Researchers in the Spotlight: Bradford Academy Year 9s Visit University of Leeds and work with PhD Researchers

On Tuesday 12th June a group of Year 9 learners made the 40 minute journey from Bradford Academy to the University of Leeds Parkinson Building, where we were met by our student ambassadors, who were to be our hosts for the event “Research in the Spotlight”.

The day began with students from 5 different schools engaging in a discussion on the reliability and validity of different sources, such as the internet, TV documentaries and even their teachers! Students then had time to plan interview questions, ready for meeting a PhD Research Student.

Our student Emma, is working in the nuclear power sector, studying how far radioactive materials travel in Sediment, in case of the event of a storage leak. As well as learning all about her research, our students quizzed her on her education from GCSE’s right through to degree level, and the choices she made and challenges she faced that all contributed to her getting to this stage.

After a packed lunch enjoyed on campus, students were given time to plan a presentation on their researcher, which they were to deliver that afternoon to an audience of almost 40 in a lecture theatre. All schools delivered informative and entertaining presentations but there could only be one winner – unfortunately it was not to be and Bradford Academy didn’t win on this occasion. Despite not taking first place, I felt that the 5 students from Bradford Academy created a well-planned presentation and presented confidently and professionally.

The day offered a chance for students to understand what is really meant by research, and what that looks like as a profession. It was inspiring to hear about the work of many of the researchers based at University of Leeds and the exciting applications of their work in a variety of industries.


Catherine Garbutt

NCOP HEPO, Bradford Academy