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.  You can also watch previous talks on the Network's YouTube channel. The North West Science Network cooperates with 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.

The North West Science Network 2023-24

Summer School

The deadline for the 2024 Summer School has now passed.  

The Summer School is an excellent way for participants to fully engage with a huge variety of sciences, tutors, and other students. Running for one week during June, the Summer School is hosted at Corpus Christi College, with visits to various departments, science facilities across Oxfordshire, as well as talks, tutorials, and a project for the participants to work on throughout the week. The week (including food, accommodation, and travel) is free for attendees.  

Maths in Science Workshops

The Maths in Science Workshops took place on Friday 12th April at Xaverian College, Saturday 13th April at Cheshire College South and West, and on Sunday 14th April at Blackburn College.

Thank you to all those who took part! We hope you enjoyed it!

Twilight Talks

Each year, the Network's hub colleges run a series of science talks, delivered by different academics from across the country. Known as "Twilight Talks", these are run on the first Wednesday of the month (except January and February). Each talk will be hosted in person at one of the hub colleges as well as streamed live, and wherever possible, a recording will be made available on our YouTube channel.

Recent Twilight Talks have included the following topics:

  • Wednesday 1st November 2023 - Cheshire College, South & West - Professor David Armstrong of Materials, University of Oxford - ‘Harder, Better, Faster Stronger – New Materials for Extreme Environments’ 
  • Wednesday 6th December 2023 - Xaverian College - Simon Reed, Outreach and Engagement Manager at Manchester Cancer Research Centre, discussed alternative careers in medicine and science. Shika Desai - medical student studying for a PhD, discussed her journey into Higher Education, and her experiences studying at that level.
  • Wednesday 10th January 2024 - Blackburn College - Chris Talbot, PhD student (Materials Science) at the University of Cambridge, discussed X-rays and the importance of structure.
  • Wednesday 14th February 2024 - Cheshire College, South & West - Dr Christian Dunn, a world-leading specialist in wetland science at Bangor University, delivered a talk about Bioscience and Zoology. He has a particular interest in water quality including research into the chemical contamination of our waterways. 

Launch 2023-24

This year's launch took place on Wednesday 4th October at Xaverian College, Manchester. Saiful Islam, Professor of Materials Modelling at the University of Oxford and 2016's Royal Institution TV Christmas Lecturer, gave a talk about major breakthroughs in green energy and about supplying low carbon energy, one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Photo credit above: Saiful Islam

The North West Science Network 2022-23

The North West Science Network Summer School 2023 took part in June. Thank you to everyone who attended!

The Summer School gave participants a week at Corpus Christi to experience life as a university student. They were given an assignment to research as well as attend tutorials, lectures, trips out, and lab work.

Summer School participants at Corpus Christi College June 2023

2022-23 Twilight Talks

The Twilight Talks were delivered in-person for the NWSN programme 2022-23. The talks took place on:

  • Wednesday 9th November 2022 - Blackburn College - Seeing is Believing: how electron microscopy plays a role across science by Prof Pete Nellist (Corpus Christi College, Oxford). Click here to watch the talk online. 
  • Wednesday 7th December 2022 - Cheshire College South and West (Crewe) - What is Chemical Engineering? by Dr Daniel Belton (University of Huddersfield)
  • Wednesday 18th January 2023 - Blackburn College - From Chemistry to Engineering - Catastrophic Consequences of Sand in Pipelines by Raeesa Bhamji, PhD researcher in corrosion science (University of Leeds), and My Journey to a PhD in Chemistry - Making Amino Acids Glow by Dr Leanne Riley (University of Glasgow)

Spring Maths Workshops 2023 

The NWSN Maths Workshops took place on Saturday 29th April at Blackburn College and on Sunday 30th April at Xaverian College, Manchester. Thank you to everyone who attended - we hope you enjoyed the day!

2022/23 Launch

The NWSN 2022/23 Launch took place on Wednesday 5th October 2022, with talks from Matt Haynes (University of Oxford), Jen Hewitt and Miles Ellis (University of Bangor). Following this, there was a STEMM Fair to inspire students with demonstrations of research in action. The event was hosted in person at Cheshire College Crewe Campus, as well as being livestreamed to those across the North West of England. It was a great day and if you joined us, we hope you enjoyed it!

You can watch the launch video, available on YouTube.

Matt Haynes delivering talk on his current research project