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 is part of 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.

If you are a student from the North West and would like stay up to date with the NWSN 2022-2023, sign up to our mailing list here!

The North West Science Network 2022-23

The next event will be the Spring Maths Workshop! There are two dates available:

  • Saturday 29th April 2023 at Blackburn College
  • Sunday 30th April 2023 at Xaverian College

If you are in Year 12 or Year 13 and would like to attend on either of these days (you don't need to attend both days), you can sign up here

The workshop is aimed at all students who are considering a career in science, particularly those thinking of studying a science degree in higher education. Interactive and entertaining hands-on exercises will be used to show how important maths is across the whole spectrum of science, with the exercises covering topics in biology, chemistry and physics. It’s also a great way to spend a day with some university researchers!

There will also be a chance for parents/carers to meet with the workshop leaders to discuss careers in science and transitions to higher education. 

The requirement for students is a grade 6 in GCSE maths, and they should be studying mainly science A-levels.

10.30 – 11.00

Arrival for all attendees

11.00 – 11.10

Welcome and introduction

11.15 – 12.45

Workshop 1: Calculus methods:

Design of a radiochemistry labelling molecule synthesis for cancer treatment


12.45- 13.00

Early career researcher presentation: Alex Sheader - Why I chose research

13.00 – 14.00

Lunch (bring a packed lunch)

14.00 – 15.30

Workshop 2: Statistical methods:

Planning a clinical trial for a testing a new pharmaceutical

Calculating the design stress for a ceramic component for a jet engine


15.30 – 16.00

Break and parent/carer/teacher arrival

16.00 – 16.30

Martin Christlieb / Pete Nellist/Alex Sheader: A career in science

[This talk is open to parents, carers and teachers.  An opportunity to meet and learn about careers in research science.]

16.30 – 17.00

Final discussion and departure


  • Dr Martin Christlieb – Martin has worked in the fields of Chemistry and Oncology at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He is the Public and Policy Engagement lead for the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford.
  • Professor Pete Nellist – Department of Materials, University of Oxford.  Pete is an electron microscopist and has worked at Cambridge, Birmingham, Trinity College Dublin and Oxford
  • Dr Alex Sheader – Alex has recently completed her DPhil (PhD) at Oxford, is now a research staff scientist at Oxford, and did her undergraduate degree at St Andrew’s University.

The North West Science Network Summer School 2023

Applications for the NWSN Summer School are now open!

The deadline for applying is midday (12pm) on Wednesday 17th May 2023. The NWSN Summer School is open to Year 12 students in state-maintained sixth forms and colleges from the North West of England. The Summer School will be taking place from Monday 19th June to Friday 23rd June 2023 at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.

NWSN Summer School 23 Poster

The Summer School gives participants a week at Corpus Christi to experience life as a university student, where they will be given an assignment to research. They will have tutorials with some of our tutors, as well as taking part in other science activities, including lectures, trips out, and lab work. Throughout the week, participants have the opportunity to interact with our undergraduate mentors and tutors, to ask them questions about studying the sciences and about life as a student. There are social events during the evenings as well as some free time to explore Oxford and relax. 

Transport from the North West, excursions, meals, and accommodation are all provided, free of charge.

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)

2023 Summer School

The Summer School for the NWSN will take place from Monday 19th June to Friday 23rd June 2023. More details on how to apply will be released soon.

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

The North West Science Network 2021-22

The North West Science Network's 2021-22 programme has now concluded. If you took part in any of the programme, we hope you enjoyed it! Here's what we got up to in 2021-22:

2021 Launch

The 2021 Launch of the NWSN took place on 13th October 2021, with a Keynote Speech and Welcome from Professor Peter Nellist (University of Oxford), and lecture 'Making a sun in a freezer: superconductors for nuclear fusion' given by Professor of Material Science, Susie Speller (University of Oxford). The event was hosted in person at Xaverian College, and livestreamed to an audience at Cheshire College South and West, and those across the North West of England.

2021-22 Twilight Talks

Following the success of the 'hybrid' NWSN Launch event, Twilight Talks took place in person and via livestream. 

On 12th January 2022, Professor Ustianowski (University of Manchester), the national clinical lead for the UK NIHR COVID Vaccine Research Programme, lectured students on the multifaceted COVID response in the UK and globally. 

On 16th February 2022, three of the North West's leading women in engineering, Malika Kapasi (Planning Manager, Balfour Beatty), Jo Hill (Senior Civil Engineer, United Utilities), and Katie McInnes (Chartered Geologist, Mott MacDonald), talked about their journeys into industry. 

On 30th June 2022, Dr Sarah Gretton (University of Leicester) delivered a talk giving us an introduction into Natural Sciences and Astrobiology. Click here to watch this Twilight Talk online

2022 Maths in Science Days

The Maths Study Days returned in person and took place on 2nd April 2022 at Cheshire College South & West, Crewe, and 3rd April 2022 at Xaverian College, Manchester.

2022 NWSN Summer School

The North West Science Network Summer School took place from 20th to 24th June 2022. 

The Summer School is a week-long residential for Year 12 students from the North West of England, hosted at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Students from state-maintained sixth forms and colleges travel down to Oxford on a coach for this free week of STEMM teaching and events. Accommodation, meals and the cost of transport are all covered.

Students received a timetable on arrival; a mixture of lectures from Oxford academics, tutorials, a group research project, and visited Oxford's science departments and labs. On one day, the group visited the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy to see research scientists and the future of energy in action. There was also the opportunity for attendees to spend free time in Oxford. Student ambassadors from Corpus Christi College, studying a range of STEMM subjects, were on hand throughout the week to help with research projects and give an insight into university life.


For a student perspective on the programme, take a look at this blog post by a recent attendee.

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