Get school students excited about real research

I’m a Researcher is an online public engagement event that gets researchers talking with school students. The next event is for academic researchers in Oxford as part of the Curiosity Carnival.

Researchers put up a profile on this site, answer students’ questions about their work, background, career, the universe and beyond. They engage directly with students in live text-based chats. Students vote for their favourite researcher to go through to the I’m a Researcher Live! final at Oxford’s Curiosity Carnival on European Researchers Night, 29th September.

Participants develop their communication skills, gain a fresh perspective on their work, and find out what young people think about research.

Who can apply?

The event shows students the full breadth and potential of academic researchers. We’re looking for 15 researchers representative of a variety of departments and divisions across the University of Oxford , as well as researchers from Oxford Brookes University and MRC Harwell:

  • Historians
  • Social scientists
  • Biologists
  • Geographers
  • Psychologists
  • Physicists
  • Geologists
  • Philosophers
  • Archaeologists
  • Neuroscientists
  • Chemists
  • Linguists
  • Anyone doing research!


When is the next event?

The next event will take place 11th–29th September. The application deadline is 5th May.

Fill in the short form to apply

What kind of questions do students ask?

Students will ask questions about anything they like, from questions about research, careers and your education, to robots to pizza toppings. All questions are moderated to remove duplicate questions, as well as any that are rude or offensive.

What are the live chats like?

Live chats last 30 minutes; they are text-based, fast paced and fun. We limit the chats to a maximum of 3 a day, but usually there will be fewer. Teachers will book chats for specific subject classes and researchers will get priority to attend the chat if it’s close to their area of research. I.e a Historians and archaeologists will attend chats booked by a History teacher.

What’s the voting for?

Students VOTE for the researcher they think should be in the live I’m a Researcher final. These votes guide the 5 researchers from different disciplines who will make up the competitors in the final held on the night of the Curiosity Carnival, 29th September 2017. All applicants must be available to attend this event.

How much time will it take?

Because you sign in to the site whenever you have time in your normal schedule, participation is very flexible. Most participants say they spend around 1 hour a day answering the ASK questions, which can be during the evening outside of work hours, and attend at least 1 of the 30-minute live chats each day at some point during school hours (8.30am – 4pm).

You won’t be expected to attend every live chat, but please do prioritise those that match your subject area.

Do I need any special software or equipment?

All that’s needed is a computer/tablet/phone with internet access. The live chats are text-based (no video or audio needed) and run through this site.

How do I get selected?

Selection for the 15 places in the event will be based on your sentence describing your research and your background to ensure a balance from across the academic divisions.

Where do I apply?

Fill in the short form here