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Spend your summer holiday enhancing your university application and career prospects on a Nuffield Research Placement

Nuffield Research Placements 2021

We are now working with STEM Learning to deliver Nuffield Research Placements. The eligibility criteria and overall experience will not change. Applications open on 9 November 2020.

Join the Alumni Network

Once you’ve completed your Nuffield Research Placement, you are eligible to join the Nuffield Alumni Network.

Nuffield Research Placement students

Nuffield Research Placements at the University of Bradford

For students


What is a Nuffield Research Placement?

When?
Summer holidays after Year 12 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) or S5 (Scotland).

How long?
4 – 6 weeks.

What?
A well-supervised but independent research project relating to an area of science, quantitative social science, computing, technology, engineering or maths (or a combination!).

Where?
Placements take place in a variety of locations including offices, museums, research centres, laboratories or fieldwork settings.

Costs?
Students can take part in a placement at no cost. Travel costs are reimbursed and students may be eligible to receive a £100 bursary each week.

Eligibility criteria


To be eligible, students must:

  • Be over 16 years old and in Year 12 or S5.
  • Be in full-time state-funded education in the UK.
  • Have at least 5 GCSEs at Level 6 or above OR Scottish Nationals at Level B 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 available for 4-6 weeks of their summer holiday.

 

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 school meals, either now or at any time in the last 6 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.

Advice for student applicants


We strongly recommend that students read our Guide for applicants before completing an application. This provides important information on how to write a good personal statement and other tips relevant to the application process.

Advice for student participants


We recommend that students read our Guide for Participants before your placement begins. This includes information about preparing for your placement and writing your placement report.

For teachers


Taking part in a Nuffield Research Placement inspires and motivates students.

Nuffield Research Placements are a fantastic way to encourage your students to learn more about a career in STEM research and an independent evaluation has shown them to increase access to university courses in STEM subjects. There is no financial cost to you or your school and in addition to the benefits for your students, getting involved with Nuffield Research Placements will raise the profile of your school in your local community. It will enable you to forge links with researchers in your area, in universities, industry and the voluntary sector.

Teacher testimonials


Every pupil who has taken part in the scheme has benefited from increased confidence and general experience. It has usually improved motivation during their final year at school and they have all achieved admission to their preferred University courses. Lynn Friedrichsen, Principal Teacher Faculty, Dumfries Academy
Our students benefit from this experience tremendously, especially as many of them are identified as coming from areas of social deprivation. Lila Obuchowicz, Senior Tutor and Aimhigher Coordinator Science, Leyton Sixth form College

Get your students involved


  1. Use our eligibility tool to identify students that may be suitable and recommend they apply. We recently updated our eligibility criteria to focus on students that are financially disadvantaged so please keep this in mind. As a result, some students may also be eligible for additional support via a bursary.

  2. As part of their application, students will nominate a teacher to provide a short reference. Let them know that you are happy to provide a reference and improve their chances of success.

  3. If you have any questions you can contact your regional coordinator for further information.

You can download our school poster to help promote the programme.

For employers


Inspire young people to gain STEM skills through research by hosting a Nuffield Research Placement.

Think back to when you were seventeen. What did you know about research as a career? How did you get where you are today? It’s likely there were key individuals and experiences that motivated and inspired you, and it’s those experiences that we want to give to young people through our Nuffield Research Placements.

Nuffield Research Placements give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to gain skills and confidence in science and research. They are provided by the Nuffield Foundation as part of its mission to improve social well-being and educational opportunity across the UK and an independent evaluation has shown them to increase access to university courses in STEM subjects. We currently work with a wide range of organisations, including universities and research institutes, local government and public sector agencies, tech and pharmaceutical companies, think tanks and market research agencies to deliver these placements.

Some of these organisations employ thousands of people, and some have a single-figure headcount. What they all have in common is a research and development project in need of some attention and a commitment to sharing their passion for their business with young people from their local area.

What’s involved in hosting a placement?


When?
4 – 6 weeks during July/August

What?
A well-supervised but independent research project suitable for a 16/17 year-old. Projects must have broadly scientific, quantitative or technical content, but they don’t have to be based in a laboratory. They might be office-based or include a lot of fieldwork, or they might focus on engineering, data analysis or computer science.

How?
Nuffield Research Placements are administered by a network of regional coordinators across the UK. Your Nuffield coordinator will select students who are suitable for your project and will support them throughout the process. The first step is to have a conversation with your local Nuffield coordinator, who will tell you all you need to know about hosting a student.

Benefits of hosting a student


  • Support young people and diversify your workforce.
    Our aim is to widen access to science and research education and careers. This means that all Nuffield students are from families with below average income, who have spent time in local authority care, or who will be the first in their family to go to university, or a combination of these.

  • Provide your staff with opportunities to apply and develop their coaching, mentoring and management skills.
    Early career researchers who supervise students find the experience beneficial to their academic career, as well as providing extra help with data collection and analysis, and giving them teaching and management experience.

  • Students are bright, capable and can complete a variety of tasks including data analysis, scoping and experimental design.
    Our programme is highly competitive, and all our students have great GCSE (or equivalent) results, are aiming to go on to university, and have demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment to working on a research project.

  • Fulfil your public engagement, widening participation and corporate and social responsibility goals.

  • Forge strong links with schools and colleges in your local area.
    Work with talented students who could become future employees.

Become a host


NRP

Your Details









You might also be interested in hosting a Q-Step placement student.

For parents


How to get involved
More placements are provided to students from low-income backgrounds, so you may wish to check whether your son or daughter fulfils those requirements before supporting their application.

If your child is eligible, encourage them to find and contact their regional coordinator. Your son or daughter’s coordinator is responsible for matching them to a placement.

Independent evaluation
An independent evaluation of Nuffield Research Placements shows they increase access to university courses in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Next steps
Please be aware, competition for the programme is high and no applicant is guaranteed a place. We recommend that all students read our Guide for Applicants before submitting their application and Guide for Participants before they start their placement.

Application and programme timetable

Use this timetable as a guide and remember, application deadlines vary by region. You can also find your regional coordinator and information specific to your region below.

From September


  • Check your eligibility online
    Use our handy tool to check if you’re eligible to apply.

  • Check at home
    Talk to your parents/guardians about your interest in a Nuffield Research Placement and check you have 4-5 consecutive weeks free in July and August for a placement.

  • Talk to your teacher
    Tell your teacher you are interested in applying and ask if they can write a reference for you.

  • Contact your Nuffield Regional Coordinator
    Get in touch so they can confirm your eligibility, explain the application process and the types of placements you can expect.

October to March/April


  • Read our Guide for Applicants
    This includes tips on how to write a good application.

  • Check the application deadline for your region

  • Complete your application online by your regional deadline
    Contact your regional coordinator if you are worried about missing your deadline.

May to July


  • Successful applicants
    Your regional coordinator will be in touch to talk about your placement and invite you to an induction event. Read our Guide for Participants.

  • Unsuccessful applicants
    Your regional coordinator will be in touch to let you know if your application is unsuccessful. There are plenty of other STEM opportunities to explore.

July to October


  • Enjoy participating in your Nuffield Research Placement!

  • Complete your post-placement report and poster

  • Receive your completion certificate and present your work alongside other NRP students at your regional celebration event.


Find your regional coordinator

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Select your county to find your regional coordinator

East Midlands

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
London and the East

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
North East England

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
North West England

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
Northern Ireland

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
Scotland

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
South East England

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
South West England

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
Wales

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
West Midlands

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator
Yorkshire and Humberside

Applications are now closed for summer 2020.

Your regional coordinator should be your first point of call for any questions related to Nuffield Research Placements.

Contact your regional coordinator

Nuffield Research Placement case studies

Latest

Commonly asked questions

  • Are there other opportunities if I’m ineligible or unsuccessful?

    Nuffield Research Placements are highly competitive and inevitably many applicants will either be unsuccessful or fail to meet the eligibility criteria. If this is the case, don’t panic – there are still plenty of other STEM-related enrichment opportunities that you can get involved in:

    • Summer ZoneI’m a Scientist, Stay at home – Twice daily live text-based chats with real scientists and engineers. You can connect with researchers working in universities and companies across the UK. Click here to create an account and join the conversation.
    • The University of Bath are offering a range of opportunities this summer across all subject areas, including Find Your Way (a virtual e-mentoring programme), Discover Bath (a fast track online summer school) and a range of webinar events.
    • National Careers Service – Great starting point for information about careers, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.
    • Student Ladder – Useful advice and links to UK-based organisations offering summer placements.
    • STEM Ambassador – Ask your teacher about arranging a visit to your school from those with a science, technology, engineering or maths background.
    • British Science Association – Find out about CREST Awards that can be used towards UCAS personal statements and Duke of Edinburgh programmes.
    • Leaders Award for STEM – Excellent way of finding out more about scientific and technical careers and can link up with CREST Awards.
    • Teens in AI – Explore Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data science and check out the Teens in AI Accelerator programme.
    • Young Scientists Journal / Journal of Young Investigators – Get involved in lots of different ways with these online publications that are written by young scientists for young scientists.
    • IRIS – Ask your school to sign up (for free!) so that you can take part in one of the many science research projects.
    • nQuire-it – Carry out investigations into the physical world using the Sense-it app which can be downloaded on to any smart device.
    • Future Morph - Check out the Science Council’s website for information about careers in STEM.
  • If I go to an independent fee-paying school but I fulfil other criteria (e.g. I receive a scholarship, first-in-family, etc...) can I still apply?

    Unfortunately, not. Nuffield Research Placements are for young people in full-time education in maintained schools and further education colleges in the UK. This includes:

    • Community Schools
    • Voluntary Aided Schools
    • Sponsored Academies
    • Converter Academies
    • Sixth Form Colleges
    • Voluntary Controlled Schools
    • University Technical Colleges
    • General Further Education Colleges
    • Foundation Schools
    • Studio Schools
    • Free Schools
    • Specialist Designated Colleges
    • Sixth Form Centres/Consortia and
    • City Technology Colleges.

    If you are unsure whether your school is state or privately-funded, please contact your Regional Coordinator.

  • What does “first in family” mean?

    You are “first in family” if your parents/carers did not attend University or Higher Education (including institutions outside the UK). If your siblings have attended University or Higher Education (but your parents/carers have not) you are still eligible to apply.

  • I don’t know what my household income is – can I still apply?

    Firstly, ask your parents/carers to check your eligibility online. If you are eligible, your parents/carers will need to complete a form that provides evidence of their income.

  • Do I have to prove my family income/that I get free school meals/that I have been in care?

    Yes. We require all applicants to provide evidence of their eligibility. Your coordinator will advise you on what type of evidence to provide.

  • At my school the first language is not English, do I still need a GCSE or equivalent in English to apply?

    No. If you attend a school in the UK in which you learn in a language other than English (for instance, if you learn in Welsh) you do not need an English qualification. You should instead provide evidence for the qualification you received in your native language. Please contact your regional coordinator if you have any questions about this.

  • If I meet the eligibility criteria am I guaranteed a placement?

    We receive many more applications than we have placements so unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a placement for all eligible students. You will have the best chance of success if you are willing to consider a broad range of placements, including those outside your primary interest or university focus. Whatever your placement, you will still benefit enormously.

  • When will I hear about my application?

    Each region has a different application deadline, so please check the deadline for your region. Your coordinator will get in touch after the deadline has passed but make sure you’ve fully completed your application before your regional deadline.

  • Can I still apply if I am not available for the whole of the summer holidays?

    At the time of applying, you must be sure that you are available for at least four weeks of the summer holidays. Most placements require these four weeks to be consecutive (in a row). So, if you are going on holiday in the middle of the summer this may affect your chances of finding a placement but it’s best to check with your regional coordinator as a placement might still be possible.

  • What happens if I am shortlisted?

    This means your regional coordinator is attempting to match you with a placement. It does not mean that a placement is guaranteed, but it does mean that your application was of a high standard. You will hear from your regional coordinator if you are shortlisted at which point you can discuss the types of projects that may be suitable for you. Your chances of success are increased if you are willing to consider a range of different projects.

  • What happens if I am unsuccessful?

    Nuffield Research Placements are highly competitive and inevitably many applicants will either be unsuccessful or fail to meet the eligibility criteria. If this is the case, don’t panic – there are still plenty of other STEM-related enrichment opportunities that you can get involved in:

    • National Careers Service – Great starting point for information about careers, apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.
    • Student Ladder – Useful advice and links to UK-based organisations offering summer placements.
    • STEM Ambassador – Ask your teacher about arranging a visit to your school from those with a science, technology, engineering or maths background.
    • British Science Association – Find out about CREST Awards that can be used towards UCAS personal statements and Duke of Edinburgh programmes.
    • Leaders Award for STEM – Excellent way of finding out more about scientific and technical careers and can link up with CREST Awards.
    • Teens in AI – Explore Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data science and check out the Teens in AI Accelerator programme.
    • Young Scientists Journal / Journal of Young Investigators – Get involved in lots of different ways with these online publications that are written by young scientists for young scientists.
    • IRIS – Ask your school to sign up (for free!) so that you can take part in one of the many science research projects.
    • nQuire-it – Carry out investigations into the physical world using the Sense-it app which can be downloaded on to any smart device.
    • Future Morph - Check out the Science Council’s website for information about careers in STEM.
  • What should I include in my Nuffield Research Placement personal statement?

    Guidance on what to include in your Nuffield Research Placement personal statement can be found in our Guide for Student Applicants.

  • Will I get paid to do a Nuffield Research Placement?

    We do not pay students, although you will not be out of pocket at the end of your placement as we reimburse your travel costs and some students will also receive a bursary (£100 per week). You will be eligible for a bursary if you meet one or more of the following criteria:

    • You are living, or have lived in, local authority care.
    • Come from a family with a combined household income of below £30,000 a year.
    • You are entitled to free school meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.
  • Do we have to pay anything?

    No. We will reimburse your travel costs and many students will also be eligible for a bursary.

  • What support will I receive?

    Your regional coordinator will support you throughout the process and will be available to answer any questions. Once you have started your placement, you will also have a placement supervisor who will oversee your work. There may also be other Nuffield students working in the department alongside you. Whatever your circumstances, there will always be someone there to help and answer your questions.

  • What type of placement can I do?

    We offer a wide range of projects from traditional science projects (lab and field work) to ambitious social science projects (using data science to investigate big political and social issues). Different projects will have very different content, but they will all provide you with experience of scientific research – formulating a question and using scientific methods to investigate it. Not all science is done in the lab.

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