Institute for Research in Schools: Callout for EOIs

Institute for Research in Schools: Callout for EOIs

Following a recent meeting between the PVC (Research & Knowledge Transfer) and Becky Parker, Director of the Institute for Research in Schools (see the University is looking to develop links with this exciting organisation.  IRIS gives young people access to the world of real, authentic, cutting-edge research by bringing university and industrial experts and kit into schools. Students help researchers carry out real research by collecting, processing and/or analysing data (or research/archival material) en masse in a way that might otherwise not be possible for a lone researcher or research group.  In the first instance, we would like to identify a  number of projects from across the University that could be piloted with the University School, before possibly rolling these out more widely using the IRIS network of around 220 schools nationally.

If you are interested please email with a 500 word layperson summary of your proposed project by Friday October 28th, 2016.    Please make clear in this summary timescales and how this project would benefit your research as well as the students and teachers involved. You may also include an additional 200 words outlining anticipated costs and reasoning. Although IRIS typically works with STEM subjects, Arts, Humanities and Social Scientists are also welcome to apply with innovative proposals.


The link with Becky  and IRIS was initially brought about through our Leading to Engage programme. One of the workshops on this scheme included contribution from REF panel assessors who spoke to our cohort about their understanding of high quality public engagement. Becky (an assessor on the panel for UoA 9: Physics) introduced the group to the work of IRIS, enthusing us all to the point that we decided to follow the meeting up with a more formal discussion about how to take collaborative projects into University School. This is the possibility we would like to explore as part of this callout for expressions of interest…

IRIS currently have a number of projects which you can find more about here:

These include:

  • Higgs Hunter – The University of Oxford worked with the Zooniverse to engage twenty thousand citizen scientists on the search for an unusual particle they’re calling a “Baby Higgs”.
  • CERN@sCHOOL  CERN@school is a programme designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers by offering access to CERN technology. Students carry out their own research projects using detectors provided by the Institute for Research in Schools.
  • TIMPIX – The TimPix project offered schools the unique opportunity to access Timepix detector data from the ISS during Tim Peake’s stay on the International Space Station (ISS).
  • MoEDAL – Institute for Research in Schools is a full member of the MoEDAL Collaboration. This means that CERN@school students can access data from the MoEDAL experiment and contribute to the MoEDAL Collaboration’s research programme.
  • Authentic Biology  (funded by Wellcome Trust)
  • Transport – 24 million journeys happen every single day on the Transport for London (TfL) network. With such Big Data there is so much more to be discovered and that is why we have linked to the Institute of Research in Schools (IRIS) to bring real life data and research into the classroom.