The BCI has partnered with the charity Access Work Placements to create a course for local A level students that allows them to experience cancer research first-hand.

Our Science Training for Aspiring Research Scientists (STARS) programme offers pupils with an interest in science - whether they're thinking of medical research, dentistry, or are generally curious about lab work - the opportunity to perform experiments, learn techniques and discover the research environment.

Importantly, we also focus on the opportunity for our postgraduate students and senior researchers (we call them STARS Facilitators) to engage with the students to reinforce their science communication and teaching skills.

We believe the interaction is beneficial for everyone involved; both inspiring young people to pursue careers in scientific subjects and renewing the enthusiasm of early career and established researchers.

Student feedback has shown that the course also tackles negative stereotypes of scientists and science, showing young people that science can be fun and that scientists are like them; making such a career seem more appealing and achievable.

The pilot course was made possible by generous funding from the QMUL Centre for Public Engagement.

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