Student FAQs

Application process

1. 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?

2. Why is my school not included on the list?

3. What does “first in family” mean?

4. If I meet the eligibility criteria am I guaranteed a placement?

5. When will I hear about my application?

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

7. What happens if I am shortlisted?

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

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

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

 
Placement Process

1. Will I get paid to do a placement? 

2. Do we have to pay anything?

3. What support will I receive?

4. What type of placement can I do?

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Application process

1. 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. If you are not sure if your school is state-funded, please contact you Regional Coordinator.

If you attend an independent school and are no longer eligible, please see our webpage for other opportunities you may be interested in. 

2. Why is my school not included 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. For instance, we do not work with independent, fee-paying schools. If you think your school should be on the list but it is not, please contact you Regional Coordinator. 

3. What does “first in family” mean?

You are “first in family” if your parent(s)/carer(s) 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 eligible to apply.

4. 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. We will provide the majority of placements to students who are eligible for a bursary and remaining places to students who are first in family. 

5. When will I hear about my application?

Each region has a different application deadline. Your coordinator will get in touch after the deadline has passed to let you know if you have been successful. 

6. 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. It is best to check with your regional coordinator before applying if you are unsure.

7. What happens if I am shortlisted?

Some Coordinators will let students know when they have been shortlisted. This means that your application was of a high standard and your Coordinator is attempting to match you with a placement but it does not mean that a placement is guaranteed. You will hear from your 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.

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

Firstly, ask your parent(s)/carer(s) to check the website. They will be able to tell you if you are eligible for the programme. If you are, your parent(s)/carer(s) will need to complete a form which provides evidence of their income.

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

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

10. 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.

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Placement Questions

1. Will I get paid to do these placements?

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 many 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 schools meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.

2. Do we have to pay anything?

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

3. 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 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.

4. 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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