Natural Science and Heritage Scheme

We aim to make Oxford University Museum of Natural History inviting and relevant to diverse young people in Oxford. Through the Natural Science and Heritage Scheme, young people from diverse backgrounds will have the opportunity to find out more about the Museum and its public-facing role. As part of the scheme, the Museum will collaborate with young people to develop activities that are inviting and relevant to diverse visiting families.

Information about the Museum

Oxford University Museum of Natural History holds an internationally important collection of natural objects in a beautiful historic building. The collections are incredibly varied with more than 5 million insect specimens and a famous collection of dinosaur fossils. The Museum is also home to a lively programme of research, teaching, and events focused on the sciences of the natural environment. The Museum staff organise and support engaging activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. You can find out more about the Museum here.


Museum staff with children looking at specimens on a table in the Museum

Information about the Scheme

The Natural Science and Heritage Scheme is a pilot scheme for young people in Oxfordshire. It is a paid opportunity that enables young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get to know the Museum and get involved with our activities for local families.

During the four-week programme, participants will be supervised by Sarah Lloyd (Head of Education and Learning at the Museum) and other members of the public engagement team. In the first two weeks, participants will find out about the Museum and its collection.

Activities will be based around the following themes: having fun with objects, engaging visitors with nature, effective communication. In the remaining two weeks participants will be supported by the Museum’s learning team to devise, deliver and evaluate activities for visiting families.

The four-week programme runs from 9th August until 3rd September 2021. Each participant is awarded £500 in two instalments (£250 at the start of the programme and £250 on completion).


Places are open to students currently in year 12 or 13 in Oxfordshire state schools.

We would like to hear from young people that have an interest in nature and the environment, enjoy being part of a team, and are good communicators.

It is essential that applicants also enjoy spending time with children and families and are available between Monday 9th August and Friday 3rd September 2021.

Applicants must also meet at least one of the following additional criteria:

  1. Applicants come from a low socio-economic background (using ACORN postcode classification)

ACORN is a classification of residential neighbourhoods which measures the socio-economic wealth of the area you live in, with 1 being the most economically advantaged and 5 being the least. Students who live in ACORN 4 and 5 areas are eligible to apply. You can check which ACORN category your postcode comes under here.  (You will need to register with ACORN, this is free.)

  1. Applicants live in an area where relatively few people progress to higher education (using POLAR postcode classification)

All postcodes are divided into five groups called POLAR quintiles, with Q1 areas having the lowest rate of progression and Q5 the highest. Students who live in POLAR Q1 and Q2 areas are eligible to apply. You can check the quintile of your postcode here.

  1. Applicants currently receive free school meals
  2. Applicants have been or are currently in care
  3. Applicants are a young carer

How to apply

Museum staff with children looking at specimens on a table in the Museum

This year's programme is fully subscribed.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact Sarah Lloyd ( 01865 282537.