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 CEO 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.

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.


Elena Di Giorgi

Elena has been working in the social sector for ten years in Italy, South America and now in the UK.
In her last job, she oversaw international projects, coordinating volunteers and partners working with young people and local communities. She says about her role ‘I love being able to see clearly the impact of our work every day and knowing that we are changing students’ lives.

Stephen Hancock

Stephen has over six years’ experience delivering new innovations with both non-profits and start-ups, including developing healthcare and educational mobile applications in East Africa, and working with an Oxford University spin-out on world first medical technology. He has always been actively involved in both formal and informal education, having worked in the sciences in schools in the UK, as well as developing education for employment initiatives with disadvantaged youth and vulnerable adults. It is a passion for engagement with innovation, improving social mobility and supporting young people to achieve, that led Stephen to join in2ScienceUK in 2019

Luke Mckelvey

Luke develops partnerships between in2scienceUK and the wider business and STEM community and is in charge of implementing our new development and fundraising strategy.


Pooja Notta

Pooja ttained her BSc in Medical Biosciences from Monash University and recently completed my Masters in Public Health and Health Promotion from Brunel University. The focus of her thesis was to study healthy eating behaviours amongst the working class Londoners. She has a passion for increasing the engagement and implementation of public programmes and interventions that are aimed at benefiting and enhancing day to day life of the public.


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.

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.


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.

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.

Gillian Channer

Gillian Channer is a Divisional Director at Capita Plc and a qualified Executive Coach with extensive experience in Information Technology leading organisational change programmes to accelerate international growth and performance, and driving digital transformation through consolidation, standardisation and automation. This is underpinned by a passion to develop individuals and teams to achieve their potential using advanced coaching and behavioural change approaches, and leading programmes to help nurture tomorrow’s leaders.

Professor John Mitchell

John is Vice-Dean Education in the UCL Faculty of Engineering Sciences and a Professor of Communications Systems Engineering. He is also Co-Director of the Centre for Engineering Education which aims to improve the education of engineers and to encourage more young people to study and take careers in engineering.



Professor Vicky Pope

Vicky had a long and successful career in the UK Met Office in a variety of roles – as a climate science researcher, programme manager, communicator of publicly important science and partnership developer. She is now building a portfolio career focussing on issues that she cares about and where she can make a tangible difference. These issues include: protecting and enhancing the environment, improving scientific literacy in decision making (noting that even the current science minister in the UK is a historian) and improved access to STEM careers. She is keen to support In2Science in giving young people some of the opportunities she was able to give her own children.

Marzia Farooqui


Past Staff:

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.

Petra Louisa Kuyembeh

Petra is a previous in2scienceUK student. Her placement was at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health researching DiGeorge syndrome. She completed her BSc in Microbiology at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and then went on to maintain a MSc in Public Health and Health Promotion from Brunel University. She has a particular interest in health policy and programming.


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.