Education and business experts are warning that Scotland will not have the skilled scientific and engineering workforce it needs to meet the demands of industry unless science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are promoted as worthwhile careers with appeal for both young women and men.
In order to address this problem, the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme aims to provide post-16 school or college students with an opportunity to carry out four to six week research or development projects in any of the STEM-related disciplines in universities, industry, conservation or research organisations during the summer vacation.
The projects can include subjects/topics such as engineering of all types, biology, chemistry, ecology, geography, computing, physics, psychology, applied maths etc.
The placements help increase confidence and improve key skills including practical, communication, report-writing and presentation skills. They also provide students with excellent experiences and skills to include on CVs and personal statements. By working with professional scientists and engineers in a real-life environment, the students gain a valuable insights into a wide variety of careers.
The Nuffield Research Placement Scheme gives 5th year school or college students hands-on experience of a professional research environment through a 4, 5 or 6-week placement in their summer holidays. The programme aims to link talented students with organisations undertaking research, including universities, industry, conservation organisations and research institutes. It also offers an opportunity for the students to improve and develop their key skills such as problem-solving, report writing, presentation and communication skills, as well as helping to increase confidence and independence.
By working with professional researchers, students gain an insight into a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers. By providing a placement, your organisation can give someone a life-changing opportunity that will help transform them into a future scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician.
The high-achieving, motivated students will make a contribution to your organisation and its ongoing projects, giving you some enthusiastic, extra support to help initiate, progress or complete work programmes. You will benefit from the fresh ideas and hard work that the students will bring to your organisation and also from the links generated with local schools and teachers.
Interested students apply by completing an application form. These will be forwarded to appropriate supervisors who can then select the student for their project. They then agree start and finish dates and hours of work with the student (normally Mon-Fri, 9-5pm).
You will be asked to register on to our online system where you will provide some personal details and information outlining the proposed project. You will also be asked to provide confirmation that students will be covered by your insurers while they are working in your organisation. Once a student has been accepted and start/finish dates are agreed, a risk assessment will be required to be submitted onto the system before the student begins the project. Supervisors are not required to undergo a PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) check unless there are specific risks involved in the project, such as long periods of one-to-one working, field trips etc.
All supervisors are sent guidance notes to help them successfully plan and carry out the projects plus information on Health and Safety upon registration.
Whether you are seriously interested or just want to know a little bit more – we’d be delighted to hear from you.
Jennifer Smith, Nuffield Coordinator (Scotland)
Tel: 01382 308455 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org