10 April 2014 13:00

PhD students at Lancaster University have been sharing their research skills with Sixth Formers from Cumbria.

The event was part of a three-year research partnership between the South Lakes Teaching School Alliance and the University, funded by Research Councils UK, to inspire young people and raise their aspirations.

The students are all undertaking an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) involving research as part of their Sixth Form studies.

Luis Domingues, Assistant Director of the Sixth Form at Queen Elizabeth School, said the partnership with Lancaster University is exciting.

“We’re offering snapshots of the future – where our students can be if they continue studying. We’re trying to enrich their research skills which they’re doing as part of the EPQ and this is an excellent opportunity.”

Jennie Grimes from QES who is doing research into dog behaviour said she got useful research tips after a discussion with PhD biology student Joe Fennell. And Eleanor Beech from Kirkbie Kendal School discussed her EPQ on stem cells with molecular biology PhD student Holly Butler.

Eleanor, who plans to study medicine or engineering at university, said: “This gives it context and what Holly is doing is not so far away from what I’m doing. This gives me a different perspective and shows how my research can evolve into a university course.”

FASS PhD student Oliver Thorne also discussed RE with Gemma Winter from QES.

Project Lead Dr Jane Taylor, of Lancaster Environment Centre, said: “We hope that bringing EPQ students into contact with University early career researchers will allow year 12 students to more fully develop their research skills and will also give researchers an opportunity to talk about their own research to a wider audience.”

Participating schools from the Alliance include Baliol School, Cartmel Prior, Dallam, John Ruskin, Kirkbie Kendal, The Lakes, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Katherine, Sandgate, Settlebeck and Kendal College.