Observation & Research Assignments in Scotland

Gain valuable research experience, boost your resume, and spend 6 weeks in beautiful Scotland.


May 17 – June 27, 2020

Placements are limited. Apply soon to secure your spot!

Gain Experience and Travel with an Observation & Research Assignment in Scotland

Adelante’s Observation & Research in Scotland aims to match serious students with academic observational and research assignments in a variety of different sectors. All program assignments are full-time hours, 5 days a week. Weekends are free for candidates to travel and explore the beauty of Scotland.

6 Week Summer Programs are currently available in the fields of:

  • Agricultural Business (2 spots)
  • Ecology and Conservation (2 spots )
  • Horticulture & Gardening
  • Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (2 spots)
  • Psychology (4 spots)
  • Speech and Hearing Sciences – Speech Pathology (2 spots)
  • Private Veterinary Practice & Surgery (1 spot)

Program Fee

  • 6-Week Summer Program: $4,350.00

Scotland Program Information

Our programs in Scotland have been developed with an experienced university specialist who has secured student internships in Scotland and throughout Europe for almost 20 years. Placements are within prestigious Policy Centers and Academic Institutions and Private Veterinary practices.

Applying early is strongly encouraged, as only a limited number of spots are available within each field. 

SEE PLACEMENT DESCRIPTIONS BELOW. These placements are all located in and around the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, which is the best base to both live in and to explore Scotland during your days off. Summer provides better weather to experience the beauty and history of this off-the-beaten-path location – stunning countryside, beautiful lakes and mountains and picturesque villages can all be reached easily by bus or train.

Don’t lose your spot!  Get the ball rolling by applying now for an Observation & Research program in Scotland.

What’s Included In Your Scotland Program

Our program includes some specific key features, here are just a few of them:

  • You will be met at the airport when you arrive in Scotland and taken directly to your housing. In the morning, all Scotland Summer participants will attend an in depth Orientation.  This is intended to allow the Research Observation candidates to get to know the Equine and Ecology study abroad students.
  • There are a variety of housing options for our Scotland program and these are dependent on the chosen research assignment. Candidates may live in shared student housing in the Edinburgh city center or in college dorm-style Residence Halls – all are fully furnished with updated amenities.
  • Observational Research Assignment – all assignments are full time hours, 5 days a week in a Scottish company, university or organization.
  • Academic credit available – check with your university.
  • Letter of Recommendation may be available upon request towards the end of the program prior to leaving Scotland.

To see a more comprehensive list of what’s included in this and all programs click here.

Is This Program Right For You?

Answer the following questions:

  • Are you an independent-minded individual?
  • Are you willing to ask questions, offer suggestions, and seek out additional research studies or projects if needed?
  • Will you be 18 years of age or older by the time you begin your program?
  • Do you speak fluent English? (This program is open to candidates worldwide)
  • Do you desire the opportunity to live and work alongside local people abroad?
  • Are you flexible and open to situations outside of your comfort zone (i.e. public transportation, new environment, different customs, etc.)?
  • Are you looking for a program duration of 6 weeks?

If you answered YES to these questions, then this program is right for you!

Please keep in mind that certain fields may have specific requirements for prior experience or studies. Our program works, for the right candidate, even if you haven’t yet begun your international travels.

List of Observation & Research Assignment Fields in Scotland

Click on any of the fields below for a description.



New student research observation opportunities are available at the fastest growing international provider of risk services for the food and drink supply chain. The agency operates in 40 countries across six continents and conducts over 35,000 audits and inspections each year, in addition to a range of tailored services aimed at protecting customer’s brands. This agency offers a complete range of compliance solutions for farms, fisheries, food processors, restaurants, and retailers.  Summer placements are available in the following areas:

-Assist staff to develop ways to provide assurance for farmers to implement good practice to reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance (a hot topic in Europe at the moment with antibiotic use in farm animals and resistance development growing in people)

-Developing higher welfare livestock assurance modules for use in livestock work

-Assist staff to identify, market and deploy a business plan to recruit Hill and Upland beef and lamb farmers in England


ECOLOGY (2 to 3 spots)

Ecology internship positions in Scotland involve a wide range of duties and opportunities, and candidates gain real, international hands-on experience. Candidates work with the faculty and doctoral students in the Environment and Countryside Department at a prestigious public College.   Some project examples include badger surveying in the Edinburgh countryside – surveillance of setts, mapping and reporting and tagging.  Salt Marsh Sampling – profiling of vegetation around the Forth Estuary, trying to link to anthropogenic pollution.  Collecting and processing samples with the aim of correlating geochemistry with vegetation data, then comparing with the recorded history of pollution-causing activities, such as mining. Successional relationships on contaminated salt marshes – Armeria maritima and Plantago maritima both occur within salt marshes.  The student will then grow these plants in artificially contaminated mediums to provide further evidence. Sewage sludge trials – conducting experiments on artificially polluted aspects on a field ecosystem. The student will collate previous data, as well as collecting additional information on plants, invertebrates and soils to determine relationships.  Crop yields and environmental mitigation – Beetle banks and field margins have been promoted to farmers as a means of not only increasing wildlife, but also as a way of saving money by reducing pesticide applications. However, the impact on crop yield is largely unknown. The student will conduct analyses on the benefits (or not) of these agricultural mitigation measures upon crops using transects and stratified sampling to measure predator and prey populations. CANDIDATES LIVE ON CAMPUS, IN DORMS – ALL HAVE THEIR OWN ROOMS –  FOR THESE PLACEMENTS



Students will participate in a variety of experiences in horticulture, plants and gardening research at either a college or at a public garden in the Highlands. Located in the countryside at a college outside of Edinburgh, students at this location will assist with the setup and running of Gardening Scotland, the premier Scottish National Gardening Show in Edinburgh. Students also will organize, use and monitor the effectiveness of a compost tea system and assist the head gardener with any new research projects, as well as typical estate duties. Students will have hands-on activities with plants each week. Visits to local gardens and meetings with head gardeners at other estates or historical gardens also will be arranged during the students visit.

In the Scottish Highlands, candidates will be placed at unique public garden dedicated to the early Scottish plant hunters.  They will have the opportunity to observe and participate in various garden procedures and activities. Hands-on plants every day is part of the research visit, including the traditional projects of maintenance, irrigation, mulching, planting, and labeling. Candidates also will have the opportunity to visit private and public gardens throughout the Scottish Highlands, including Gardening Scotland, one of Scotland’s major horticultural expositions.



NEW !!  Research placements are now available with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.  RZSS operates the Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park. This is an international organization with protection programs in place in China, Brazil, Uganda and Nepal. In Scotland the RZSS has locations in Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands.

Students accepted will work with the Program Leader whose main mission in all projects is to promote awareness and conservation of rare and endangered animals, and their care, including what they eat.  Main projects where our interns will be assigned focus on Animal Nutrition: plants the animals eat, such as bamboo, and creating species profiles.  There are many other on-going research projects related to the RZSS, and it’s important to note that candidates would not be directly handling the rare animals for health and security reasons. There is an Education component, too, including a “Wild about Scotland” traveling bus, that goes to schools and community events.  Also on-site is the Wild Genes Laboratory that works on cutting-edge genomic research.  This placement will give an enormous boost to any animal science, animal nutrition, zoology, habitat management and captive wildlife management majors.  ONLY TWO SPOTS EACH SUMMER AWARDED TO ADELANTE ABROAD – it is literally never too early to apply.



PSYCHOLOGY (4 spots / Program full for 2019)

Research placements at a major university in Edinburgh are available for psychology students interested in eyewitness identification, forensic studies and visual-spatial working memory relating to short-term retention and manipulation of information. ** there are other projects too, each year, as this is an active dedicated university Research lab funded by a very well regarded Psychology department **

Two concrete Project descriptions that will take our candidates:  1) Eyewitness Identification and Face Memory PURPOSE Eyewitness memories are memories of criminal events, such as robberies. Many criminal convictions hinge on eyewitness identifications from police lineups, however, sometimes innocent people are identified and subsequently convicted. The primary purpose of this research is to understand how people make decisions about police lineups and faces.

2) Project on the interaction between visual-spatial memory and verbal information is designed to understand how displays of information can reduce memory load on people and make tasks easier.  Research also includes studies to understand how and why people may remember more information from one side of space than the other.



**New Observation & Research in Scotland** – 2 spots in Speech Pathology at a prestigious university in their graduate lab.

Calling Speech and Hearing Science students: Continue your interest in Speech and Hearing Sciences in Scotland. Six-week educational research visits are available on a competitive basis with faculty at a major university in Edinburgh. Studies include normal and disordered speech and hearing, including stuttering and stammering; memory and speech production; and hidden speech phenomena. Apply now, spots will go fast and we are first come, first serve.



Placement at local veterinary practice & surgery involves the running of a private veterinary practice and all that entails, including care of healthy, sick and injured animals, primarily dogs, cats and some exotics.  The student here would observe a variety of veterinary surgeries and consultations, including the day-to-day duties of the clinic.  Services provided are grooming, surgeries, consults, medicine dispensing, urgent care and of course, cleaning, which is a major part of keeping a safe and professional environment. A perfect assignment for those wanting to go into private practice.  The placement is for four days a week, and the practice is a 30-minute train ride from Edinburgh.

Program Fee

  • 6-week Summer Program: $4,350.00

Application Process

Click on the button at the top of the page to apply for this program now!

Late applications are accepted on a case by case basis and are subject to a $250 late fee.

6 week Summer Program:

May 19 – June 29, 2019

Application Deadline – March 19, 2019