Student Research Collaborations

Student Research Collaborations 700x350 - Three students sat around a desk

At the School of Law, we offer a wide range of opportunities to get involved with the exciting research the school is producing.

Successful students will have the opportunity to contribute to projects being run by our excellent research centres:


Forward Thinking

Want to find out about all of the opportunities we offer at the school? Our new Forward Thinking magazine highlights every project we run, with loads of examples from our current students.

Download the first issue here!

Forward Thinking Vol. 1 Issue 1


Voluntary Research Assistantships (VRA)

The Voluntary Research Assistantship Scheme (VRA) is a BLSS Faculty-wide initiative, which enables students to work alongside academics on active research projects. These projects range from traditional research, including data collection and literature reviews, to practice-led research, such as improving engagement with Moodle, and exploring the new routes into practicing as a solicitor.

The VRA works on a merit-based system – you must have a 2:1 or above average grade across your modules to apply. The scheme aims to celebrate high achievement and to enable selected students to develop advanced skill-sets. In 2018/19 we had 34 students volunteering across 12 projects.

Business, Law and Social Sciences Scholars

The BLSS Scholar projects are Faculty-wide and are attached to the VRA scheme. These projects provide an additional, paid project opportunity for the students applying to the VRA scheme who hold the highest grade-average in their year. Again, this scheme aims to celebrate and further high achievement, but also provides a paid opportunity to support students financially.

This year our BLSS Scholar projects have focused on building the School of Law’s Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF 2021) profile. The purpose of REF is to “secure the continuation of world-class, dynamic and responsive research base across the full academic spectrum within higher education.” Students play a very important role in helping us to shape our REF submission.

Future Legal Scholars Scheme (FLSS)

The Future Legal Scholars Scheme (FLSS) was established in 2018/19. The scheme is a cross-collaboration between the School of Law’s three research centres, namely the Centre for American Legal Studies, Centre for Human Rights, and Centre for Law, Science and Policy.

Each Centre offers one project, which provides selected students with a paid opportunity to work with academics in the Centres to undertake interdisciplinary research projects and to engage with and/or learn about the work of the Centres’ external partners around the world. Three exciting FLSS projects took place in 2018/19, engaging six students.

Specially Funded Projects (SFP)

Students are also provided with the opportunity to engage in Specially Funded Projects (SFPs). These are paid roles, funded either internally or externally. The projects usually involve interdisciplinary or cross-institution work, opening up further opportunities for our students.

We also have students working in the Faculty-wide Student Researcher Scheme (SRS). For the SRS, students are interviewed to be placed in a ‘pool of researchers’ who can then be selected to work on paid projects. In 2019/20, there will be the opportunity for students to work alongside the Birmingham City University Law Clinic as part of the SRS.