I am happy to announce that the Online Application System for Nuffield Research Placements 2020 has now opened.
The Nuffield Research Placement Scheme is aimed at the current 5th year pupils who will be sitting their Highers in 2020 and who are studying any Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Maths (STEM) and Social Science/Humanities subjects at that level. The placements help increase confidence and improve key skills including practical, communication, report-writing and presentation skills. Placements also provide students with excellent experiences & skills to include on CV’s and personal statements. By working with professional scientists and engineers in a real-life environment, the students gain an invaluable insight into a wide variety of careers. This is a wonderful opportunity for your students and we hope you will promote the scheme to them.
The Nuffield Foundation are aiming to widen access, focusing on economic and social deprivation, and have found that students who come from lower income families, or whose parents have not attended higher education, benefit most from the scheme. In light of this the scheme is now only open to these students (and priorities are placed on students eligible for the bursary). This means our charitable funding is targeted where it will have the greatest benefit. It also means that we will have fewer unsuccessful applicants.
In your school only those eligible for the bursary should apply – schools are categorised using the number of students on the school role receiving Free School Meals as an indicator, your school is termed either a Category 1 or Category 2 school (fewer numbers of FSMs). In Categories 1&2 there are fewer allocated spaces across Scotland and so only bursary students will be considered for placement. Schools can move in and out of the categories each year and so it may be in the future this changes.
Before encouraging your students to apply, please read the following eligibility criteria carefully as these are different to previous years.
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
- Have at least 5 National 5 / GCSEs (or equivalent) at Level B / 6 or above, including maths, a science subject and English (or another humanities subject)
- Be studying one or more Scottish Higher, A-level (or equivalent) in science, technology, engineering, economics, geography, psychology, computing, statistics or maths
- Be able to spend several weeks (4-6) of their summer holiday working on a research project
Students must also meet at least ONE of the following bursary criteria:
Come from a family with a combined household income of below £30,000 a year
- Be entitled to free schools meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.
- Be living, or have lived in, local authority care
Summary of the process:
- Students apply by completing an online application which can be accessed on the Nuffield Research Placement webpage at https://www.nuffieldresearchplacements.org/ The application has various sections – personal details, education, personal statement, teacher reference, parent consent, bursary application.
- When registering, students insert an email address of the teacher who is to provide them with a reference. The system automatically initiates an email to that teacher to allow them to add reference.
- After the closing date (February 25th 2020) applications will be scored, matched to placement projects available/suitable (where possible) and the appropriate applications will be forwarded to various supervisors for their consideration.
- If a student and/or teacher has contact details of anyone in local industries/organisations who could offer a placement project, they can include the details on their application, we can then follow this up to check suitability.
- If successful matched and accepted to a project by the supervisor, the student is then offered the project.
- Placements normally take place at the end of June, July or early August. The student will normally be working Mon-Fri (9am-5pm) for 4, 5 or 6 weeks. Students should therefore be made aware that is quite a big commitment.
- All students will receive reasonable travel costs to and from their placement. Students who are eligible for bursary will receive an additional £100 per week of placement.
- Successful students are required to submit a report at the end of their placement and are also invited to display their work in poster format at a celebration event in Edinburgh, taking place at the end of August / early September.
PLEASE note – there are a limited number of placements available and as such an application does NOT guarantee a Nuffield placement.
I hope this is of some help to you and that you do encourage some of your students to apply. If you would like a visit to the school to meet with you and any interested pupils, do just let me know.
More information on the Nuffield Research Placements scheme can be found at http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/nuffield-research-placements