June 2, 2021, by Dr. Meghan Gray

Nottingham Physics receives funding to boost local graduate opportunities

Some good news for students who want to develop their careers close to home after graduation. In this guest post by the School of Physics and Astronomy Placement and Partnership Officer Dr. Olga Fernholz, we learn about new funding we are receiving from the Office for Students to support regional opportunities for highly skilled employment.


The School of Physics and Astronomy is part of the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy (WRIPA) which is a partnership between five university physics departments of Hull, Leeds, Nottingham, Sheffield and York plus technical industries from across the regions. WRIPA aims to connect physics students and graduates with the wealth of career opportunities available in the regions and thereby help local technical sectors to innovate and grow. We do that through internships, year in industry placements, final year projects and careers activities among which the annual WRIPA Physics Recruitment Fair is the highlight. WRIPA activities are coordinated at Nottingham by the Placements and Partnership Officer Dr Olga Fernholz.

As part of WRIPA partnership, the School of Physics and Astronomy received Office for Student’s (OfS) Challenge Funding to promote industrial experience for physics students close to home.

Olga Fernholz tells: “We want to link students with the regional and local high-skilled technical jobs, thereby contributing to regional economic development and promoting student’s social mobility. This is done via work placements and industrial projects. It is ultimately up to the students and graduates to decide where they want to study and subsequently work, however, we know that personal choice can be limited and influenced by economic and political factors relating to place. And we know that students who have been exposed to different contexts tend to get better jobs, improving graduate outcomes. Our goal as a consortium is to marry the potential of the place with the potential of the physics graduates.

WRIPA’s five Physics Departments will work as a perfect test site for deploying intra- and extra-curricular interventions. We will boost industrial projects, skills modules, placements, coaching, and so on which will enhance students’ skills and address real needs of the local labour market. This will also subsequently enable students to progress into high-skilled employment in the region or beyond. We have all sorts of ideas about partnerships with employers and events for students, the OfS funding will allow us to cover costs related to industrial experience.”

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