Information for Employers


Could your business benefit from a bright and enthusiastic physics undergraduate this summer? As part of the SEPnet Summer Placement Scheme we are seeking employers to sponsor physics undergraduate students at £2,000 per student to conduct research or complete a project as work experience for a period of eight weeks during their summer break. Students will use the £2,000 payment to cover their costs during this period. If you have a placement project which you think would be suitable for a physics student, see below for how to register the details.

A win-win situation

Simply provide a description of your placement, then, if your project is chosen by the SEPnet board, we will advertise your project to our pool of 1,200 2nd and 3rd year physics undergraduates and ask them to apply direct to you for the placement. We will support both you and the student to minimise your workload and ensure the process is as smooth as possible. Read about some of our students’ recent experiences here:


How it works

Register your project here by Friday 9 February. The SEPnet board will then review the proposed placement projects, based on academic merit and the potential for students to gain commercial awareness and soft skills such as communication and teamwork (any information you include as to how students will develop these will increase your chances of success).

From the beginning of March, the details of selected projects will be advertised to eligible students through the SEPnet website and physics departments at SEPnet universities.

During March interested students will be invited to apply direct to you by sending their CV and a covering letter. You are then invited to select and interview students.

Any placements not filled will be advertised to applicants again in April.

Employers inform us of the successful student by end of April and all placements are filled by mid-May.

Placements take place from June to September although specific start and finish dates are mutually decided between you and the student. For further details on regsitering projects and dealing with student applications, take a look at the SEPnet Summer Placement Handbook 2018.

You must abide by the agreed terms and conditions.

If you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at

Summer Scheme FAQs

How much do I have to pay the student?

Students are paid £2,000 for an 8-week placement. Employers who fund a student may be entitled to a 2nd student placement funded by one of the SEPnet university partners. There is some match-funding available from SEPnet university partners. Match-funded placements will be advertised to students at the SEPnet partner university who is funding the placement.

Do I need to include the student on my payroll?

You should treat your student as an employee for the period they are working with you so they are covered by an employment contract and protected under your insurance and health and safety policies. If you are unable to employ your student other working arrangements may possible on a case by case basis.

What if the student or supervisor has booked a holiday in the middle of the summer?

The period of work is mutually agreed by you and the student. All we ask is that the student is with you for eight weeks in total. If you wish to schedule a break, just let us know.

I’d like to host a student but a block of eight weeks over the summer doesn’t suit me. Can we make alternative arrangements?

Yes. The standard placement is eight weeks in the summer. However if you have a requirement for an alternative structure (for example half a day per week for six months and three weeks over Easter) then we will be happy to consider it providing the total amount of work is equivalent to eight weeks.

What happens if I want to keep the student on for more work after the eight weeks?

You can agree with your student for them to work for an additional period. You should pay them for their additional time on a pro rata basis.

What if there are any problems?

SEPnet strives to ensure that the scheme works well for the organisations and students involved. However, as issues are sometimes unavoidable, we conduct a site visit during the placement to ensure that everything is going smoothly. We also offer pastoral care to the student if needed, in addition to the support of your own Human Resources department, and liaise with you during the placement to ensure there are no problems.