Three college science students have secured highly sought-after research placements, where they will get to learn from some of the top brains in Britain and improve their CVs and UCAS applications too.
Abbie Corrigan, 17, from Shotton Colliery, Adam Davies, 16, from Fishburn and Danny Pugh, 16, from Peterlee, have all be awarded Nuffield Research Placements this summer.
The Nuffield Research Placements (previously Nuffield Science Bursaries) provide Year 12 students each year with the opportunity to work alongside professional scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians (STEM).
Abbie and Adam have been given research placements at Durham University. Abbie will be working with Prof. Ian Baxendale in the Department of Chemistry and Adam with Dr Darren Gröcke, Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Earth Sciences. Meanwhile Danny’s placement is with Blue Reef Aquarium at Tynemouth working alongside Mr Terry McKeone on researching marine habitats on the British coastline.
All three students are studying at East Durham College’s Sixth Form (known as ED6), in Peterlee, on the first year of a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science, which is the equivalent to three A-levels.
Their lecturer Dr Wanda Scott, Programme Area Leader for ED6 and Access to HE, said: “The students were over the moon when they found out they had been successful in gaining one of the converted placements.
“There are only a 1000 places for STEM students every year from across the whole of the UK, and only 70 of those are in the north east, so for our small centre to get three of these prestigious places is an excellent achievement.
“It is an extremely valuable experience and will help them immensely with their UCAS applications in the autumn.”
The hard working students will spend 40-hour weeks for four weeks over the summer on the placements but they couldn’t be happier.
Abbie said: “When I got the email I cried I was so happy. I ran downstairs screaming to tell my Mam the news.
“It’s been a great first year at ED6 and this will really top it off. I can’t wait to take part in the placement, I’m so pleased to get this opportunity.”
The Nuffield Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1943 by William Morris, Lord Nuffield, the founder of Morris Motors. Their aim is to improve social well-being by funding research and innovation in education and social policy.
The Foundation aim to build research capacity in science and social science, most notably through their Nuffield Research Placements providing students with the opportunity to undertake exciting STEM research projects in universities, commercial companies, voluntary organisations and research institutions.