As you may often have been told, work experience is highly regarded by employers because it gives students highly relevant skills and insights gained from working with a business, university or research institution.

Evidence suggests that students who have undertaken work experience are more likely to gain employment or study for a postgraduate qualification. Communication, team working, organisational, networking and project management skills are essential skills regardless of whether you wish to further your education or you’re applying for a graduate job, and these are the types of skills that you should gain during a work placement.

Additionally, you will gain an insight into the culture and environment of a particular organisation.
The IOP ‘Top50’ work placements scheme offers penultimate year undergraduate student members the opportunity to gain paid work experience. Placements must be carried out in businesses, universities or research institutions in the UK or Ireland.
Successful applicants will each receive a bursary of £2000, or the equivalent in euros for the Republic of Ireland, to cover the duration of their eight week summer vacation placement.


  • Penultimate year undergraduate physics students, including mature students, studying at a higher education institution in the UK or Ireland are eligible to apply
  • Students must carry out their placements during the summer vacation before starting their final year
  • Students must be studying on an accredited or recognised physics degree course and be members of the IOP
  • Placements must be carried out in a business, university or research institution in UK or Ireland.
  • Funding will only be provided for placements listed on this web page.
  • If you are aware of an employer who wishes to participate in this scheme, you can direct them here.

Applicants must read and adhere to the student terms and conditions relating to the 'Top50' Work Placements Scheme.

2014 'Top50' Work Placements Bursary Scheme
The application process for the 2014 'Top50' Scheme has now closed. We will be inviting applications again in April 2015.

last edited: January 15, 2015

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