School of Physics and Astronomy

Outreach initiative nominated for Times Higher Education Award

We are delighted to announce that a School of Physics and Astronomy outreach project has been nominated for a Times Higher Education Award.


6 September 2019

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“Physics Research in School Environment” (PRiSE) has been shortlisted in the Widening Participation and Outreach Initiative of the Year category, which aims to identify the most imaginative and innovative projects from across the sector that promotes diversity and inclusion and encourage students from non-traditional background to pursue higher education.

PRiSE enables school students to engage with exciting research projects in collaboration with Queen Mary over a sustained period of time, supported by active researchers who specialise in the field of the research projects on offer.

The programme was developed with a view to growing the number of students who have access to opportunities to experience science in the way that researchers do. Evidence shows that one-off outreach interventions show little to no long term impact on students and so PRiSE provides an opportunity for students to engage with a sustained and in-depth research project.

Students undertaking the programme show increases in confidence in addition to developed skill in science which have significant impact on their future aspirations. PRiSE has also developed teachers’ practice through the lasting relationships formed with Queen Mary and through access to lesson content, training and mentoring.

Dr Martin Archer, PRiSE project lead from the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “We have been developing PRiSE over the past five years and it’s been wonderful to see the long-term effects these projects are having on young people and their teachers. For this to be recognised nationally through the nomination is fantastic.”

The programme continues to go from strength from strength, informing the work of organisations including SEPnet, the Ogden Trust and the Royal Society. The USA’s National Oceanic and Space Administration is encouraging international researchers to adopt its principles, with some universities already planning to roll out the programme.

The School is tremendously proud to support PRiSE and hopes that the nomination will encourage more schools and students to get involved.

For more information about PRiSE, click here or contact Dr Martin Archer on