Summer activities

There are two main summer school schemes for students interested in science-related subjects.

Nuffield Research Placements

Nuffield Research Placements offer up to 1000 bursaries a year, for students to work alongside practising scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

Projects take place for 4-6 weeks during the summer holidays, giving students an insight into the world of scientific research and development.

Students in the first year of a post-16 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) course (Yr 12 or equivalent) are eligible to apply for a bursary of £80 per week to support them during their project. Placements are available across the UK, in universities, industry or research institutions. Nuffield welcome applications from students doing vocational courses as well as academic ones.

For more information or to apply, please visit the Nuffield website


Insight at Headstart

EDT (The Engineering Development Trust) is working with WISE (Women into Science, Engineering and Construction) to develop ‘Insight at Headstart’, a week-long residential summer-school programme for 16 and 17 year-old girls interested in maths or science. It takes place during the time applications are made to UCAS and is designed to help young women choose among the many options that are available to them, regarding science or engineering degree courses.

  • The programme is based in the science or engineering department of a university. Insight courses examine several different aspects of science and engineering and include problem solving and teamwork exercises, practical activities and often a company visit. Insight at Headstart is an introduction to university life as well as helping to make informed decisions.
  • Participants develop important key skills including mentoring, presentation and team-building. They also meet other women who are undergraduates at university or beginning their career. Information is provided regarding work experience, industrial placement and company bursary schemes.
  • Insight at Headstart is designed for girls who prefer to study in an all-female environment; the programme is supported by The UK Resource Centre for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology, Women’s Engineering Society, and Women into Science, Engineering and Construction.
  • After the course, participants usually know which subject they want to study, where to study it, and how to apply for their preferred course.
  • Attendance is by invitation, following acceptance of the application documents which are available from schools or via the Insight at Headstart website. Alternatively, by emailing

Many universities also organise their own summer schools, so it is worth looking out for those too.