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photo collage of teacher visit

DPAG once again hosted a successful Teacher Residential in collaboration with Jesus College and Trinity College, Oxford in June 2024. 

Five secondary school teachers visited Oxford for a week and were accommodated by Jesus and Trinity colleges, who also provided funding for supply teachers without which this project would not be possible. They enjoyed networking dinners at each of the Colleges, and had an opportunity to meet a group of medical students at St Catherine’s College on their last evening to hear more about the undergraduate student experience at Oxford.  Hearing a DPhil student tell them about the confidence boost a teacher gave her was inspiring. 

The teachers were hosted by research groups in Sherrington Building and IDRM with the key aims of better understanding how research is conducted at a tertiary research institution; experiencing science research at Oxford first hand; and gaining confidence and enthusiasm to encourage students to apply to study science subjects at university level. Professors Heidi de Wet and Shankar Srinivas also hosted a discussion on ‘Applying to Oxford’ to guide the teachers when supporting their students on return to school. 

The teachers were impressed by the professionalism, skills and high standards of the researchers they worked with, and fully engaged with the tools and techniques they were shown. They found useful connections with the school syllabus which will help them to support their students’ learning and development in future. They found the experience incredibly helpful; not only in trying new scientific techniques and broadening their understanding of the variety of scientific careers, but also in their experience of Oxford which they had previously “put on a pedestal”.  They agreed that sharing their experience within the classroom will inspire their students to consider scientific careers, and to consider Oxford.

The participating scientists equally enjoyed the experience and found the time they spent with the teachers particularly motivating and fulfilling; from sharing their research and scientific techniques, to learning more about the challenges faced by those working in secondary education.

A participant said ‘I think it’s brilliant that the teachers come into our labs and make the connections between their practical and our experimental techniques. The teachers said they now feel confident that they are choosing the right thing to teach. It felt really great that we can reach their students through them and also that we in the biomedical research field can benefit other people in our society through ways other than the direct impact from our research projects.’

The teachers also really valued the opportunity to meet colleagues from other schools and have agreed to stay in touch to share resources and ideas now that they have returned to the classroom.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their time, materials, and resources including to ensuring the success of this initiative, including:


Hannah Rolley (Trinity College)

Matthew Williams (Jesus College)

Carolyn Carr (Carr Group)

Heidi de Wet and Charlotte Meller (de Wet Group)

Claudia Montes Aparicio (Heather Group)

Mayra Vera Aviles (Lakhal-Littleton Group)

Susann Bruche, Sophie Payne (De Val Group)

Konstantinos Lekkos (Mommersteeg Group)

Susanna Cooper, Claudio Cortez Rodrigues, Emma Haberman, Denise Lynch and Christophe Ravaud)

Ian MacCracken and Liliana Som (Smart Group)

Jon Godwin, Shankar Srinivas, and Tomoko Watanabe (Srinivas Group)

David Grainger (Stone Group)

Andy Brogden (IDRM)

Kseniya Korobchevskaya (Zeiss Oxford Centre of Excellence)

Amarjit Bhomra (Wood Group, Paediatrics)

Jennifer Frommer (Frommer Group, Paediatrics)

Nancy Stathopoulou (Stathopoulou Group, Paediatrics)

Louise Cotterell (DPAG)