In2scienceUK Sparks

Lead Research Organisation:
Department Name: Grants


To date the in2scienceUK charity has worked with over 700 young people, only 25 of which have had access to physicists which is despite 300+ young people from this demographic applying every year to gain access to this area of research.

This grant will fund new work to support 50 young people from the poorest backgrounds to gain 2 week insights into high level Physics based research through a work placement hosted by STFC researchers. These young people have the opportunity to engage in high level research science, make blogs and videos of the work they are engaged in and also access high quality workshops and skills day delivered by the in2scienceUK team) enabling them to get a greater understanding of STEM career pathways and university access. This work will focus on supporting local young people in London, Oxford and Cambridge. 100% will be from low income backgrounds (receive free school meals and have parents who do not hold a degree).

We know that through our trialed and tested programme (independently assessed) that by bringing together young people from low income backgrounds who lack science capital and opportunities, together with researchers this can have substantial impact in their decisions to progress to degrees and research based careers. With 20% higher salaries available in STEM careers compared to other sectors, our vision is that in2scienceUK will provide a way out of economic inequality for these young people.

The aim of this grant has short and long term aims.


The 50 young people we'll work with (in addition to their families and teachers) will progress from the in2scienceUK Sparks programme being more confident, well read, more informed about STFC-funded research, associated careers but also have developed the professional skills critical for success in the world today.

During the programme young people will formulate blogs, images and videos (see attached case for examples) that explain STFC-research that is accessible to the public and will be disseminated to their schools, families and public raising the engagement of STFC-funded research.

More than 50 STFC-funded researchers will have participated in this public engagement activity and have substantial evidence of this which they can show via videos, blogs and images.


In2scienceUK will build up networks within the STFC community and ensure these relationships are sustained for years to come.

Increase the number of young people from low income backgrounds progressing to university to study physics and into research careers.

Planned Impact

At the end of this project we shall have:

Videos of young people from low income backgrounds discussing thee STFC-research they completed which will also contain footage of the researcher briefly outlining why their research is important.

Blogs written by students about their experience

Images taken by students under 2 headings 'research through a lens', the 'faces of science' and 'research down a microscope'

These will be entered into an STFC- based competition where students and researchers get prizes for winning entries. All entries will be promoted on social media, on the websites of researchers and local newspapers.

In addition the in2scienceUK team will produce case studies of students and their supervisors which can be used in all the ways listed above. Impact reports will be disseminated to STFC, researchers, departments and used to promote the impact of the programme to raise the profile of the STFC in2scienceUK Sparks programme and maintain momentum for future years.


10 25 50
Description Findings have been put into an impact report and disseminated to researchers, volunteers and partners.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

Description Cancer Research UK Scholars Programme
Amount £7,500 (GBP)
Organisation Cancer Research UK 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 11/2021
Description Connected Communities Innovation Fund
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Connected Communities Innovation Fund 
Organisation Nesta 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 07/2020
Title 2019 Higher Education Access Tracker 
Description We sent all of our 2019 student data to STROBE (UCAS) which highlights the impact of the programme on young peoples access to HE compared to matched controls. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This data set illustrated the in2scienceUK programme significantly increases the progress of participants to apply and progress to top universities compared to matched controls. 
Description Manchester University Physics Department 
Organisation University of Manchester
Department School of Physics and Astronomy Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have expanded the programme to Manchester and are working with a Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester to leverage the support of researchers to host opportunities.
Collaborator Contribution Offering 10 physics opportunites
Impact -Young people from low income backgrounds residing in Manchester engaging in physics research -Increase in public engagement in physics research -Increase in understanding of researchers into the barriers young people from disadvantaged backgrounds face when pursuing their interest in physics.
Start Year 2021
Description Programme Expanion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact As a result of this award, we have been able to expand the programme to new regions in the UK in the Physics departments including the University of Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020,2021