PhD student supports the national catch-up effort caused by school closures

The National Tutoring Programme recruits, trains and places PhD researchers within UK schools to deliver academically rigorous programmes linked to their own research.

Fiona Neufeldt, PhD student on the IPES CDT programme at UCL, is volunteering for the programme run by the Brilliant Club. It aims to re-engage and rebuild pupils’ confidence in core subjects. PhD tutors like Fiona help school children affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns catch up with their curriculum. 

For around 15 weeks from January to June 2021, Fiona will run weekly 2-hour tutorials for key stage 4 pupils in Physics. 

Fiona said, "The weekly tutoring sessions are often the highlight of my week! I enjoy being able to use the subject knowledge I've gained during my PhD to make the tutorial material more relevant and exciting for the pupils and I love it when I can see that they've grasped a new concept.”

From September to December 2020, Fiona was also involved in their Scholar's Programme. She taught students in key stage 3 groups at Downham Market Academy about near-infrared spectroscopy for imaging the brain; a course designed by Dr Gemma Bale, Research Associate at UCL, and former student on the DTP in Photonic Systems Development.

“The work being done by The Brilliant Club is very important and I'm glad I can be a part of it," says Fiona. "I would highly recommend the Scholar's Programme and Brilliant Tutoring Programme to other PhD students - they provide you with all the necessary training and support you the whole way through the programme." She will be teaching the near-infrared spectroscopy course this Spring at North Cambridge Academy.

If you are a current doctoral student or a PhD graduate, click here to find out how you can get involved with The Brilliant Club.

Image of The Brilliant Club

IMAGE: The Brilliant Club

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Fiona Neufeldt is a PhD student at the Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Photonic & Electronic Systems. Her PhD is funded by EPSRC (EP/L015455/1).

Dr Gemma Bale

The Brilliant Club tutoring programme 

The Scholar's Programme