EXSEL at Leeds

How to apply

The EXSEL scholarship is typically awarded to four scholars each academic session. These awards are only available to second year MBChB students at the University of Leeds. 

EXSEL Eligibility Criteria 

In order to be eligible to receive an EXSEL Scholarship. You must be: 

  • A 2nd year undergraduate MBChB student at the University of Leeds upon application  

  • Enrolled at the University of Leeds for the duration of the MBChB

  • Available during the summer break between the end of your 2nd year and the beginning of your 3rd year for both the Leaders Ambassadors Programme (LAP) and the EXSEL summer research project. (This varies year on year but usually commences during the fourth week of June for up to 8 weeks) 

  • Able to display a commitment, dedication and passion for the field of medical research  

  • Supported by an academic referee 

Although, we actively encourage Scholars to intercalate, we appreciate that some may choose not to due to time constraints, financial implications or previous degrees.  

Selection Criteria 

EXSEL Scholars are chosen based on the strength of their application form and interview (if shortlisted).  

When shortlisting potential EXSEL Scholars, a number of factors are taken into consideration. These factors are specified below: 

  • Academic achievements leading up to university  

  • Academic achievements whilst at university  

  • Independently seeking opportunities to be exposed to medical research  

  • Volunteering 

  • Mentoring  

  • Extra-curricular activities 

  • Evidence of leadership  

  • Evidence of community participation  

  • Member of societies within the University of Leeds 

  • Participation in conferences  

  • Willingness to independently seek out research opportunities 

This list is not exhaustive. We appreciate that some applicants may not demonstrate each of the criteria listed above.  


There are two stages in the EXSEL application process: 

  • Completion of an application form 

  • A five minute presentation to the EXSEL selection panel (if shortlisted) on a predetermined question.  

Research Projects 

At the initial application stage, you do not need to nominate a research project but you will be expected to state what type of research interests you.  

The selected scholars will be asked to research topics for their EXSEL summer research project. A number of research topics can be found on the School's Reseach and innovation page.