Teacher FAQs

1. When do Nuffield Research Placements take place?

2. How do I know if my student is eligible for a Full Bursary?

3. I have students interested in taking part in a placement this Summer. What should I do next?

4. What are you looking for in a reference?

5. How do I support my students?

6. Is each student that applies guaranteed a place on the scheme?

7. How many students can apply from my school/college?

8. Who holds responsibility for students on Nuffield Research Placements in terms of insurance and health and safety?

9. Who arranges student placements?

10. Can I visit my students on their placements?

11. How do I make the most of students that have taken part in the Nuffield Research Placement scheme when they return to school?

12. What is a Gold CREST award?

13. Is the programme open to independent schools?

14. I have some students who want to study medicine. Should they apply?

15. How do I provide a reference for a student through the online system?

 

1. When do Nuffield Research Placements take place?

Nuffield Research Placements are between 4 and 6 weeks long and take place in the Summer holidays. 

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2. How do I know if my student is eligible for a Full Bursary?

Parents and guardians are reponsible for informing us if their child is eligible for a bursary. However, teachers can also help us to identify those students who may be eligible. The bursary is £100 per week and is available to some students (see our eligbility criteria). Travel expenses are reimbursed for all students, with a maximum of £300 reimbursed per project. 

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3. I have students interested in taking part in a placement this Summer. What should I do next?

Firstly, the student should check that they are eligble for the programme. If they are in any doubt, they should contact their Nuffield Coordinator to find out more information.

If the student is eligible, you could discuss with them the types of projects that they might want to undertake, and you could read over their personal statement that they submit via their online application form. 

Once the student has completed the application form, you will receive an e-mail asking you to provide a reference. 

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4. What are we looking for in a reference?

In your reference you should comment on:

  • the student's motivation and enthusiasm for science and for the area of science, technology, engineering and maths in which they have expressed an interest in finding a project 
  • how the student would benefit from a research experience - for example, if they come from a family with no experience of higher education, they may benefit from exposure to a new career route
  • the student's ability to make a contribution to the project and how the project could provide particular benefit to the student’s maturity and career decisions
  • the student's ability to work as part of a team and take instructions
  • the student's ability to work on their own and take responsibility and initiative
  • any other particular skills and attributes that make the student a suitable candidate for a Nuffield Research Placement

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5. How do I support my students?

The best way you can support the student is to ensure that their personal statement is of a high standard as this is an important part of the application criteria. 

Once a student is accepted onto the programme, the regional coordinator will match them with a placement. If the student does not get their first choice of placement, it is important to encourage them to be open minded as getting a first choice is not always possible. 

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6. Is each student that applies guaranteed a place on the scheme?

The scheme is highly competitive, and there are a limited number of placements for each region. Each Nuffield Coordinator has to meet a number of targets to ensure balance across the types of schools and projects. This means that we cannot guarantee to award a Nuffield Research Placement for every student who applies.

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7. How many students from my school/college can take part in the scheme each Summer?

We do not usually accept any more than four students from one school or college, in order to spread the awards fairly. However, we can sometimes make exceptions for very large schools or colleges, so talk to your coordinator if you fall into that category. 

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8. Who holds responsibility for students on research placements in terms of insurance and health and safety?

The primary responsibility for health and safety rests with the project provider. A separate set of guidance notes is available from your Nuffield Coordinator. 

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9. Who arranges student placements?

The regional coordinator arranges all student placements. 

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10. Can I visit my students on their placements?

If you are interested in visiting your student on their placement please contact your Nuffield Coordinator.

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11. How do I make the most of students that have taken part in the Nuffield Research Placement scheme when they return to school?

Bear in mind that students may be able to use the knowledge and skills from their placement when they get back into school. They could have evidence to add to a key skills portfolio, they might have results that could feed into their coursework and they will certainly have something interesting to talk about at an interview.

The students will create a poster for a Celebration Event that takes place after the projects are completed. This might be something that they could show in school or college. Additionally, students produce a written report which you may wish to read. 

Your students could also: write an article for the school newsletter or local newspaper; talk to other post-16 students; take part of a lesson linked to their project; talk to the school science club; join the Nuffield Alumni and become a Student Ambassador; give a presentation to pupils in KS4, KS3 or a local primary school; or give a presentation to parents during a school open evening.

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12. What is a Gold CREST award? 

Your students may choose to work towards a Gold CREST (CREativity in Science and Technology) Award while they are on their Nuffield placements. This is a nationally recognised scheme to reward Science & Technology project work. To achieve a Gold CREST award the student must work on a project for 100 hours at a high level of science. Nuffield projects easily fulfil the criteria and so students are encouraged to submit their work.

See The British Science Association website for further details.

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13. Is the programme open to independent schools?

The programme is not open to students from independent UK schools and colleges. This is because we are a fully widening participation programme (from October 2018). For further details on this change, please contact your Nuffield Coordinator or e-mail nrp@nuffieldfoundation.org 

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14. I have some students who want to study medicine. Should they apply?

We do not provide any medical placements.  Students are able to work on biomedical projects, but these must be research based rather than clinical.  The programme is designed for students interested in any area of STEM, and will give students an experience of scientific research. For this reason, it may not be the most relevant experience for those who have decided on medicine as a career.

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15. How do I provide a reference for a student through the online system?

As part of the application process, a student must nominate a teacher referee (they will enter the teacher's name and email address). If a student has nominated you as their referee, you will receive an email with a link which will take you to the reference page for that student. Please note that if you are nominated as a referee for multiple students, you must click on the link in each individual email you receive requesting a reference.

You are not able to register yourself on the online system without following the student's reference request link.

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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