About Us

IRIS is a charity that supports students to carry out cutting-edge research while they are still in school. This encourages students to go on and choose STEM careers, enriches their learning in school and allows them to see how the science they are learning is applied in the real world.

We also maintain a huge University Researcher database; academics from Universities across the world who are happy to give advice to students on their in-school research projects.

IRIS is changing at the moment; we’re rapidly growing and supporting more and more students with their own, home -grown projects as well as providing ready-made projects to get schools going.

We’ve now sorted the projects into categories to help to make things a bit clearer. Information on all these projects can be found on the project pages on the website. If you want to get in touch with us about any of the projects then email us at info@researchinschools.org


Seed projects are those that the school gets the most support with. They are ‘beginning with Research’ projects for schools new to IRIS, or who want a straightforward introduction. They have the most support from IRIS and are the most straightforward.

Examples of current ‘Seed’ projects are: TreeZilla, Carbon Calculator, MELT.

Growing Acorn

Sprout projects are a little more advanced. Students carrying out Sprout projects are either using their own questions, or carrying out some complex activity to collaborate with scientists to answer a question.

Examples of current ‘Sprout’ projects are: James Webb Space Telescope, Ionic Liquids, Genome Decoders, TimPix and the MX10 Detector, MELT and Vertigo. Both the Mx10 detector and Vertigo will only be loaned to schools if we have received a project proposal from the school.

Oak Tree

Grow projects are those where the students have proposed entirely their own question and are investigating this. They may be using data or resources available through the IRIS data server or collecting their own data and information. These projects are hugely varied and may include linking some data from the data server to other data sets. IRIS supports these students by providing support to write academic posters and papers and providing opportunities to speak at conferences and events.

recent news

August 2019 – Paper published

We are delighted to share with you the latest research paper from IRIS, which explores the experiences of school students who present their research at conferences. This paper is available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02635143.2019.1657395.

For more information, please email info@researchinschools.org.

July 2019 – New Trustee: Prof Michael Reiss

IRIS is delighted to welcome Prof Michael Reiss who joins us as a Trustee. He is a Professor of Science Education at UCL Institute of Education, University College London; Visiting Professor at the Universities of Kiel and York and the Royal Veterinary College; Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association and of the College of Teachers; Docent at the University of Helsinki and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. His research and consultancy interests are in science education, sex education, curriculum studies and bioethics.

July 2019 – Higgs Hunters wins Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Award

Higgs Hunters has won a Project Award in this year’s University of Oxford Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards.

The announcement was made at an awards ceremony at the Keble College, Oxford, on 10th July hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson. Professors Alan Barr and Chris Lintott were recognised for their Higgs Hunters project that enables citizen scientists to look for evidence of the ‘Baby Higgs’.

“One of the most innovative aspects to the project was enabling UK school students to analyse the data and perform their own independent research. The students then presented their findings at a conference, alongside researchers from the University. Their findings have been written up as proceedings – these are the first of their kind to be submitted to a CERN experiment” says Professor Barr.

July 2019 – Science Apprenticeships starting in Sept 2019

All apprentices will work towards a Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science whilst being employed and paid by their employer:

**Closing date: 4 July**

Johnson Matthey in Sonning are both looking for science apprentices to start in September to work in their Air Quality Team.

**Closing date: 5 July**

The National Physical Laboratory is based in Teddington in Middlesex

**Closing date 15 July**

Catalent based in Swindon are looking for apprentices to join their QC labs

June 2019 - Royal Society Student Conference Call Out ***Deadline extended***

There is an exciting opportunity to showcase your work completed through IRIS at the Royal Society student conference on Tuesday 19 November 2019. The student conference is an annual conference, which celebrates investigative, research based STEM work of secondary school students from across the country. It is a fantastic opportunity for your students to experience a real scientific conference and engage with their peers and invited guests, including Fellows of the Royal Society. The day will include a student showcase, workshop and key note speech. The conference is a unique opportunity for you and your students and a wonderful way to share and celebrate your students’ work. The Royal Society will provide financial support to help schools attend the conference. If you are interested in being involved in the conference please Contact Us for an expression of interest form. You will then need to complete this form and send it to the Royal Society Schools Engagement team. The deadline has been extended to 30 June 2019.

May 2019 – Paper published

ScienceDirect have recently published our paper: Transforming education with the Timepix detector - Ten years of CERN@school. You can read the abstract here.

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