Natural Science and Heritage Scheme



We aim to make Oxford University Museum of Natural History inviting and relevant to a diverse range of young people from 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.


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 are knowledgeable and welcoming. They organise and support engaging activities for people of all ages and backgrounds. Find out more about the Museum.


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

About the Scheme

The Natural Science and Heritage Scheme is a paid opportunity that enables young people in Oxford from underrepresented backgrounds to get involved with the activities we run for local people over the summer holidays.

During the three-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. Participants in the Scheme will be able to find out more about the Museum and its collections. 

They will also participate in activities will be based around the following themes: learning with objects, engaging visitors with nature, and effective communication. Participants will then be supported by the Museum's learning team to devise, deliver, and evaluate activities for Museum visitors.

The three-week programme runs from 8th August until 26th August 2022. Each participant is awarded a total of £400 in two instalments (£200 at the start of the programme, and £200 upon 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, who enjoy being part of a team, and who are good communicators.

It is essential that applicants enjoy talking to children and families and are available between Monday 8th and Friday 26th August.

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

  1. Applicants who 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. Check which ACORN category your postcode comes under. (You will need to register with ACORN, which is free).
  2. Applicants who 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. Check the quintile of your postcode.
  3. Applicants who currently receive free school meals
  4. Applicants who have been, or currently are, in care
  5. Applicants who are young carers


How to apply

You can apply by completing the application form below.

All personal information collected from these forms will be stored securely

In the form, you will be asked to provide the contact details of a referee. This can be a teacher or supervisor, but not a close family member or friend. Please ask their permission to be nominated as a referee.



Selection Process

Following the application closing deadline, the Museum's Learning Team will create a shortlist of applicants they would like to interview. Interviews will take place in-person or via video call. If you are asked to come to the Museum, we will cover reasonable travel expenses.

Following the interviews, we plan to select six applicants, and you will work together as a team during the four week programme.



If you have any questions about the application process please contact Sarah Lloyd by email ( or telephone (01865 282537).