Undergraduate Research Grants

Backed by the Institution’s Research Fund, this grant scheme supports undergraduates, worldwide, with finance for challenging and rewarding research projects. Grants are for existing projects that are carried out during term-time as part of a student’s degree programme, so no additional work needs to be taken on. This money helps students to add value to current projects, encouraging them to excel, and presenting an opportunity to make their work stand out.

Applications for a grant must be made on behalf of students by academic project supervisors. Undergraduates who are interested in the grant should make their supervisor aware of the scheme and ask them to apply. The grants are available to any undergraduate student anywhere in the world, not just Institution members.

The 2018/19 scheme is now open for applications, the deadline is Friday 11 May 2018.

Go to Previous Award Winners to view currently funded projects.

Up to seven grants of £800 are available each year to be paid in two instalments:

  • £600 to cover project costs (this includes: equipment, consumables and software licenses) - payable at the beginning of the project
  • £200 to the student - payable when the deliverables have been received

How to apply

  • All applications must be submitted in English by the academic project supervisor using the grant application form (please note: you will need to download and save a copy of the application form before you can complete it).
  • Applications should be made for a particular project idea, to be carried out in the subsequent academic year.
  • If the application is successful, the academic project supervisor then selects a suitable student(s) to undertake the project.
  • The timing of the project is intended to coincide with the university's usual arrangements for term time undergraduate projects that are assessed for a degree.


Both UK and international applications are eligible, as are members and non-members.

For a research project to be eligible for a grant it must be:
  • Focused on a structural engineering topic
  • Undertaken during term time in the last or penultimate year of undergraduate study and before graduation
  • Part of the assessed work of an undergraduate degree programme (BSc, BEng or MEng) in civil or structural engineering
  • Undertaken by an individual student or as a joint project with two students
Please note that:
  • Postgraduate studies (MSc and PhD) are not eligible
  • Only one application can be submitted by each member of academic staff per year

Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be used in assessing applications:
  • Extent of innovation
  • Impact on practice
  • Feasibility for a student to conduct the project within a short time frame
  • Likelihood of expected outcome to provide scope for further research
  • Applications that address the priorities of the Industry Focussed Research Challenge will receive additional credit in the initial selection of grant winners. The current priority themes are given on the Institution's Research page.

Conditions of the grant

  • On being awarded a grant, it is incumbent on the academic project supervisor to select a suitable student to undertake the project, provide the required supervision and arrange the necessary university resources for the successful execution of the project.
  • Details of grant holders and their academic project supervisor will appear on the Institution's website and in email and social media communications, together with the following project details: the aims, method and benefits as stated on the application form, and the executive summary and poster.
  • The student must agree to submit an A1 size poster highlighting the key features of the project, and an executive summary of 200 to 300 words (relating, where possible, the project outputs to practice or further research required), to The Institution of Structural Engineers within two months of completing the project. 
  • The grant is awarded to a named academic project supervisor for a specific project as detailed on the application. Grants are not transferable to other supervisors or projects.
  • Any changes in circumstances that would affect the undertaking of the proposed project should be made known to the Technical Department at the earliest opportunity.

Required project deliverables

The following two deliverables are to be submitted within two months of completing the project:
  • An A1 poster highlighting the key features of the project
  • An executive summary of 200 to 300 words (relating, where possible, the project outputs to practice or further research required)

Prize for deliverables

All posters will be judged with the following prizes awarded:
  • First prize: engraved plaque, certificate, news story, and poster displayed at the next Young Researchers' Conference
  • Runner-up: certificate

Take a look the previous award winners.

Any questions?

Please contact the Technical Department.
Find out more...

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