GenerationResearch provides authentic paid studentship positions across disciplines in a range of technical and research projects, widening access to all university students in order to be inclusive and diverse in answering the question; who will our next generation of scientists be?
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Before the beginning...

The University of York Biology Department hosted around 30 – 35 student per year in lab-based projects over the summer vacation. Many of these positions were voluntary, or accessed by individual York students proposing projects to potential supervisors.

The Beginning

Summer diversity studentships discussed for the first time in the Biology Department at the University of York. Team gets together (Jillian Barlow, Lecturer York, Phil Lang, Placements Coordinator York, Fran Oliver and Steph Ellis, Student Engagement Managers, Angela Lipscomb, Deputy Head Faculty Operations).

They have a shared interest in creating a platform to offer all undergraduate and Masters students the opportunity to gain experiences that will enable personal and professional development.


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University of York – Department of Biology
Generation Research symposium in progress
Generation Research Student Symposium


Generated funding for 8 summer studentships in Department of Biology, University of York, open to York students only, in partnership with a limited number of external (Jacobs Engineering, Zeiss microscopes) partners and University of York matched funding (Department of Biology, Hull York Medical School, and York Biomedical Research Institute).

 Our aims became: 

  • Increase the visibility of these opportunities to all students fairly, to widen participation and engagement
  • Use the programme to provide cohort level mentorship to students and supervisors (post-docs, technicians, early career)

Our first GenerationResearch symposium was held on 16th September 2021 to allow all students to present their achievements. This becomes a regular event in the GenRes calendar.

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Funding for 24 studentships. Project hosts were expanded to York, Leeds, Sheffield, Cambridge, FujiFilm Diosynth, and across disciplines (Medicine, Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physics), with multiple external partners now supporting us (StreamBIO, BBSRC/White Rose doctoral training programme, the Max Perutz Prize at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology).

Chris MacDonald (Henry Dale Wellcome fellow, York) joined the GenerationResearch team and support from other friends of GenRes to process 250 applications (Emily Flack, James Stockdale, lecturers at York)!

The process for increasing diversity and inclusivity in our application process fully embedded, leading to at least 50% of our successful students from underrepresented backgrounds.


Summer 2022

Partnered with VISFO, PlastiCell, and Vertically Urban to provide 4 fully-funded Masters by Research opportunities to students with high widening participation criteria.

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Total number of summer studentships funded rises to 32. The GenerationResearch student symposium attracts nearly 100 attendees. We also fully fund 2 Masters by Research students, providing a UKRI stipend, tuition fees, and a project budget, and an industrial placement student in partnership with AstraZeneca. Other new partners we work with are the MRC Mary Lyon Centre in Harwell, Sense About Science, the Royal Society, and Novogene.

The ‘Friends of GenRes’ who give up their time to read our 360 student applications and help with interviews grows (Emily Flack, James Stockdale, Joana Correia Faria, Nathaniel Jones). For the first time we receive applications from students at University of Bradford and University of Hull, with 53% of studentships being awarded to students from underrepresented backgrounds, and from diverse degree backgrounds such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, and Natural Science.


Opportunities across the globe

In partnership with the Office for Partnerships, Philanthropy, and Alumni at University of York we sent our first GenerationResearch student to the US! Joining the lab of Dr. Kellie Machlus in Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Yrina studied the role of platelet-producing cells in blood cancer. Here is what she had to say…

Yrina giving her project presentation at the 2023 GenRes student symposium

"It is not an overstatement to say that this studentship has changed my perspective on my future career plans and also encouraged a lot of personal growth. I feel more confident within myself and choices to combine my love for science and the clinical environment’....’The kindness shown by my direct supervisors, mentors, technicians, colleagues and strangers during this studentship will remain with me as a motivating factor as I finish my studies and move forward into my own career."

An expanding collaboration with external partners to generate funding and impact to offer even more opportunity for all students in Yorkshire in places like the US and Cambridge, UK.

You can support our work in the future by making a donation to Generation Research by following the link below...

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The Generation Research Team

The Generation Research Team

Chris MacDonald
Academic Coordinator

Fran Oliver
Promotion & Advertising

Steph Ellis
Outreach & Masters by Research

Jillian Barlow

Angela Lipscomb
HR lead

Phil Lang
Recruitment & Talent

Studentship locations

Boston (US)
Connecticut (US)

What our students say...

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