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Catching the science bug: Apprentice Placement Scheme Success at the Dunn School

Sunday 4th September 2016

Lab coats and safety goggles beckon for Oxfordshire teenagers Jasmin Ullaskumar and Elizabeth Moulson, who have been inspired about a potential career in science following Science Oxford work experience placements at the Dunn School of Pathology at Oxford University this summer.

The two-week placements, part of our STEM Apprentice Placements Programme, gave the 16 year-olds a varied insight into the life of the department. Jasmin and Elizabeth spent time with Carolin Muller from Conrad Nieduszynski’s group gaining hands on lab experience, which included conducting experiments with yeast extracts and using the autoclave. They also worked with the services team handling deliveries and making media.


Jasmin, who attends Matthew Arnold School,  (pictured) said: “The placement definitely exceeded my expectations. At school you’re just taught science and it’s not so hands on. Here is real life in a real lab and I loved how passionate everyone was about their research.

We run the Apprentice Placements Programme in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council as an opportunity for young people to learn more about STEM related apprenticeships and work places offering such opportunities. It is the second year the Dunn School has participated in the scheme.

Speaking about the benefits of the programme to the university, Dunn School Human Resources Manager Frances Wright said: “Oxford is committed to being an inclusive employer and the STEM Apprentice Placement Programme is a key part of furthering this agenda. The department is delighted to be part of the scheme. I would encourage more Group Leaders to be involved as hosts in future years.”

Elizabeth, who goes to Chipping Norton School, stressed how the placement had fuelled her enthusiasm to undertake a career in science: “I now have insights into the different jobs in the department and I’m really encouraged to work hard and become a scientist.”

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