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Early Career Space Professionals and Researchers (Voluntary)

We're on the lookout for more space professionals and researchers to come and share their stories with young people at our careers conferences in Leicester.

The UK Space Industry has a total income of £14.8 billion and employs close to 42,000 people. The UK currently makes up 5.1% of the global space economy (2016/17) and the government aims to increase this to 8% by 2020, and 10% by 2030. You can see the current report on gov.uk.

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At our careers events we provide opportunities for students to meet people working in the space sector; from scientists to space engineers; Earth observation specialists to astrophysicists – and beyond. 

There are many paths to a career in the space sector, and many options once you get there. We want to provide young people at our events with a broad range of examples, and we believe the best way to learn about these options is to hear from the people themselves! 

We find that it helps to have speakers whose stories show relatable pathways, and especially early career speakers who are not so far removed from school themselves.

"The conferences are a wonderful opportunity for young people to find out about the huge range of careers within the space industry, as well as discover more about the journey of local scientists from school to their chosen profession. 

I think these personal stories are essential if we're going to smash the myth you have to be Einstein to be a scientist, and I feel that sharing my madcap journey into science helps young people to see that they too could pursue such a career if they wanted to. 

One of the best things about talking to young people is their optimism and proactive outlook, which makes me feel very positive about the future of scientific endeavour and of the space industry in the UK."

Dr Suzie Imber, Associate Professor in Space Physics at the University of Leicester

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Speakers at our careers conferences talk about their pathway into the space sector, and bring examples of their work to talk about. 

We ask speakers to include at least one interactive element in their talks, and we can work with speakers to help them develop their talks and pitch them for different age groups. 

We run two conferences for Year 10 (aged 14 and 15) and two for year 12 (aged 16 and 17), with occasional subject specific conferences throughout the year. We're also looking to put on more events for younger secondary school groups in 2020 and beyond.

This is a volunteer opportunity, but we can contribute to travel expenses and we will provide you with lunch and lots of tea and coffee on the day. You can commit to one event per year, or more if you wish.

"The National Space Academy careers days are enormous fun for me as a presenter – everyone involved in them at the Space Centre and from all the external companies are really enthusiastic about their work for space and it is quite infectious! This enthusiasm then gets passed on to the young people who attend.

It's great to show the visiting students the range of space activities that we do, even as a small part of the UK space sector, and the range of people that we have working at MSSL. It means that we are opening their eyes to the opportunities to work in the most exciting field.

On a personal level, I really look forward to going back to the Space Centre each year. It's a great chance to develop public communications skills and to chat with people involved in space education. Plus, on occasion, you get to meet an astronaut!"

Dr Colin Forsyth, Senior Research Fellow at the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (Dept. Space and Climate Physics)

We'd especially love to hear from you if meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • You are an early career scientist, mathematician or engineer with a space connection
  • You have recently finished a science degree and now work in the space sector
  • You have recently finished an apprenticeship and now work in the space sector
We are also very keen to hear from you if you meet any of the following criteria in addition to those above:
  • You were a first-generation student (i.e. the first in your family to go into Higher Education)
  • You identify as black, Asian, mixed race or from an ethnic minority background
  • You identify as belonging to any group which is underrepresented in the space sector

However, we're open to all expressions of interest, We want to show the broad range of opportunities available within the space sector. Young people who attend our careers conferences would love to hear your story.

Email National Space Academy Administrator Lisa Colford (lisac@spacecentre.co.uk), if you would like to be involved, and help us educate and inspire the next generation of space scientists. Please do share this call out with your networks.

A team of administrators, scientists and communicators who lay the foundations for the National Space Academy. They are based at our headquarters at the National Space Centre in Leicester.

  1. Liberty Woodward For Web

    Liberty Woodward

    Regional Project Officer

  2. Saran Godolja For Web

    Saran Godolja

    Regional Project Officer

  3. Em Truman For Web 2023 09 05 105817 Pdzd

    Em Truman

    Regional Project Officer

  4. David Wilkinson

    David Wilkinson CPhys MInstP

    General Manager

  5. Ewan 3 2022 11 22 144056 Znyr

    Ewan McMillan BSc

    National Space Academy Administrator

  6. Lorna Lewin

    Lorna Lewin

    International Project Manager

  7. Lisa Colford National Space Academy Head Shot Cropped Small

    Lisa Colford

    UK Projects and Network Manager

  8. Sophie Allan 2

    Sophie Allan

    Head of Teaching and Learning

  9. Grace Davis

    Grace Davis

    Marketing and Communications Manager

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    Peter Wesson

    Physics Teacher and Lab Manager

Project Scientists and Engineers

Space industry professionals who help us to provide context to the work we do. They give their time as an in-kind contribution from their organisations. These ambassadors really know their subjects and we are eternally grateful for their input!

  1. 181018 Chun Keat Yew Passport Style Profile Pic 181018 Crop

    Dr Chun Keat Yew

    Postdoctoral researcher, School of Environment Sciences, University of Hull