What is a Nuffield Research Placement?

Summer holidays after Year 12 (England, Wales & Northern Ireland) or S5 (Scotland).
How long?
4 - 6 weeks in total. This inc. independent study ahead of 2-3 weeks for the real-world placement collaboration activities.
A well-supervised but independent placement relating to an area of science, quantitative social science, computing, technology, engineering or maths - or a combination!
Students can take part in a placement at no cost. Travel costs are reimbursed and students may be eligible to receive a £200 bursary.
Placements take place in a variety of locations including offices, museums, research centres, laboratories or fieldwork settings*.


*Due to the impact of COVID-19 and Government guidance, and subject to the limitations of the placement provider organisation, the real-world research collaboration with a placement provider may not be able to go ahead on-site. In the event that on-site research is not possible, this activity will continue online instead.
You may find it helpful to read our programme guide for students to find out more.

 Programme guide for students

Encourage your students to spend part of their summer expanding their career prospects by undertaking a short project that will:

  • Develop subject understanding that has been shown to increase STEM A-Level attainment

  • Help students learn more about university, apprenticeships and different career pathways

  • Enhance CVs and personal statements to support future academic or employment applications 

  • Lead to applications for a Gold CREST Award or the Big Bang Competition to showcase new skills

"[T]his is an excellent accolade to discuss in their personal statements and pushed them to complete work outside of their comfort zone. [The students] have both shown increased confidence and resilience.” Teacher from Cornwall

“I think it is brilliant.  Both of my students have difficult backgrounds and I think it has really helped them with life skills as well as giving them a career focus.” Teacher from Lancaster


Student eligibility criteria

The Nuffield Research Placements programme focuses on high-attaining, motivated Y12 or S5 students from first in family backgrounds and/or financially disadvantaged families that are on a post-16 education pathway to develop their science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) skills. 

Given this, we have a number of criteria that need to be met in order for students to be eligible to apply to the programme: 

  • ACADEMIC CRITERIA             

    - Be in full-time state-funded education in the UK.
    - Have at least 5 GCSEs at Level 6/Grade B or above
    Scottish Nationals at Level B 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.

  • SOCIAL 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 (pre-tax) OR be entitled to free school meals, either now or at any time in the last six years.
    - In receipt of, or entitled to, discretionary payments at school/college (e.g., EMA, 16-19 Bursary Fund).
    - Be the first in their immediate family to participate in higher education (not including any older siblings). 

Programme timetable 

  •   winter

    The Nuffield Research Placements programme opens for applications from students.

    Students should check their eligibility via our online tool, read our guide and approach a teacher to request a reference.

  •    SPRING

    Applications close and students are informed by their regional coordinator if they have been shortlisted and will go through to be matched to a placement or if they are unsuccessful.

    Deadlines will vary by region, you can find out more here.


    Students begin work on their pre-placement independent study assignments.

    They will also contact their placement provider before undertaking the research or development collaboration with a knowledge expert.


    Students submit their finished work inc. a final report, poster and feedback form.

    They then receive their certificate of participation to use in future UCAS applications and all stakeholders are invited to a celebration event.


How to get your students involved 


    Check which of your students are eligible for the programme via our eligibility section.

    Share our leaflet with potential students who might benefit from taking part.

     Student leaflet


    Encourage those who are eligible to read our guide for student applicants.

    Let them know you'd be happy to provide a reference supporting their application.

     Applicant guide


    A network of Regional Coordinators oversee the recruitment of students to the programme.

    You can find their contact details below so please get in touch as they'd be happy to discuss how best to support students at your school or college. 

Find your regional coordinator

For any help, questions or concerns you have, please contact your Regional Coordinator. They will be happy to hear from you and answer any of your queries. Their contact details are below depending on what region your school/college or organisation is in.

  • East Midlands

    • Stacy Munday
      East Midlands Regional Coordinator

      0116 240 7000

      Leicestershire Education Business Company, 30 Frog Island, Off North Bridge Place, Leicester, LE3 5AG
      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Rutland & Lincolnshire

  • London and the East

    • Sally Moore
      London and the East Regional Coordinator

      01438 755 075

      STEMPOINT East at MBDA, PO Box 19, PB 211, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, SG1 2DA

      DEADLINE: 14th April 2021
      Counties: Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Greater London, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire

  • North East England

    • Andrew Stogdale
      North East England Regional Coordinator


      Spark Aspirations Tees Valley Ltd, 9 Tarr Steps, Ingleby Barwick, TS17 0NG

      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Northumberland, Tyne and Wear & Durham


  • North West England

    • Helen McCann
      North West England Regional Coordinator

      07821 156 958

      All About STEM, Studio B, Digital House, 44 Simpson Street, Liverpool L1 0AX

      DEADLINE: 31st March 2021
      Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside & Cheshire

  • Northern Ireland

    • Ciaran Lynch
      Northern Ireland Regional Coordinator

      028 9262 7755

      SENTINUS, 19a Ballinderry Road, Lisburn, BT28 2SA

      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      Counties: All within Northern Ireland


  • Scotland

    • Jennifer Smith
      Scotland Regional Coordinator

      01382 308 455

      Outreach and Public Engagement Office, Graduate School, Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, DD1 1HG
      DEADLINE: 31st March 2021
      unties: All within Scotland

  • South East England

    • Lydia Ahern
      South East England Regional Coordinator


      STEM Outreach Coordinator, Sussex STEM, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1UE

      DEADLINE: 7th April 2021
      Kent, East Sussex, West Susses & Hampshire

  • South West England

    • Janine Bisson
      South West England Regional Coordinator

      01872 224 397

      Cornwall Education Business Partnership, Cornwall Council, 2N Chy Trevail, Dunmere Road, Bodmin, PL31 2FX
      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, Dorset & Cornwall

  • Wales

    • Andrea Meyrick
      Wales Regional Coordinator

      029 2047 5475

      Techniquest, Stuart Street, Cardiff, CF10 5BW

      DEADLINE: 22nd April 2021
      unties: All within Wales

  • West Midlands

    • Farzana Aslam or Clare Everson
      West Midlands Regional Coordinator

      0247 765 8569

      Coventry University, Engineering and Computing Building, Coventry, CV1 5FB
      DEADLINE: 17th March 2021
      West Midlands, Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire & Worcestershire

  • Yorkshire and Humberside

    • Paula Symonds
      Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Coordinator

      01246 212 535

      Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, Commerce House, Millennium Way, Chesterfield, S41 8ND
      DEADLINE: 21st April 2021
      All Yorkshire territories inc. Humberside​