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.

The North West Science Network 2022-23

The North West Science Network's 2022-23 programme has begun! The next event will be at Xaverian College. The date and time for the Twilight talk will be released as soon as possible.

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!

2022-23 Twilight Talks

The Twilight Talks will return in-person for the NWSN programme 2022-23. These talks will take 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). 
  • 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)
  • Xaverian College (Manchester) - Date and time TBC

Talk topics will be released ASAP.

2023 Mathematics Study Days

We are expecting to run Maths Study Days around Easter time in 2023. Dates will be released soon!

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!

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. Click here to watch this Twilight Talk online.

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.


The North West Science Network 2020-21

Launch Event 2020

Psychology Fellow Professor Robin Murphy delivered a keynote talk and a live Q&A as part of the 2020-2021 Programme Launch Event that took place in October 2020. Professor Murphy's talk is entitled 'Neuroscience: Understanding how brains understand'. There is also a subtitled version.

Twilight Talks 2020-21

The May 2021 Twilight Talk was from Dr Sarah Gretton and covers 'Astrobiology and natural sciences: finding life on other planets and studying natural sciences'.

Dr Chris Waith delivered our February 2021 Twilight Talk on careers in dentistry. We're also very pleased to make the recording of the live Q&A available (starts at 0:06:00).

The January 2021 Twilight Talk was from Dr Pete Millington looks at 'Space, time and quantumness'. The talk includes subtitles. We're delighted that we are also able to share the recording of the live Q&A.

The December 2020 Twilight Talk was from Dr Tim Ward and is called 'From laboratory to clinic: an unexpected journey'. 

Dr Gretton's 2018 Twilight Talk on 'The changing face of scientific research and the need for "truly rounded scientists"' is also available.

2021 Maths Study Days

The 2021 Maths Study Days took place online on Saturday 24 April (hosted by Cheshire College South and West, Crewe) and Sunday 25 April (hosted by Xaverian College, Manchester).

Virtual Summer School 2021

The NWSN Summer School took place online in 2021. The programme was adapted into an online format due to the limitations on in-person events. The online version for 2021 followed the success of the 2020 summer school, which was also held virtually.

The summer school is a fantastic opportunity for Year 12 state-educated students who are interested in science and considering applying for a STEMM subject at university. We hope to give you a taste of what studying a STEMM subject as a university student is really like. 

The online summer school will involve at least one scheduled event every day between 21 June and 25 June, including a lecture, tutorials, Q&As and remote science outreach sessions. There will be self-study tasks to complete, as well as group work to design a poster that you will present at the end of the week. You will also be able to virtually meet current undergraduate students studying STEMM subjects at Oxford, who will help guide your work over the course of the week and answer your questions.

The requirements are that you are in Year 12 at a state-maintained school or sixth-form college, live in North West England and that you attained a grade 5 in GCSE Maths. 

The deadline for submitting the application form has now passed. Shortlisting will take place as soon as possible after the deadline and places will be allocated according to our outreach policy. Attendance is dependent on the completion of the relevant consent form.

If you have any questions, please contact

The Twitter page will also have updates and news about the summer school as it progresses.



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


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