OStRea aims to give year 10 students a chance to carry out their own research projects, working with staff at Oxford’s Department of Physics to explore data from international experiments and research programs. This initial program will introduce students to data from GalaxyZoo.org, which includes more than 250,000 local galaxies, and allow them to help us understand what processes cause these galaxies to evolve and change over cosmic time.

Why take part?

The program offers an early taste of research, will develop skills in data analysis and handling, and offers the opportunity to present your results to other students and Oxford staff. Supported by researchers in the Department who are working with the same data as students, this is a chance to get a sense of what being a physicist is like. There will be a chance for students to apply for a longer-term research project after this initial set of events.

The programme will consist of:

  • An interactive online webinar to introduce you to galaxy formation and evolution, the Galaxy Zoo data, and the tools in Google Sheets to analyse the data.
  • Support via a dedicated Q&A platform while you work on your own investigations.
  • A round-up webinar with a chance to present your results, either individually or in a group.
  • A longer-term mentoring/tutorial-style programme for a selection of students who we feel will benefit most from participating.

Programme dates and time commitments

Introductory webinar: The introductory webinar will take place on Sat 6 Nov 2021 (9.30-11.30)

Independent work: We envisage you spending around 2 hours working on your own investigation between the webinars

Round-up webinar: The round-up webinar will take place a week later, on Sat 13 Nov 2021 (9.30-11.30)

Longer-term project: The longer-term programme will run in the spring term with exact dates to be confirmed.


You can apply to participate in OStRea if you are currently:

  • in Year 10
  • interested in pursuing physics and maths at A-level
  • attending a state (non-fee-paying) school.

As places are limited, for the longer-term programme we may prioritise applicants who meet some of the following criteria:

  • you demonstrated enthusiasm for research and creativity through the first mini-project; we will not select on skills you may or may not have already acquired.
  • you would be within the first generation of your family to attend university (ie your parents and grandparents did not attend university)
  • you have been eligible for one or more of free school meals, pupil premium, Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and/or 16-19 bursary during secondary school
  • you live in an area with a low rate of progression to higher education; if your home or school is POLAR4 quintile 1, 2 or 3 then you meet this criterion and you can check your postcode here
  • you live in an area with a high level of socio-economic deprivation, as determined by the ACORN measure
  • you are care-experienced, i.e. have been in care at some point, for more than three months in total
  • you attend a school or college with a low overall GCSE and/or A-level point score and/or schools or colleges with low progression rates to higher education
  • you identify as female and attend a mixed-sex school or college
  • you have demonstrated a strong academic record or enthusiasm for science

Please note that this list is in no particular order.

How to apply

Register to take part using the link below.

Contact us

Contact schools.liaison@physics.ox.ac.uk with your enquiries.