Everything you need to know so you can get involved with the In2STEM programme right away.
- Programme information
- What does the programme involve?
- When does the programme run?
- What is the timeline for taking part?
- What will the training be and when will it be held?
- Who is eligible to participate as a host?
- Your Application
- How does the selection process for hosts work?
- What information will I need to provide in the application?
- When is the deadline to submit a host application?
- Which application category should I use – individual, co-host or department?
- How can I increase my chances of being matched with students?
- Hosting a placement
- What is the expected time commitment for hosting a placement?
- What will I be expected to do for the work placement and how do I arrange this?
- What is the length of the work placements?
- I don’t work in an area currently covered by In2STEM, can I still host a student?
- I can’t host a placement this year. Is there any other way I can volunteer?
- Other enquiries
- How are students selected?
- Do I need a DBS check?
- Will I need a risk assessment and/or insurance?
- How can I get in contact if I have further questions?
What does the programme involve?
The In2STEM 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 In2STEM. 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.
When does the programme run?
The programme will run between Monday 22nd July – Friday 23rd August 2024. All placements will take place within this timeframe for one or two weeks, based on your preference and availability.
What is the timeline for taking part?
- November 2023 – Applications open
- November 2023 to February 2024 – Volunteer Information Sessions
- 28th January 2024 – Applications deadline
- End of May 2024 – Hosts find out if they have been matched with students
- June 2024 – Host Inductions
- Monday 22nd July to Friday 23rd August 2024 – Work experience placements take place
- End of August 2024 – 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 2024 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 In2STEM programme currently runs in several regions across the UK, and we usually consider applications from people who work in or within a one-hour commute of them. However, 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, we encourage you to apply as we may still be able to match you with suitable students on the programme.
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.
Please find an example application form here.
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
When is the deadline to submit a host application?
The deadline for all applications has been extended to Sunday 28th January 2024.
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 or Disclosure Scotland 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 In2STEM 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 In2STEM, can I still host a student?
In2STEM 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 In2STEM to fill out our application form. 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 this year. 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 short form. Please note that we run a limited number of workshops each year so can only accommodate volunteers when there are spaces available.
We are also running an online programme. We are looking for mentors to support a small group of students in two online mentoring sessions. More information coming soon.
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 2025 programme.
How are students selected?
- Students must be currently attending a state-funded school.
- Students must be 16 years old or over and a current Year 12 (S5/S6 in Scotland) student or equivalent.
- Students must be studying at least one STEM-related A-Level, BTEC, Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher or equivalent.
- Students must be within one hour commute of their placement location.
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 (or equivalent).
- 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 or Disclosure Scotland check?
All volunteers will receive guidance on In2scienceUK’s safeguarding processes and are required to read and adhere to our Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct before placements begin.
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 or Disclosure Scotland checks will not be required in all placements, depending on the nature of the placement, we may request evidence of DBS or Disclosure Scotland 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 complete a risk assessment and provide us with confirmation they have done so. We can provide a partially filled template to help with this, although your organisation will likely already have risk assessment procedures and templates in place.
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 between November 2023 and February 2024 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]