Summer Research Grants

The John Ray Trust is offering grants of up to £500 each to enable talented young undergraduates at the University of Cambridge to participate in a research project during the summer vacation in a field that John Ray would have been interested in. Projects must be supported and supervised by an established University lecturer/researcher who works in an appropriate area.

The John Ray Trust was founded in 1986; its principal objectives are to advance the education of the public in the natural sciences and to promote increased awareness and appreciation of the work of John Ray (1627-1705), who was educated at Cambridge, was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1667 and was one of the most respected natural historians in Europe of his time. Explore this website for more information.

In considering applications, the Trust will place special importance on the proposed project’s relevance to John Ray’s interests, the enthusiasm of the student, and the financial needs of student. Given its limited resources, the John Ray Trust is unable to support any project in full, but hopes to contribute towards defraying the costs for students with limited means to experience research in a Cambridge science department.

Eligibility: those who are registered as first- or second-year NST or MVST or Math undergraduates in the University of Cambridge at the closing date of the application are eligible to apply. We expect applicants to have obtained (or to be predicted to obtain) an Upper Second or a First in their most recent University examinations.

Application Procedure:

Please download the application form from the bottom of this page and email the completed form to An academic reference from a supervisor also needs to be submitted by the application deadline.

Part A of the form must be filled in by the proposed project supervisor.

Part B is to be filled in by the student, and must include the name of an academic referee (usually the Director of Studies or a key supervisor) able to comment on the student’s performance in Cambridge examinations to date and on their need for a grant.

Applicants should ensure that their referee also sends, by electronic mail, a reference to the same address by the deadline.

Application Deadline: 31 March 2023

Date of Notification: 15 May 2023

Conditions of the Grant:

Any publication arising from the project supported by the John Ray Trust Summer Grant should include an acknowledgement of the Trust’s support.

Payment will be issued on completion of the project and on submission of a one-page summary of the project. This summary should be written as clearly as possible, intelligible to a lay audience, and could include illustrations. It will be uploaded on the Trust’s website.