Develop your STEM skills online this summer as a Nuffield Future Researcher.

Nuffield Future Researchers will journey through five online modules over the course of the summer. All activities can be completed flexibly around your other commitments between May – September 2020.

May 2020

Essential
professional skills

Building awareness of and confidence in essential professional skills including communication, problem solving, confidence, self-efficacy and time management.

June 2020

Regional coordinators begin virtual inductions with students.

Research
skills

Developing key research skills including identifying, evaluating and synthesising evidence.

Data analysis and numerical skills

Developing specific numeracy skills and learning how to gather, manage and analyse data.

July – August 2020

Investigating a research question

Investigating a live research question in collaboration with an expert project supervisor.

Communicating
evidence

Completing a written research report and constructing a poster.

September 2020

Deadline

Deadline for completed reports and posters.

By taking part in this new programme you will:

  • Expand your professional networks including access to our
    Alumni Network.
  • Enhance UCAS personal statements and future education or employment applications.
  • Expand your career prospects by developing subject understanding alongside confidence in research and quantitative skills.
  • Learn more about higher education and different career pathways.

 

This programme helps you to:

  • Support young people and diversify your workforce.
  • Provide your staff with opportunities to apply and develop their coaching, mentoring and management skills.
  • Work with bright, capable students to complete a variety of tasks.
  • Fulfil your public engagement, widening participation and corporate and social responsibility goals by working with students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Forge strong links with schools and colleges in your local area.

Become a project supervisor

Contact your regional coordinator

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers programme.

Select your county to find your regional coordinator

East Midlands

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Stacy Munday
East Midlands Regional Coordinator
Leicestershire Education Business Company, 30 Frog Island, Off North Bridge Place, Leicester, LE3 5AG
London and the East

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Sally Moore
London and the East Regional Coordinator
SETPOINT Hertfordshire at MBDA
PO Box 19, PB 211
Six Hills Way
Stevenage, SG1 2DA
North East England

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

David Ward
North East England, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Coordinator
The Greater Manchester STEM Centre
Technology House
2 Lissadell Street
University of Salford
Salford
M6 6AP
North West England

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Sarah Fenton
North West England Regional Coordinator
The Greater Manchester STEM Centre, Technology House
2 Lissadell Street, The University of Salford, Salford, M6 6AP
Northern Ireland

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Ciaran Lynch
Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator
SENTINUS, 19a Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, BT28 2SA
Scotland

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Jennifer Smith
Scotland Regional Coordinator
Outreach and Public Engagement Network Office,
The Graduate School,
Abertay University,
Bell Street,
Dundee, DD1 1HG
South East England

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Helen McGlead
South East England Regional Coordinator
STEM Outreach Coordinator
Sussex STEM
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes
South West England

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Sue Diamond
South West England Regional Coordinator
Widening Participation Office,
University of Bath,
Bath, BA2 7AY
Wales

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Andrea Meyrick or Joss Spittle
Wales Regional Coordinator
Techniquest
Stuart Street
Cardiff
CF10 5BW
West Midlands

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

Farzana Aslam or Clare Everson
West Midlands Regional Coordinator
Coventry University
Department of Mathematics and Physics
Engineering and Computing Building, ECB 4.26
Coventry
CV1 5FB
Yorkshire and Humberside

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to the Nuffield Future Researchers program.

David Ward
Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Coordinator
The Greater Manchester STEM Centre,
Technology House,
2 Lissadell Street,
University of Salford,
Salford, M6 6AP
Tips for working at home
  • Sit at a desk or table
  • Find a source of natural light
  • Maintain good posture
  • Make sure to take breaks
With thanks to our partners
  • British Science Association
  • BP – Business in the Community
  • Gatsby Foundation
  • National Numeracy
  • Q-Step universities
  • Skills Builder Partnership
  • UKRI

Commonly asked questions

  • Can I have a ‘proper’ research experience online?

    A placement is the ideal way to put your critical thinking and research ideas into operation. However, any researcher will tell you that, before you start any practical work, you need to have a tightly defined research question, you need to have understood what other people have done before and you need to have identified the most effective technique to take your idea into the experimental or test phase.

    2020 is a very different year to any we have seen before on the Nuffield Research Placements. COVID-19 has meant that the opportunity to have onsite placements is no longer possible.

    We know a lot about the skills that young people develop when they are on a placement. Many of these are technical skills related to using, for example, laboratory equipment; however, placements also teach you so much about managing your time, communicating, problem-solving, researching new topics, creativity and developing your confidence.

    In the absence of a physical onsite placement, we have put together a package of activities that will develop the same skills that would be developed on a typical placement, such as numeracy and data analysis. There will still be opportunities to work with an expert who supervises your project, through a virtual learning environment (VLE) – instead of in-person.

  • Am I eligible for a bursary this year?

    If you qualified for a bursary when you applied for the programme, then you will still receive a bursary.

    We will make payments of £400 to each bursary eligible student who completes all of the Nuffield Future Researchers modules and post-project feedback survey.

    If your eligibility was based on being ‘first in family’ then we will, as in previous years, not be offering a bursary.

  • What happens if I don’t complete all modules?

    As you progress through each module you will receive certification; however, the final certification of completing a Nuffield Future Researchers project is only available when all modules have been completed.

    Likewise, if you are eligible for the bursary payment of £400, this will only be payable on completion of all five modules.

    Each stage contributes to the next but, if you should stop, you should let your Coordinator know (and also let them know why).

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • Will my work still count towards my UCAS application (or similar)?

    Yes! Our intention is to make the set of activities you will complete as meaningful and useful as possible, therefore we would still strongly encourage you to include your Nuffield Future Researchers project in your personal statement and UCAS or similar applications.

  • I have limited broadband access at home, can you help?

    We anticipate that mobile operators may lift the cap on data packages, so students with mobile devices may be able to use their phones as hotspots or access points to high-quality data supply.

    If this becomes an issue for you, please contact your regional coordinator.

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • I have to share a laptop or computer at home / I don’t have a laptop, can you help?

    We hope that it is possible for students to access a home computer or laptop but, if this becomes a challenge, please contact your regional coordinator as we hope to offer alternative solutions.

    Students should explore the possibility of borrowing equipment from school.

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • I have no space to work at home, can you help?

    In the absence of access to any other public spaces (school or libraries), this may limit your participation in the Nuffield Future Researchers programme. Please speak to your Coordinator so they can understand the situation more fully

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • Will I be able to submit my work for a CREST award?

    Yes. The Nuffield Future Researchers programme will give you a great amount of material to contribute to your submission for a CREST Award, for free. We are also speaking with the organisers to make sure they understand the context for your work.

    Learn more

  • Can my work count towards my extended project qualification (EPQ) or Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge (or equivalent)?

    We recommend liaising with your teacher to work out how best to make your work fit with your other qualifications.

  • How do I complete the National Numeracy Challenge and is there a certificate at the end?

    Full instructions will be available in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will receive a certificate on completion of the module.

  • How do I complete the first module and is there a certificate at the end?

    Full instructions will be available from your coordinator, who will provide these when relevant. There are four activities to work through and these should not take more than one hour in total. You will receive a certificate on completion of the module.

  • How will my work be assessed?

    Your coordinator and project supervisor will monitor your work in a variety of ways. After you have completed each module, you will receive a certificate and will be awarded with a final certificate when you have completed all modules. See the programme summary for more information.

    Download Programme Summary – Students

  • Why do I need to do the essential, numeracy and data analysis modules?

    We believe from our previous work on the Nuffield Research Placements programme, and with young people more widely, that having solid data and numeracy skills is essential to becoming a great researcher. Completing the National Numeracy Challenge will keep your maths skills up to date.

    Our placements experience suggests that students benefit from a much wider range of skill development than just those related to the subject of their research project. The essential professional skills module will help you develop skills which you can apply in many research and study situations.

  • Will there be an event to mark the end of the Nuffield Future Researchers programme?

    Yes! If the current travel and social distancing measures are sufficiently relaxed, we will bring together as many students and project supervisors as possible to celebrate the achievements of the Nuffield Future Researchers programme. More information regarding this will be outlined towards the end of the summer.

  • How can I make sure that I am safe when communicating online with my project supervisor?

    Please refer to our Safeguarding policy.

  • I have been allocated a project that does not match my interests, can you help?

    Each year, we try to make sure that students’ interests and the project topics overlap. Sadly, this is not always possible.

    We always emphasise the benefits of encountering and understanding new areas of study. Students increasingly engage with a narrow subject range at school and college and their view of what to study at university (or what career options exist) can be rather limited.

    Students who take on a project beyond their regular study focus may seem a little puzzled at first, but feedback is often that ‘they had no idea’ such research or topics existed. Working in a new subject area is a really useful example of the way in which research issues are increasingly multi-disciplinary affairs – places in which sciences, social sciences, health sciences, and data science overlap and interplay.

  • How can I make sure that I am safe when communicating online with my allocated student(s)?

    Please refer to our Safeguarding policy.

  • How much time should I spend supporting my student(s)?

    The concept of tackling a new research topic independently may be quite unfamiliar to many students. The Nuffield Foundation and its regional coordinators will do as much as possible to prepare students and to set expectations.

    Liaising with an expert in the subject/topic they are working on is one of the main attractions of the Nuffield Future Researchers programme. There will likely be more demands on your time earlier in the project than later.

    You will want to set some boundaries and expectations about contact, which you can outline in your introductory slide set. This may vary between topics and students and you may get more involved as the ideas develop. We want to emphasise that this challenge should not stray into becoming a burden, contact your regional coordinator if you have any concerns.

    Please also see our Safeguarding policy for any questions relating to online safety.

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • Will I know in advance the modules that students need to complete?

    Yes. The programme will have some standard components and some bespoke ones. Standard components include the National Numeracy Challenge, the essential professional skills Kahoot activities, and development of research and data analysis and numeracy skills. Bespoke components include the project itself and the outcomes (in report and poster format).

    Bespoke elements are entirely in your control. You will be able to identify themes and key questions, which you can negotiate a little with the student(s). We would also like to receive your feedback on the report and poster

    We will expect students to maintain a predictable communication flow with you, as far as possible parcelling questions into single communications or calls at scheduled intervals. Should issues arise or you need clarity on expectations, you may find it helpful to include your regional coordinator in communications.

    Download report and poster guidance  Contact your regional coordinator

  • Do I need to be the single point of contact for the project or can other colleagues provide support?

    We recommend a single identifiable point of contact for the project to ensure clarity regarding communications for you, the student(s) and your regional coordinator.

    Other colleagues may, of course, support the project. They should all be familiar with our safeguarding policy and may also wish to undertake specific safeguarding training. More information on this can be found in the Guidance for Project Supervisors document.

    Download Guidance for project supervisors

  • What access to software will the students have?

    This will vary according to each student. It is likely that most will be able to access and use Word, Excel and PowerPoint (or their Google equivalents). Project requirements should, ideally, take account of this.

    Where special software is needed, this should be discussed on a case-by-case basis with your regional coordinator. Many software producers are acknowledging the COVID-19 conditions and allowing free licenses for students across this period (Matlab and SPSS, for example). We will try our best to work with you to meet any software needs.

    Contact your regional coordinator

  • What happens if students do not respond to online activities and communications?

    This may well happen. If this is the case, your regional coordinator will take the initiative to determine the cause and whether it can be addressed. If this happens early in the project and the student subsequently withdraws, it may be possible to allocate the project to another student.

    As far as possible, credit will be given for any work completed (for example, certificates). The bursary of £400 is only payable on completion of all five modules; we hope that this financial incentive, alongside the other incentives of skills development and access to a knowledge expert, will ensure that most students go on to complete the full programme.

  • None of the students I am working with expressed initial interest in my area of work.

    Each year, we try to make sure that students’ interests and the project topics overlap. Sadly, this is not always possible.

    We always emphasise the benefits of encountering and understanding new areas of study. Students increasingly engage with a narrow subject range at school and college and their view of what to study at university (or what career options exist) can be rather limited.

    Students who take on a project beyond their regular study focus may seem a little bemused at first, but feedback is often that ‘they had no idea’ such research or topics existed. Project supervisors and regional coordinators have a vital role in helping to identify the benefits of stepping away from study norms – this is particularly relevant for Y12 and S5 students this year, as they face a fairly daunting self-study period this spring and summer.

    Working in a new subject area is also a really useful example of the way in which research issues are increasingly multi-disciplinary affairs – places in which sciences, social sciences, health sciences, and data science overlap and interplay.

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