Natural Science and Heritage Scheme

The Natural Science and Heritage Scheme provides young people from diverse backgrounds across Oxfordshire with the opportunity to find out more about the Museum and its public-facing role. Natural Science and Heritage students will have the opportunity to learn about what goes on behind the scenes at a museum of natural history and will work with our team to help develop inviting and relevant activities for 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 also 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 5th August until 23rd August 2024. 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, enjoy being part of a team, and are good communicators.

It is essential that applicants enjoy talking to Museum visitors and are available between 5th August and 23rd August.

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

  1. You currently receive free school meals
  2. You have been, or currently are, in care
  3. You are a young carer
  4. You come from a low socio-economic background (identified using ACORN postcode classification)
  5. You live in an area where relatively few people progress to higher education (identified using POLAR postcode classification)


How to Apply

1. Eligibility Form

In order to apply, you must first fill out an eligibility form to see if you meet the criteria listed above. Please submit the form by Monday 17th June 2024.

Candidates who are eligible will then be sent an application form by Sarah Lloyd.

Eligibility form

2. Application Form

You will receive a link to an application form by email. When completing the form, you will be asked to provide the contact details of a referee. Your referee can be a teacher or supervisor, but not a close family member or friend. Please ask their permission to be nominated as a referee.


All information collected from these forms will be stored securely.


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 three-week programme.



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