Photo Credit (above): Karl Harrison

What is the North West Science Network?

Research and teaching fellows from the University of Oxford and other research-intensive universities deliver a series of lectures across the scientific disciplines, whilst the Science Network also provides students from the North West with the opportunity to visit regional laboratories (such as SuperSTEM at Daresbury), attend local 'Maths in Science' Spring Events, and attend a summer school at Corpus. The scheme aims to reach as many students as possible, with lectures particularly large in scale (places on lab visits and residential events are limited).

For more information, please contact and follow the NWSN on Twitter. The North West Science Network is part of Oxnet, an access initiative which places universities into the heart of local communities. More details about Oxnet and its projects can be found on its website.

Virtual Summer School

We are really excited to announce that the summer school will still take place this year. The programme has been adapted into an online format due to the current limitations on in-person events. The online version for 2021 follows the success of the 2020 summer school, which was also held virtually.

The summer school is a fantastic opportunity for Year 12 state-educated students who are interested in science and considering applying for a STEMM subject at university. We hope to give you a taste of what studying a STEMM subject as a university student is really like. 

The online summer school will involve at least one scheduled event every day between 21 June and 25 June, including a lecture, tutorials, Q&As and remote science outreach sessions. There will be self-study tasks to complete, as well as group work to design a poster that you will present at the end of the week. You will also be able to virtually meet current undergraduate students studying STEMM subjects at Oxford, who will help guide your work over the course of the week and answer your questions.

The requirements are that you are in Year 12 at a state-maintained school or sixth-form college, live in North West England and that you attained a grade 5 in GCSE Maths. 

The deadline for submitting the application form has now passed. Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the deadline and places will be allocated according to our outreach policy. Attendance is dependent on the completion of the relevant consent form.

If you have any questions, please contact

The Twitter page will also have updates and news about the summer school as it progresses.

If you are a teacher, or you would like to pass on the details of the summer school more generally, please feel free to share our poster, which has clickable links. The image of the poster is also shown below. 

Maths Study Day

The 2021 Maths Study Days took place online on Saturday 24 April (hosted by Cheshire College South and West, Crewe) and Sunday 25 April (hosted by Xaverian College, Manchester).

Attending a Study Day is highly recommended for Year 12 students who are considering studying science in higher education.

The aim of the workshops is to demonstrate how mathematics is a key tool across the entire spectrum of science. The day consists of lectures and hands-on mathematical exercises in breakout groups where participants get to look at applications such as cancer research and jet engines. These exercises illustrate the importance of statistical methods and calculus, but in an accessible way. The day usually concludes with a short Q&A about using mathematics in scientific research and transitioning to higher education, to which parents, carers and teachers are also welcome.

The academic requirements are a minimum of a grade 6 in GCSE (or equivalent) Maths and that you are studying at least two scientific subjects at A-Level (or equivalent).

Launch Event

Psychology Fellow Professor Robin Murphy delivered a keynote talk and a live Q&A as part of the 2020-2021 Programme Launch Event that took place in October 2020. Professor Murphy's talk is entitled 'Neuroscience: Understanding how brains understand'. There is also a subtitled version.

Twilight Talks

Dr Chris Waith delivered our February Twilight Talk on careers in dentistry. We're also very pleased to make the recording of the live Q&A available (starts at 0:06:00).

The January Twilight Talk is from Dr Pete Millington looks at 'Space, time and quantumness'. The talk includes subtitles. We're delighted that we are also able to share the recording of the live Q&A.

The December Twilight Talk is from Dr Tim Ward and is called 'From laboratory to clinic: an unexpected journey'. 

The November Twilight Talk is from Dr Sarah Gretton and covers 'Astrobiology and natural sciences: finding life on other planets and studying natural sciences'.

Dr Gretton's 2018 Twilight Talk on 'The changing face of scientific research and the need for "truly rounded scientists"' is also available.

What does the in-person summer school involve?

North West Year 12 students from a range of schools travel down to Oxford on a coach for this free week of STEMM teaching and events. Accommodation, meals and transport are all covered for the week. Students receive a timetable on arrival, which contains a mixture of lectures from Oxford academics, tutorials,a group resarch project, a visit to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy to see research scientists and the future of energy in action, plus free time in Oxford, workshops in laboratories and departments. Student ambassadors from Corpus studying a range of STEMM subjects are on hand throughout the week to help you with your project and talk to you about university life.


For a student perspective on the programme, take a look at this blog post by a recent attendee.

Looking for more high-quality science content?

Check out our science resources page.