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					Researchers in Residence:
Researchers in Residence website: Researchers in Residence is a scheme, funded by Research Councils UK (RCUK) and the Wellcome Trust, which arranges placements for researcher students and research staff from any discipline in secondary schools across the UK. The researcher develops a programme of activities that makes their subject and research relevant and exciting for schoolchildren, with advice from the teacher in their host school. The benefits of participating in the scheme include:  an opportunity for researchers to gain communication/presentation skills and experience of teaching;  access for schoolchildren to researchers who are knowledgeable and passionate about their subject, and who can motivate and inspire by breaking down traditional stereotypes;  fostering of links between universities and local secondary schools. Participation in the scheme helps universities increase public engagement in their research, an objective highly valued by the institutions themselves and by research funders.

Individual commitment
The researcher contributes his/her ideas, love of your subject, skills and time - no mean thing, but hopefully very rewarding and above all fun! The time commitment required is modest - between 3-5 days of contact time with students in the host secondary school, plus preparation/planning time and attendance at a one-day training day held in the region. Activities might include helping to run science clubs, helping to run projects, chairing debates on ethics discussions, careers talks on "How I got to where I am?", and talks on the University experience, to name just a few things that Researchers in Residence have done in the past. Contact time can take place over as short a period as a week, or as long as the whole academic year. The placement can be either in a local school or, if preferred, in the researcher's old school. The scheme is open to any Research Council or Wellcome Trust-funded researcher (research student or research staff), from any discipline - with participation involving no financial cost to either the researcher or the school.

Support available
The scheme is organised on a regional basis. Dr Rachel Dodds, based at Cardiff University, is the part-time coordinator for the South West and Wales region, and handles the administration of the scheme, organising training days, matching schools and researchers, and arranging for the Criminal Records Bureau check required to work in schools. The Researchers in Residence scheme covers expenses of up to £100 for transport, and provides materials for the researchers' activities. Further information about the Researchers in Residence scheme is available on its website:

Next steps
The next training day within the region will be held on 18 June 2008 at the Careers Service, University of Bristol - this is the first step on the road to becoming a Researcher in Residence. If, on reading through the material above and on the website, you decide that the scheme is for you, or if you have any queries about the scheme, please contact: Dr Rachel Dodds e-mail: Tel: 029 2087 0187

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