Information for participants

What is the study?

We would like to invite University of Reading STEM undergraduates to take part in a research study that explores the experiences of being a student in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The research wants to better understand the views, experiences, opportunities, challenges and attainments of STEM students. We are interested to speak to a diverse range of students, especially students who consider themselves as coming from an ethnic minority background. The project aims to improve attainment by understanding your views and experiences, and how we can provide better support for current and future students.


Do I have to take part?

No. Participation is voluntary and you do not have to take part.

 What will happen if I take part?

If you want to participate, you will be asked to complete an electronic reflection at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms (around 30 minutes), as well as a one-to-one interview at a time of your convenience (around 45 minutes). You will also be invited to take part in a working group to brainstorm ideas about how we can support student attainment in STEM subjects. Information about the time and location will be arranged in due time, but it will be on campus. As a small token of appreciation, you will be offered e-vouchers for your participation. Please read and complete the consent form attached and we will be in contact with you. If you are a Year 1 or Year 2 student, you will be invited again to take part when you are in Year 2 and/or Year 3 of your degree, but your participation will be optional.

What are the risks and benefits of taking part?

Your views are very important for us to better understand the opportunities and challenges experienced by students in STEM education. We will continue to work with students to develop ways of supporting and improving student experiences and attainment. The information you provide will be anonymous and confidential and will only be seen by the research team. Please note choosing to participate or not to participate in the study will not influence your grades.

What will happen to the data?

The data collected will be stored electronically, in anonymised form. No real names will be used in this study or in any subsequent publications. The records of this study will be kept private. No identifiers linking you will be included in any sort of report that might be published. Data files will be password protected and accessible only by the research team. Research data generated from this study will be reported in research publications and conference presentations.

What happens if I change my mind?

If you have changed your mind after you have spoken to the researcher, please inform any member of the research team. You do not need to provide any reasons to withdraw.

 Who has reviewed the study?

This project has been reviewed following the procedures of the University Research Ethics Committee and has been given a favourable ethical opinion for conduct. The University has the appropriate insurances in place. Full details are available on request.

What happens if something goes wrong?

In the unlikely case of concern or complaint, you can email Billy directly (