Investing In Our Future – Celebrating Nuffield Research Placements

13th Oct 2023

The Nuffield Research Placements Programme is an incredible opportunity aimed at disadvantaged year 12 students. It allows them an incredible insight into the world of careers and provides invaluable work experience, setting them up for a brighter future in a job that they’re passionate about.  

Organised and coordinated by the North East STEM Hub, delivered by RTC North, Nuffield Research Placements gives students a chance to take part in world-leading research in Universities and Businesses.  

Applications began in October 2022 and placements were attended in July and August 2023. Out of 8,807 year 12 students in the North East of England, 54 successfully completed a Nuffield Research Placement this year. Students have been able to get stuck in, gaining hands on experience, insight, and interaction within sectors that they are interested in developing a future career in.  

This week, RTC North’s STEM Team invited placement providers, parents, students and teachers to come together to celebrate the achievements and connections made. Two students Joy Chukwuma and Meera Elfreiji presented their research and findings at the celebration event at Durham University on Wednesday evening and spoke about what they got out of completing a Nuffield Placement.  

Talking about their experience as a placement provider, Dr Thang Viet Truong said:  

“Nuffield Research Placements offer an invaluable opportunity for both students and providers to bridge the gap between classroom knowledge and practical scientific research. Students gain hands-on experience, confidence, and a passion for science. Providers find the rewarding as we witness students grow and contribute meaningfully.  

 “This programme enriches the educational experience. It transforms students into future scientists, leaving a lasting impact. The success of the program also impacts how we can improve their learning experience at our University.” 

During their placements, students worked to complete valuable research reports and academic posters, some of which will be published. This experience is priceless to both students and employers, giving the next generation a head start and a foot in the door of their desired industry.  

Talking about his placement at Balfour Beatty, student Owen Harrison explained:  

“At first, I wanted to do the placement just to have something to put on my CV and personal statement, it was less about experience and more about having something I could say about myself.  

“However, I gained a great understanding of the different job roles and opportunities available to me which in the end, which turned out to be more important to me.”  

‘This placement has changed how I view my future. It has made me want to further explore the opportunities available to me and I’m now doing some work experience as a quantity surveyor on the same site I did my placement. I want to look into apprenticeships potentially in quantity surveying as this is the route I want to go down.’  

Rob Stobie who heads up this programme at RTC North added:  

“It was an incredible evening celebrating everyone who made this programme possible. We couldn’t do this without the time investment from the placement providers willing to help mould the next generation into what the industry needs and without the brilliant, inspired and motivated students who are willing to learn all about what the world of work is like.  

 "All in all, there has been great effort from everyone involved and it’s been amazing to be able to come together and celebrate that.” 

Applications open for the next round of placements on 16th October and can be accessed from that date via this link For more information on the programme or to arrange for an overview to be delivered to students in schools, please contact 

For more information on the North East STEM Hub and becoming a STEM Ambassador, inspiring and encouraging the next generation, click here. 

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