Project provider FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why should I host a Nuffield Research placement?

2. Can I choose the school I work with?

3. Which students are eligible?

4. Why do you have strict eligibility criteria?

5. Why don't the students get paid to do these placements?

6. Who is responsible for the paperwork?

7. Will this cost me or my company anything?

8. I don't research a traditional STEM subject, and my placement would not be within a lab. Can I still provide a placement?

9. Do I need a DBS check (or equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland)?

Answers

1. Why should I host a Nuffield Research Placement? 

  • Support young people and diversify your workforce.
  • Provide your staff with opportunities to apply and develop their coaching, mentoring and management skills.
  • Fulfil your public engagement, widening participation and corporate and social responsibility goals.
  • Forge strong links with schools and colleges in your local area, and with talented students who could become future employees.

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2. Can I choose the school I work with? 

Please contact your local regional coordinator who will be able to advise you about this.

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3. Which students are eligible? 

Students who are accepted onto the programme are high attaining students who are ambitious and show an enthusiasm for science and research. All applicants produce a personal statement outlining their chosen topics and illustrating their passion for science. In addition, all students have their application checked by a regional coordinator, and will provide a reference from their teacher.

On top of this we require students to:

  • Have at least 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at Level 6 or above, including maths, a science subject and English (or another humanities subject).
  • Be studying one or more A-level, Scottish Higher (or equivalent) in science, technology, engineering, economics, geography, psychology, computing, statistics or maths.
  • Be able to spend several weeks of their summer holiday working on a research project.

Students must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be living, or have lived, in local authority care.
  • Come from a family with a combined household income of below £30,000 a year, or be entitled to free schools meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.
  • Be the first in their immediate family to participate in higher education (not including any older siblings). This means neither of their parents/carers have participated in higher education, either in the UK or another country. If their siblings have attended higher education, but their parents/carers have not, they are still eligible.

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4. Why do you have strict eligibility criteria? 

The Nuffield Foundation’s aim in providing placements is to widen access to science and research education and careers. We find that students who benefit the most from a Nuffield Research Placement are those who come from lower income families, or whose parents have not attended higher education. In light of this – and the fact we always receive more applications than we have placements – we have decided to focus exclusively on these students. This means our charitable funding is targeted where it will have the greatest benefit. It also means that we will have fewer unsuccessful applicants. 

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5. Why don't the students get paid to do these placements?

Students do get remunerated for placements. A bursary of £100 per week is available to students meeting the social inclusion criteria (first two bullets above). In addition, each student will have all of their travel expenses met.

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6. Who is responsible for the paperwork?

After you have submitted your contact details and project brief, your coordinator will request that you complete a data sharing and health and safety form. For organisations which have already signed up to provide placements, you will only need to provide specific paperwork for your individual project. Any documentation is securely stored on the Nuffield Research Placements online application system. For further information please speak to your local regional coordinator.

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7. Will this cost me or my company anything?

The only direct cost is in staff time to supervise a student and to manage the project. This is offset by the benefits of the experience gained by doing so and the contribution students make to research and development work whilst on placement. In some cases, particularly lab-based projects there may be some costs that you incur. If you suspect this will be the case, please contact your regional coordinator to discover if you are eligible for a small grant to cover these costs.

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8. I don't research a traditional STEM subject, and my placement would not be within a lab. Can I still provide a placement?

Yes. Placements that are offered should engage the student in developing STEM related skills but this does not mean that the subject has to be a traditional science subject and the placement does not need to be based in a lab. We encourage social science projects, and any project which involves data analysis or data-science. If you are unsure if your subject is relevant for the scheme, please contact your regional coordinator to find out more.

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9. Do I need a DBS check (or equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland)?

For most projects, a DBS check (or equivalent) is not required as students are over the age of 16. In some cases it may be required, but if you are unsure please contact your regional coordinator.

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