MRC Zones Evaluation Report: 2018–2020

IASUK MRC Zones 2018-20 Evaluation Report (Cover Image)

IASUK MRC Zones 2018-20 Evaluation Report (Click image to read full report, [PDF])

Between 2018 and 2020 the Medical Research Council (MRC, funded 5 IAS zones to engage students with MRC research. This report is a summary of the activity in, and an evaluation of, the impact of those zones.

Read the full report [PDF] ❯


  • We ran 5 zones between June 2018 and November 2020
  • 5,335 students logged in with 80% actively engaging:
    • Students from 141 schools took part.
    • 59% of participating schools were widening participation or in underserved areas.
  • 226 researchers took part:
    • Scientists represented a wide range of areas within medical research, and showed students a wide range of backgrounds, careers, and routes into STEM.
  • Every school live chat included a discussion around medical research; at least 59% of live chat conversations included medical research topics:
    • Additionally, 41% of questions in ‘Ask’, and 57% of answers from researchers included discussions related to medical research themes.
  • Taking part in IAS supports students’ science capital:
    • Research carried out in 2019 into the impact of taking part in IAS shows that IAS maps well onto the Science Capital Teaching Approach, supporting science capital dimensions including: science literacy, seeing science as relevant to everyday life, knowledge about the transferability of science/science qualifications, and especially, knowing people in science-related jobs.
  • Taking part has a positive impact on MRC researchers:
    • MRC researchers reported increased skills (91%), confidence (86%), and enthusiasm (88%) for communicating research with lay people.
    • 82% increased their understanding of young people’s views on medical research.
    • 86% increased their interest in taking part in future public engagement activities.
    • 41% reported benefits to their profile as a researcher, and 40% reported benefits to their professional reputation.
  • IAS is different to other engagement projects MRC researchers have taken part in:
    • IAS is easy to participate in; it fits around schedules, there is no need to leave the office, lab, or home.
    • Pseudo-anonymity encourages a broader range of students to actively engage and ask questions.
    • Student-led discussions allow for a greater depth of engagement.

Read the full report [PDF] ❯

Posted on March 9, 2021 by modjosh in Evaluation Reports. Comments Off on MRC Zones Evaluation Report: 2018–2020