About us

About in2scienceUK:

in2scienceUK is a nonprofit organisation which aims to support young people from low income backgrounds progress to university to study science, technology and engineering and maths (STEM) degrees and progress to careers in the STEM sector.

in2scienceUK was founded in 2010 by Rebecca McKelvey, who aimed to provide young people from low income backgrounds an opportunity to gain practical insight into the STEM sector as well as the knowledge and confidence to progress to University.

Each year in2scienceUK receives over  1000 student applications and aims to expand across the UK in the next 5 years. The programme operates a robust evaluation process to assess the impact of the programme. To date, 75% of participants progress onto STEM degrees. This is something we are proud of, as we are not a G&T programme and aim to take students of all levels studying STEM subjects.

Founder and Director of In2scienceUK:


Dr Rebecca McKelvey

Rebecca was a Teach First teacher and Head of Science at a school in East London for 4 years. She also holds a PhD in neuroscience from UCL. Teaching and research gave her first-hand experience into the lack of opportunities and information on STEM careers that are available for students from poor backgrounds. Research in the UK shows that poor educational opportunities to engage in real science leads to long term educational and economic disadvantage (Wellcome Trust 2014). She realised that this could be changed by leveraging the expertise of STEM researchers and founded in2scienceUK. To date the programme has supported hundreds of young people from low income backgrounds with inspirational science placements and access high quality careers information and guidance.


Svenja Wheatley

Svenja holds a BSc in Anatomical Sciences and Archaeology from the University of Western Australia. She ran a performing arts consultancy dedicated to helping community groups before joining Teach First in 2014 as a science teacher in east London. Realising she wanted to focus on delivering quality STEM experiences beyond the classroom, Svenja joined the in2scienceUK team in 2017.

Leanne Grech

Leanne received a BSc in Biology and Chemistry from the University of Malta in 2010. In 2012, she obtained an MSc in Biomedical Sciences from University College London (UCL), and in 2017 she completed a PhD in genetics at UCL. She has worked for a number of access programmes and is also a teaching assistant, supervising and grading undergraduate tutorials. For three consecutive years, Leanne hosted in2scienceUK pupils in the Bähler Lab at UCL before joining in2scienceUK in April 2017 as programme coordinator.

Joy Aston

Joy is currently studying for an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London. She holds a BA in Biological Science from the University of Oxford, where she mainly specialised in ecology and completed a research project on parasitic wasps at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She has particular interests in outreach, policy and public engagement, and spent the summer working as a bee explainer at Kew gardens.

Danielle Thibodeau

Danielle Thibodeau has over a decade of experience supporting youth from marginalized communities, and developing innovative and engaging programmes that promote equity and widening participation in higher education. She last served as the Director for Law in Action Within Schools (LAWS), a Toronto programme that encourages students who face barriers to completing secondary school to consider careers in the law and justice sector. Danielle has a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy, Administration and Law from York University.

“I am excited to be joining the team at in2scienceUK, and to continue and expand their work in providing low-income students with opportunities to work with and learn from inspiring STEM professionals. The positive results that in2scienceUK has achieved in equipping students with the interest and skills to successfully pursue STEM university degrees are evidence of the success of their model, and its potential to impact social mobility throughout the UK”

In2scienceUK Trustees:


Meera Chadha – Chair of Trustees

Meera has spent over 10 years working with commercial, non-profit, social enterprise and public sector organisations to increase their scale, impact and operational efficiency. She currently leads a number of operational and strategic projects at Ark, an education charity and Academy chain. She started her career as a management consultant at Ernst & Young, and has since led programmes at Nesta, Future First and the London Early Years Foundation.


Ian West

Ian is the Finance Director at the Behavioural Insights Team and former Finance Director of the education charity Teach First.


Professor Geraint Rees

Geraint is Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences at UCL and a former Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, a world-leading centre for research on mental processes in the human brain. He is a cognitive neuroscientist and his Wellcome Trust funded work has been recognised by award of the Royal Society Francis Crick medal and election to the Academy of Medical Sciences. Geraint is also member of the Executive Team of the Francis Crick Institute and a Director of UCL Business.


Lila Winger

Lila has taught and managed science courses for over thirty years in the post sixteen sector where her work focused on supporting students from low income backgrounds. She also worked as a Tutor Counsellor for the Open University and as a Foundation Programme Manager at South Bank University.


Dr Kate Hamblin

Kate received PhD from the University of Bath and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing where she works on a variety of projects including outreach programmes where she evaluates longitudinal impact.


Hannah McAuley

Hannah is Head of University and Careers Success for Ark Academies,an academy trust of nearly 40 primary and secondary schools serving low income communities. Hannah also worked at Teach first and was responsible for the university access work including managing the development and national expansion of the Futures.


Dr Adam Giangreco

Adam is a Group Leader at University College London studying the cellular and molecular causes of lung disease. He is a Panel Member of the UK Biochemical Society, a Fellow of the Eureka Institute of Translational Medicine and an Editorial Board member at Scientific Reports and the European Respiratory Journal.

James Russell

James Russell

James is Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the David Ross Education Trust He is a senior communications leader with extensive experience of delivering strategic communications and sustainability programmes that enhance the corporate reputation and strengthen stakeholder engagement.

Past Staff:


Dr Davor Ivankovic

Davor holds a B.A in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin and completed his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience at UCL in 2017. In 2016 Davor worked with in2scienceUK as a Manager, having roles in advancing the scheme and promoting growth into the future.

Valentina Nappo

Valentina received her Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Salerno, in Italy. In 2013, she moved to London and is currently completing her PhD at UCL, working on continuous manufacturing of high quality crystals for pharmaceutical applications. For four years, Valentina has been a teaching assistant in the Chemical Engineering department at UCL. She joined in2scienceUK in April 2017 as programme coordinator.

Phoebe Whitehead

Phoebe was a student on in2scienceUK in 2015, where she became inspired by science from her work experience in a neuroscience lab at Kings College London.  She took a gap year where she divided her time between organising in2scienceUK placements within Oxford and creating 3D models of the retina using EM images as part of the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology at KCL.  In her spare time Phoebe plays the violin for her local orchestra.  Phoebe is now a student at Oxford University studying Human Sciences.