Graduate profile: Tara- Astrophysics

Tara Bruendl graduated in 2017 with a degree in Astrophysics.She wrote two blog posts for me while she was an undergraduate about her experience as a student intern with the European Space Agency.

After she graduated, her first job was with CSP Services in Spain (quality assurance techniques in the concentrating solar power industry using close-range photogrammetry.)

She then started as a Young Graduate Trainee in Operations with the European Space Agency and now, as part of her YGT in Industry, is acting as Functional Verification support for instrument testing on-board the JUICE spacecraft at Airbus Defence and Space.

Her LinkedIN profile is here

“My expertise in spacecraft operations is owed to previous work experiences at the JUICE Science Operations Centre (ESAC/ ESA), the Mission Analysis section at ESOC (ESA) and internships at collaborating research institutes such as MPS and DLR”

Interested in space? There are loads more posts on my blog, search using space and you can find out more here, including how to get involved.

45 paid virtual internships at the Faraday Institute

The Faraday Institution will provide up to 45 undergraduate students with the opportunity to take part in a paid “virtual” internship associated with one of our partner universities of up to eight weeks duration. Goals of the internships are:

  • To inspire you to pursue careers in the fields of battery technology and energy storage
  • To diversify the pool of talent
  • To increase your knowledge, skills and aspirations
  • Give contact with positive role models

Faraday internships

(Some are linked and you are told how to apply. Others are not but have the names of the supervisors– they are keen to hear from students. However, the Faraday website has not been updated so you might need to use your research skills to track down the supervisors directly!)

Space internships on offer now

Kathie Bowen from the UK Space Agency announced today:

There are lots of opportunities advertised on the SPIN website right now, calling for all sorts of different skills so please have a look.  There are also something like another 10 which will go up over the next month or so.

We, with the host organisations, are complying with government guidelines for remote working and social distancing and this is imposing its own constraints on what we can offer this year. 

We are being very flexible about timing and schedules around the intern and companies. All projects are prepared to at least start remotely and supervisors are putting good support programmes in place. I will be in regular contact with all interns as they begin and carry out their internships.

Our Induction day will be scheduled virtually and we are working around the developing guidelines to see how we can run our Showcase event

Its great to have something positive (and relatively) normal going on.

Really good news for students interested in space sector!

Find out more on the SPIN website

Internships for finalists available – apply now!

Through the Employ.ed in an SME internship programme the Careers Service is working with a number of small and medium sized organisations to offer exclusive summer internships to our students and recent graduates. There are two additional roles currently being advertised which we thought you might be interested in.

All internships are paid and are supported with match funding from Santander Universities. You must be in your final year to apply to Santander Funded internships.

Game Middleware Tester Intern – Mercuna

The aim of this internship will be to develop a test framework for Mercuna’s new AI vehicle and animal navigation software. Mercuna is currently developing a new cutting edge navigation middleware for the games industry.

Closing date: 23rd April

Apply now:

Computer Science Engineering Intern – Beta Bugs

You’ll be providing technical assistance and input within the colony, working with our Colony Manager to ensure that colony operations stay on track. This is a very important role since you’ll be assisting with building out the company’s internal operations and helping us develop great genetics.

Closing date: 26th April

Apply now:

The Careers Service is operating remotely so we can still support you remotely with your application.

We hope you are well at the moment – we understand this is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone. We’re here to support you, and you can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions, including how to get in touch with us, here.

Internships and Work experience team

The Internships and Work Experience Team

Summer internships for students & graduates

Employ.ed in an SME – The Careers Service is working with a number of small and medium sized organisations to offer exclusive internships to our students and recent graduates. All internships are paid and some are supported with match funding from Santander Universities. If the internship is supported by Santander (details in advert), then the internship is only open to final year students and recent graduates.  

Internships are being advertised on MyCareerHub from 25th March – 7th April .  

Find out more here  

#Employ.edinanSME #ExperienceWorks #SantanderUniUK 

Covid-19 statement 

The Careers Service is continuing to operate a service and deliver this programme during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re doing this remotely, in line with University and Government guidelines and in the interests of your health and safety.     

We understand that the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic is causing a lot of global uncertainty and the situation is constantly and rapidly changing.  You might be unsure about making an application at this time, however the organisations advertising through the programme currently have every intention of hiring for their internship. However, as you can understand the situation is unpredictable and it is possible that this will have an impact as the recruitment process progresses through these uncertain times. For example, you might have a virtual interview and/or internship, or the organisation might need to postpone the start date or cancel an internship before hiring.   

The Careers Service and the organisations you apply to will keep you updated as far as we can.  

Careers Service Covid -19 information: 

University Covid 19 updates: 

Funding for summer projects

I have had quite a few recent questions around this recently so thought I’d highlight some key sources and thank my colleague Deborah Fowlis for her suggestions.

Some organisations offer small bursaries to enable undergraduates to work in research during summer vacation. Successfully applying for your own funding looks impressive on your CV. Your first step should be asking the School and your potential supervisor if they can access/apply for any other funding on your behalf.

The University’s Academic Affairs Scholarships Sharepoint site highlights the Research Council’s EPSRC undergraduate vacation scholarships but closing date is quite soon (20 March) according to the EPSRC.

As well as the EPSRC one, the Sharepoint site flags up the College Vacation Scholarships. Closing date 27 March. College Scholarships are good for summer research funding. Find a potential supervisor and write a proposal yourself (often with help from the supervisor).

The Wellcome Trust offers what they call biomedical vacation scholarships. Details here show that physics is one of the eligible degrees although success may be more likely for those applicants doing research with some biophysical/biological aspect or context. The Wellcome Trust also offer opportunities in science policy.

The Carnegie Trust Vacation Scholarships is one to look out for. Closing date is past for this year but one to know about for next year

The Student Experience Grants from UoE are one-off contributions of up to £5,000 to support innovative projects that will “enhance students’ social, academic, intellectual, entrepreneurial, sporting or cultural development”. Summer lab research is eligible for funding (though you need to demonstrate the benefit to others) and any current student can apply. Twice yearly deadline

Finally, my Work Experience Resource for Physics and Astronomy students on MyCareerHub has more suggestions.

The Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe’s largest research organisations and offers funded summer placements at its three sites including at Edinburgh

For some funders you need to be second year or beyond in your degree. The bursaries are administered in myriad ways – sometimes it is YOU who applies once you have found a willing academic, sometimes it’s the participating academic .Sometimes you will have to come up with your own research proposal, but the academic will usually be willing to help (if you ask nicely). 

There is advice on the process of writing research proposals on the Prospects website (UK centred, aimed at PhD candidates – just need to scale it down a bit for undergrad projects) and also the Northwestern University website (USA centred, but same structure, and aimed at undergrad projects).

Make a difference with your tech skills

The Financial Conduct Authority works to make sure financial markets are honest, fair and effective so that consumers get a fair deal. They do this by regulating more than 59,000 businesses.

Next summer you could be developing your skills in an environment that makes a real difference to society. They have three summer internship programmes and closing date is 5 January 2020

Data Science Summer Internship Programme:
Technology and Change Summer Internship Programme:
Cyber and Information Resilience Summer Internship Programme

Find out more and apply here

Focus on: Arup

Arup are a UK-based, global consulting firm of consulting engineers (think Goldman Sachs of engineering!).  Famously they turned the architects vision of the Sydney Opera House into reality  alongside many other famous projects (Scottish Parliament, Coventry Cathederal, Barbican Centre, London Eye, Angel of the North, Millennium Bridge, Pompidou Centre, City of Manchester Stadium etc…)

  • Graduate vacancies are open now, due to close around 15th November.  They offer summer placements too. (Be aware, in our experience, they are quite slow at getting back to students, so be patient)
  • Some offices are easier to fill than others.  London is popular; apparently Bristol much less so and Whitehaven (nuclear industry) can be a challenge, so students could be strategic!
  • …but choice of office is a partly determined by the role as not all offices have every role.
  • Arup like our students!
  • Ove Arup (founder) gave his “Key Speech” in 1970, but it still guides the values of the company and students should be aware of it and have read over it.
  • They recruit from a surprisingly wide number of UoE subjects: (e.g) Acoustics, Animation, Archaeology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Criminology, Ecology, Engineering (all disciplines), Enviro Science, IT/Informatics, Maths, Physics, Psychology, Public Health, Social Policy, Zoology… and others!  Go to and scroll down to Filter vacancies by subject.
  • In some subjects/offices they will sponsor international students, but it depends on the competition and the student.

Online chats

Arup sent us the following email yesterday…

I was hoping you may be able to make your students aware of an online chat platform that we’re using at Arup this year as part of our graduate scheme and placement (summer and industrial) application process.

Every Tuesday and Thursday between 13:30 – 15:00 we will be hosting 1 to 1 live chats for students who are interested in finding out more about Arup, application processes, current projects, whatever they can think of! They will be connected to a member of our Early Careers team and will be able to chat to them on a 1 to 1 basis allowing our team to focus their complete attention on each individual student and also discuss an sensitive matters.

Students can sign up to the sessions using the following links:

Tuesday –

Thursday –

Focus on: Cambridge Consultants

Cambridge Consultants are a leading supplier of innovative product development engineering and technology consulting.

  • Facilities: over 100,000 sq ft of fully equipped laboratories and prototyping facilities on their own premises in Cambridge and Boston
  • Scale: more than 500 staff, including scientists, mathematicians, engineers and designers, able to bring multidisciplinary technology insight to client problems
  • Breadth of operation across medical technology and pharmaceuticals, wireless communications, consumer and industrial, energy and transport, and defence and security, enables insights and solution approaches to be transferred efficiently between sectors

Are you keen to apply your mathematical and scientific knowledge to solving creative and technically challenging problems? Join their team of talented mathematicians, physicists and engineers to develop future leading edge information systems.

They are currently recruiting for a graduate physicist or mathematician to work on client assignments and provide key ideas for projects involving the design, implementation and test of a wide range of products and systems. This will involve working with data from sensors or unstructured data and developing algorithms to extract valuable information. Clear presentation of results both internally and to clients is also important.  Full vacancy details here

They also offer summer internships and have some good videos on their site giving a  flavour of their projects