Host FAQs

Everything you need to know so you can get involved with the In2science programme right away.

What does the programme involve?  

The In2science programme involves multiple aspects for the students. Once enrolled on the programme, students will attend an induction where they will meet their cohort and learn about In2science. They will then take part in work experience placements hosted by our volunteers. Alongside their placements, students will also attend online workshops to teach them employability skills and help them learn more about the world of STEM. Students are also able to enter competitions to show off their achievements and win great prizes. We round up the programme with a celebration event to congratulate the young people and thank our wonderful volunteers for their support and hard work.

Hosting a placement will likely be the only aspect of the programme that you will be directly involved in.  

Attend a volunteer information session to find out more about the programme.

When does the programme run?

The programme will run between Monday 24th July – Friday 25th August 2023. All placements will take place within this timeframe.

What is the timeline for taking part? 

  • 5th December 2022 – Applications open
  • January to March 2023 – Volunteer Information Sessions
  • 31st March 2023 – Application deadline
  • April/May 2023 – Hosts find out if they have been matched with students
  • June 2023 – Host Inductions
  • Monday 24th July to Friday 25th August 2023 – Work experience placements take place
  • September/October 2023 – Celebration Events are held

What will the training be and when will it be held?

We will run induction sessions online where we will give tips and guidance on how to plan and deliver your work placement. The training will be held in June 2023 on multiple dates, and will be recorded for anyone who is unable to attend.

We also provide a comprehensive Host Guide that you can refer to throughout the programme. In this guide, there are examples of past activities, tips on running a successful placement, safeguarding procedures, useful resources and so much more!

Who is eligible to participate as a host?

We welcome applications from anyone who is currently working within the field of science, technology, engineering and maths in the UK. This includes PhD students. Unfortunately, applications from current undergraduate or masters students will not be considered due to the requirement to host students at your workplace.

The In2science programme currently runs in several regions across the UK, and we consider applications from people who work in or within a one-hour commute of them:

Birmingham

Cambridge

Cardiff

Colchester

Coventry

Edinburgh

Exeter

Lancaster

Leeds

Leicester

Liverpool

London

Manchester

Oxford

Reading

Warwick

Wolverhampton

We are always looking to expand our programme to new regions and give as many inspirational young people the opportunity to participate as possible. If you do not live within one hour of one of our current regions, but are still interested in getting involved, get in touch.

How does the selection process for hosts work?

Our applications are not merit-based and matches are made by aligning student interests, location and availability. This means that we are not able to guarantee all eligible volunteer applicants will be successfully matched to student(s) to host.

Whilst we do accept applications from professionals across the breadth of the STEM sector, we receive the highest demand from our students for placements with a hands-on or research focus, and these volunteers will therefore have higher chances of being selected.

What information will I need to provide in the application?

Our applications are designed to capture the necessary information to allow us to match you to a suitable student(s) to host for the placement.

To give you an idea for now, the information we ask for is:
• Personal details
• Your place of work
• Your area of expertise
• Availability and capacity
• Risks and sensitivities
• Consent

When is the deadline to submit a host application?

The host application deadline for the 2023 summer programme is Friday 31st March 2023.

Which application category should I use – individual, co-host or department?

Our applications are split into three categories: individual, co-host and departmental. This streamlines the process for different situations.

  • Individual Application – If you would like to host a single placement (approximately 3 students) on your own then you should submit an individual application.
  • Co-hosting Application –  If you would like to share the responsibility of hosting a single placement (approximately 3 students) with 1 or more colleagues then one of you should complete a co-hosting application. Please note, the person who submits the application will be considered as the ‘lead host’ and our main point of contact.
  • Group Application – If an organisation or department would like to host multiple placements (approximately 3 students per placement) during the same week(s), and within the same subject field, a single staff member can apply on behalf of a group, department or organisation. Please note, if you are submitting an application on behalf of a group/department/organisation you will be considered the ‘lead host’ and our main point of contact.

How can I increase my chances of being matched with students?

Students are matched with hosts based on a number of different criteria, including subject interests, placement location and student and host availability. Due to the nature of the programme, unfortunately we cannot guarantee all host applications will be successfully matched with students. 

To maximise your chances of being matched to a participant, try to answer all questions accurately and provide as much detail as possible. It is especially important to select appropriate keywords, to help describe your subject area. It is also crucial to be as accurate as possible when selecting your availability and to let us know if your availability changes. Make sure your bio introduces you and your work in a way that is accessible to students who may have limited knowledge of your field. Try to apply early and if you’re unsure about anything, contact us via [email protected]

What is the expected time commitment for hosting a placement?

An approximation of a host’s time commitment are:

  • Application form – This should take 20-30 minutes to complete.
  • Planning placement activities – We estimate it will take approximately one full day, spread over time, for arrangements to be made. If you’re unsure of the types of activities to plan, we offer support and talk through example activities during the host inductions. You can also find additional information and guidance in the host guide.
  • Admin tasks – This will include submitting a risk assessment, communicating with students, signing our Code of Conduct and Safeguarding Policy, undergoing a DBS check if necessary and any other admin that your organisation requires. This will take approximately half a day, spread over time. Our team will support you with these tasks and we have created resources, such as email and risk assessment templates, to help speed up the process. 
  • Online induction – We expect all hosts to attend one host induction session ahead of the placements. The host induction session will be one-hour long and a recording will be made available to those who cannot attend the live session.
  • Running the placement – This will take place over one or two weeks, depending on your availability and preference.

What will I be expected to do for the work placement and how do I arrange this?

You can read our blog post for more information about placements and to get an idea of the types of activities that can be included. If successfully matched to a group of students, we will also provide a guide and an induction session that will help you to plan your placement. We suggest planning a mixture of hands-on and hands-off activities to fit around your work schedule. Hands-on activities can include undertaking experiments, mock interviews, scenario tasks and data analysis. Hands-off activities can involve attending team meetings, interviews with other colleagues and setting research or presentations for the students. The In2science team will provide support and resources to help plan placement activities.

As a placement host, you will be responsible for completing necessary checks and paperwork ahead of the placement. For example, your organisation may require students to have visitor lanyards or additional security inductions. This will depend on your place of work and protocols in place. After your induction, you will receive the contact details of your student(s). This allows you to introduce yourself, arrange any necessary checks and provide important information about the placement such as meeting points and any health and safety requirements.

What is the length of the work placements?

We are looking for volunteers who can host a one or two week work experience placement.

I don’t work in an area currently covered by In2science, can I still host a student?

In2science is always looking to reach out to provide more students across the UK with the opportunity to take part in life-changing experiences. We ask anyone who would like to host a student who doesn’t work in an area currently covered by In2science to fill out our online application. We will then review these and get in touch if we believe that it is possible for you to host a student in the region.

I can’t host a placement in 2023. Is there any other way I can volunteer?

In addition to the work placements, we also run volunteer-led online workshops during the summer. If you are interested in supporting the delivery of a workshop, please complete this form. Please note that we run a limited number of workshops each year so can only accommodate volunteers when there are spaces available.

If you’re interested in hosting a placement next year, please complete this Expression of Interest Form and we’ll get in touch with you when applications open for the 2024 programme.

How are students selected?

Student applicants are shortlisted before we match them to a host. Our selection criteria is based on data published by the Department for Education which identifies those most under-represented at university and in STEM and research careers.

Core Criteria:

  • Students must be currently attending a state-funded school.
  • Students must be 16 years old or over and a current year 12 student or equivalent.
  • Students must be studying at least one STEM-related A-Level, BTEC or equivalent. 
  • Students must be within one hour commute of their placement location.

Additional Criteria:

To be considered for our shortlist, students must meet a minimum of one of the following criteria. (These may differ depending on region)

  • Be a recipient of Free School Meals (FSM) in year 11, or at sixth form.
  • Be a current recipient of EMA or Pupil Premium.
  • Currently, live in a POLAR Q1 area. Learn more about POLAR data.
  • Have parents or carers who have no higher education degree.

Do I need a DBS check?

All volunteers will receive guidance on In2scienceUKs safeguarding processes and are required to read our Safeguarding Policy before placement begins. 

We also ask you to familiarise yourself with the safeguarding policies and process of your organisation and inform HR or someone responsible that you will be hosting a placement with a student, likely aged 16-17.

While DBS checks will not be required in all placements, depending on the nature of the placement, we may request evidence of DBS checks and/or self-disclosure forms where legally entitled.

Will I need a risk assessment and/or insurance?

For safety, all hosts will need to submit a short risk assessment. We provide a partially filled template to help with this, although your organisation may already have a template.

Participants will need to be covered by your organisation’s workplace insurance. Most organisations, especially large organisations such as universities, have simple, established procedures for this.

How can I get in contact if I have further questions?

  • We are running a series of Volunteer Information Sessions during January-March that introduce the programme to anyone who might be interested in volunteering. Each session will be 45 minutes long and includes a 30 minute presentation and a 15 minute Q&A. These are free to attend and open to all. Head to the Eventbrite Page to see the available dates and register your place.
  • If you have any further questions please email us at [email protected]

Are you In2science?

Apply to host a group of students today.