Teacher FAQs

1. What is the criteria used to score applications?

We have a much greater number of eligible students than placements. We prioritise students who meet the criteria for a bursary, in other words, those who have a higher level of relative disadvantage. Students are eligible for a bursary if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • They are living, or have lived in local authority care.
  • They come from a family with a combined household income of below £30,000 a year.
  • They are entitled to free schools meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.

Once we have allocated placements to students eligible for a bursary, any remaining placements will be given to students who are the first in their family to access higher education.

2. What is the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible to apply for a Nuffield Research Placement, students must

  • Be over 16 years old.
  • Be in full-time state-funded education in the UK and in Year 12, S5, or equivalent.
  • 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.

3. What is the change from previous years?

In previous years, students from independent schools could apply. From October 2018, applicants must be studying at a state-maintained school and placements will be given to those students who are eligible for a bursary or whose parents have not attended university.

4. Why the change from previous years?

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.

These revised criteria mean that some students who would have been eligible in previous years will not be eligible to apply in 2018, and we appreciate they may be disappointed. We have some advice for ineligible students on our website: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/guidance-ineligible-and-unsuccessful-students.

5. Why isn’t my school on the list?

If your school is not on the list it is probably because students at your school are not eligible to apply for a Nuffield Research Placement under the new criteria for 2018. We only work with state-maintained schools and further education colleges in the UK. We no longer work with independent, fee-paying schools.

If you think your school should be on the list but is not, please contact your regional coordinator.

6. I have some students at my fee-paying school but who meet the criteria. Why can’t my students apply?

To be eligible to apply, students must be in full-time, state-funded education in the UK. This means students who attend an independent school are not eligible, even if they meet some or all of the other criteria.

7. Why should my students apply?

Nuffield Research Placements are a fantastic opportunity for students to develop their skills and confidence in quantitative and scientific methods. The experience will be hugely valuable for their further study and career options. Not only do students learn about scientific research, analysis and reporting, but they will make contacts with industry professionals, gain an insight into scientific careers and improve on critical skills such as communication and confidence.

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See also

Find out how to contact your regional coordinator for more information on Nuffield Research Placements

We also have an extensive range of free teaching and learning resources in science and other subjects

Download our student leaflet and promotional poster for display in your school or college