (in one particularly unsettling incident I appeared before the Royal Navy Admiralty Interview Board), like so many others of my generation mistakenly seeing myself as “good with people”, I did a PGCE course with a view to being a secondary school teacher. This may seem one of the most miserable experiences possible in the developed world today, since not only do the kids see you as a complete doss and climb up the walls, you actually have to pay for this humiliation, since as a university course it’s a 9 grand day out.

However I unaccountably passed the year and now find myself teaching Religious Studies (obscurely) at a pleasant school in south west London. I have a year 7 form and have just seen my first batch of year 11s through their GCSEs, and even have my own seat in the pub at the end of the road, which incidentally is where I’m going as soon as I finish typing this. I had absolutely no idea I would end up doing this, but everything’s worked out fine in the end and I’m perfectly happy”.

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

What are you going to do after university? No idea? Discover more answers on the Careers Blog at: http://blogs.reading.ac.uk/careers/myanswer/ 

“If I had one bit of advice it would be this: Don’t look for a career.” – Glenn’s Answer

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Glenn Tosek, Digital Information Assistant, University of Reading

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2014 and was completely relaxed about careers and the future. I’d had an amazing three years at university and always felt these things have a way of figuring themselves out in the end. Besides, I felt I’d earned a good summer holiday after finishing my final exam!

I worked part-time at a supermarket during my studies and was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position a couple of months after graduation. It was not really my plan to use my degree to work my way up the retail ladder, but I figured I may as well get started in the meantime to earn a bit more each month.

However as time passed, the issue of a fulfilling career started to worry me. I loved my time at university and didn’t want my education to go to waste. I didn’t study the Emancipation Proclamation of 1864 to stack tins of baked beans every day. I didn’t want just ANY office job that paid a reasonable entry-level salary. I knew I wanted something that could challenge me and set me on a new, exciting path.

I had always had a few ideas of what I could see myself doing, whether it was a sports journalist (like 90% of my fellow classmates in university), magazine/content writer or radio broadcaster. However with these being nearly impossible fields to break into, I did have another idea. Go back to university.

Now when I said that, I didn’t literally mean go back and do a Masters. My dissertation was stressful enough already. I did, however, always fancy the idea of working on a university campus. Having been on one for three years previously, I always loved the atmosphere around university. As I am only 24 years old as well, I felt I was in a good position to communicate and help current undergraduates.

After regularly checking the jobs websites for local institutions, I eventually found a position within the Careers department at the University of Reading. I spent ages on my application, and customised my CV for the role before sending off my application. After securing an interview, I researched the university’s Careers Centre thoroughly and was fortunate to be offered the position.

I am now a Digital Information Assistant and am really enjoying it. Within my role, I aim to engage students in the Careers department through our various social media sites and newsletter. I am often out and about on campus taking photographs and ‘live-Tweeting’ from various events and workshops.

If I had one bit of advice it would be this: Don’t look for a “career”. If you keep worrying about finding a whole lifelong career, you will end up with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Instead, just look for that first job. Just a job. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine! You can always find another and try something else out. If it does work out, then you will be well on your way to a happy and fulfilling future.

This article has been provided by an external organisation, as such the views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Careers, Placement and Experience Centre.

UK Huawei Seeds for the Future – Apply now!

Are you an undergraduate student looking for a life changing experience? Are you excited by technical problems because you see them as opportunities to grow as a person? Are you fascinated by the rise of Asia and ever wondered how to get practical experience working for a dynamic global business in China?

We are offering UK undergraduates – studying STEM or related disciplines (e.g. Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Computing) the opportunity to travel to China on a 4-week programme in August 2017.

Students can apply if:

  • are UK passport holders
  • study a STEM subject and are undergraduates(any year group)
  • submit their CV and an essay of no more than 500 words demonstrating an interest in China and in Huawei and your suitability for the programme

Students should send their CV and the supporting essay to me at m.papantoniou@reading.ac.uk  by 24th January 2017.

Find out more with the UK Huawei Seeds for the Future Brochure 2017.

2016/2017 Graphic Design Competition

1. Brief

To enter the competition, you need to design the following display stands focusing on the social/cultural benefits of studying at your University/College.

In your designs, please try and create stands which showcase the best social/cultural aspects of studying at your University/College. You need to ensure the branding is consistent across the display stands and the design fits with the dimensions of the stand, whilst all the time trying to appeal to prospective students who may want to study at your institution.

To be eligible you will also need to provide a 250-300 word description which explains the inspiration for your designs and how you think it will stimulate interest in your institution and its city.

Please use the two display stand templates below for your design. Any images/logos you use in your artwork will need to be high-resolution (preferably vectorised) images set up at a minimum of 300dpi. Save and send your artwork through as a print-ready PDF.

2. Judging & Prizes

Three winners will be chosen from the submitted entries by a 4-man panel made up of graphic designers and design professionals from Display Wizard.

The winners will be evaluated on how their design/essay conveys the following: consistent branding across displays; appeal to prospective students and consideration of the stand dimensions in the design proposal.


  • 1st: A Wacom Intuous Pro Medium Graphics tablet worth £299.99
  • 1st: £500 grant; 2nd: 100 grant; 3rd: £50 grant
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd: Display Wizard Certificate and publicity through Blog posts and social media.
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd: The chance to work on a real-life marketing project and showcase your work to The Design Council, University marketing department, the large-format print industry and the wider design world.
  • Summer internship with Display Wizard (optional)


  • 1st: One 3×3 EventPro Curved Pop Up Stand with branding designed by student.
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd: One Swift Banner Stand with branding designed by student.
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd: A useful competition that can be integrated into the course curriculum.

3. Eligibility

The scholarship is open to all undergraduate or postgraduate students taking part in an art, graphic design, visual communication, creative advertising or marketing course at a UK-based University or College. Proof of student status needs to be provided with application.

4. Application

To apply, please submit your designs for the two display stands along with your accompanying essay using the brief above any time before the 1st May 2017.

You can submit your essay and 2 designs to scholarships@displaywizard.co.uk. Please include your name and educational institution when submitting your design. If you have any questions on the competition please use the same address.