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Do you want to benefit from communicating science?

26 March 2010

Engaging young people in research can be enjoyable and rewarding but also boost your employability or academic career progression according to Professor Alan Thorpe Chair of Research Councils UK (RCUK), who fund Researchers in Residence (RinR), a UK-wide school placement scheme for PhD and early-stage postdoctoral researchers.

The Researchers in Residence scheme organises host schools where researchers take part in a variety of activities such as assisting with practical projects, talks or demonstrations to inspire and motivate 11-19 year old students.

Teachers and students benefit from the support from a real-life scientist while researchers gain significantly from the experience as they can develop their skills and demonstrate their aptitude for teaching, team-work and science communication in their CVs.

The scheme also provides free leading communications training courses for all participating researchers.

Former RinR researcher, Alex Lawson, based at the University of Birmingham specialising in Biosciences, comments on and how you can develop your skills base, whilst enthusing students:

"My confidence in public speaking definitely increased after completing my placement. It was useful to practise presenting to a non-technical audience and it forced me to really think about my own research and what messages I was trying to get across."

"I was quite surprised by how many of the students, especially those in the upper year, were interested in my life as a researcher. A lot of them were quite surprised that I had an active social life and knew many people of my age, male and female, studying science. Shattering stereotypes wasn't high on my agenda when I applied for the programme. However, it felt good to be able to provide a realistic representation of young scientists and I'd like to think it made a career in science look more attractive to the students."

The Scheme is open to all PhD and early-stage postdoctoral researchers that are funded directly or indirectly by one of the seven UK Research Councils or the Wellcome Trust.

Researchers can apply for a placement or find out more by calling 0845 365 7470.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Researchers in Residence is funded by RCUK and supported by the Wellcome Trust

Contact

Patrick Middleton, Head of Engagement

tel: 01793 413368