THE Open University has been given £145,000 to encourage young people into the field of contemporary research.
The Research Council UK gave the sum to the OU from its £3.5 million fund for schools, universities and businesses to raise the profile of research.
The funding will be used by the OU to launch the Engaging Opportunities project.
Over three years, the initiative will see the University partner with the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance to provide 3,800 students in the Milton Keynes area with the opportunity to engage with research and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.
Director of Denbigh Teaching School, Andy Squires, said, “We are delighted to be involved in the Engaging Opportunities project.
“The exciting opportunities offered through this project will enable us to take engagement with researchers to the next level.
“This project could not have come at a better time for Milton Keynes, the Denbigh Teaching School Alliance and the young people in Milton Keynes.
“Through the work of this project we will be in a position to have a wider impact on students’ aspirations and life chances.”
The Engaging Opportunities project will draw on research expertise from across the Open University.
This will be used to develop, deliver and evaluate interactive lectures, dialogues, inquiry-based activities and other creative projects.
The activities will help students engage with developments and debates surrounding contemporary research.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, added: “Maintaining a good supply of scientists and researchers is vital to both our economy and society.
“But to do this we need to draw talent from as wide a pool as possible.”