Let’s change the culture in UK education so that authentic research and innovation is part of every young person’s experience.

In numbers

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375+Schools joined IRIS since 2016
1,557Students taking part in IRIS research (2021-22)
89%of teachers said that working with IRIS increased students’ science capital
3/4of teachers saw an increase in enthusiasm and motivation for science in their students through IRIS projects
6/8Helps schools to meet 6 of the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks
80+Universities and institutions involved in IRIS projects

Our Vision
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We’re calling more secondary schools and over 16s to join the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS).


Our charity:

  • Provides opportunities for UK secondary students and post-16s to participate in cutting-edge STEM research and collaborate with leading universities and institutions while still at school
  • Actively champions the benefit of students carrying out research while at school
  • Influences and demonstrates best practice in STEM research and innovation in schools


Everything we do is driven by our moral purpose; to capture talent and break down barriers that impact underrepresented young people in STEM.

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Aspects of science can benefit from people thinking freely, laterally and outside the box. Teenagers are free thinkers, and when given

responsibility, they rise to

it in an inspiring way

Becky ParkerIRIS’ founder

Why research is important


Young people can make valuable contributions to the scientific community if included in the culture of research. Furthermore, the research experience can enrich their education for the following reasons:

  • Allows them to experience a subject beyond the curriculum and see how theories work in practice
  • Past students say IRIS piqued their interest in a certain subject – whether it be behavioral science, chemistry or physics – propelling them to pursue their current academic and professional paths.
  • Requires students to learn new skills, including data gathering and analysis.
  • Develops critical thinking.
  • Encourages creativity, rather than accepting the facts what happens if we do this?
  • Working with peers develops team working and communications skills and builds self-confidence.

They have learnt new skills that most students would not encounter until later on in university and have shown an incredible work ethic.

Luke FullerTeacher, Bohunt Sixth Form