James Turland

PhD student, Department of Computing Science, Newcastle University.

“I would like to say thank you to the Nuffield Foundation and to the students that attended. They were a credit to their schools and I learnt a great deal from them individually, but also from the experience as a whole.”

What type of projects to you offer?

Students were involved in a project to understand, design, and implement strategies to prevent data leakage on mobile devices. More specifically, user owned devices (phones/tablets) that share the home/office workspace, a term commonly denoted as ‘Bring Your Own Device’.

What motivates you to provide placements?

A university is a place for academic excellence and also an open learning environment. I wanted to engage with high calibre students to understand on a more general level what they were being taught, in an effort to gain insight into teaching at Y12/13 level, but also to offer an opportunity for highly self-motivated individuals to experience what university life is like.

What do you feel are the main benefits to both your organisation and to the students taking part in the scheme?

I gained skills in delivering content and interacting with people that I would not usually have any interaction with. Being in a mainly academic environment where people are familiar with my work, it was invaluable learning how to deliver such content to those who are new to the subject. Students gain an insight into university life along with the challenges and benefits this brings. More specifically to this placement, students were placed in a working environment allowing them to understand how research takes place and the many different approaches and branches of science which are involved.

Has the scheme helped you to communicate your area of science to a wider public?

I feel that offering Nuffield Research Placements has helped to broadcast the knowledge and work of our department to a younger audience. Engaging with prospective students is paramount and I feel that this as an effective way to achieve this aim. It is important to do this as research is often seen as something that takes place behind closed doors. With schemes such as this we are able to visualise and transfer our scientific direction to others, particularly the younger audiences that will hopefully adopt a similar approach in the future.