Rosalind Franklin Women in STEM Conference for Year 12 students

Newnham’s annual Rosalind Franklin Women in STEM Conference brings together sixth formers to discuss some of the big scientific issues facing society.

*The 2020 Rosalind Franklin Conference has been cancelled – please contact with any queries*

This free annual conference aims to encourage Year 12 (S5) students to confidently engage in academic conversations about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) topics. The 2020 conference will look at issues surrounding the development and use of Artificial Intelligence.

This is an enriching opportunity for girls studying STEM subjects to experience Cambridge-style teaching for themselves, to stay in a Cambridge college, and to make new friends. The event is named after Rosalind Franklin, co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, and herself a graduate of Newnham College.

As a 2019 attendee said, “I have always intended to go into scientific research, but before attending the conference I didn’t fully recognise the importance of female representation in these fields. However, across the three days I began to understand why it is vital that we be present in these male-dominated areas, where, even after all the progress that has been made in increasing equality, we are still by far the minority. The need for more women in STEM roles goes beyond just the want for diversity and gender parity; when women design new products or services, they bring a different perspective that too often hasn’t been considered before. Lack of female representation may also discourage talented young women from pursuing careers in these fields; girls need to see women in the industry to believe it’s a viable reality for them.”

She added “Overall, it was an invaluable experience that challenged me to reconsider my previous understanding and assumptions… and was a great chance to meet others with similar interests in science and mathematics.” Read her full review of the event.

Taking part

The 2020 Conference will take place on the 24th-26th of March, and applications are now open for female students who are currently in Year 12 (S5).

All accommodation and food will be provided, and there is no charge for student participation. Newnham College will also provide public transport travel support for some students.

Students should apply for a place by completing the webform below, making sure to attach a copy of their teacher nomination form.

Student applications should be supported by a school/college representative, who must fill in and sign the nomination form. The following academic and widening participation criteria will be taken into account when awarding places:

  • Current subjects of study
  • GCSE grades in Maths and Science subjects
  • A-level predictions
  • Have spent time in local authority care
  • Ever6FSM eligibility
  • POLAR4 postcode – Quintiles 1 or 2
  • Would be the first in their immediate family to go to university
  • Currently in receipt of a full scholarship for schooling (if applicable)


To apply for the 2020 conference, please fill in the application form by the 8th of January 2020.

As part of this application, you will need to print a copy of the following Nomination Form and give it to a school/college representative to complete. Please then scan and attach a copy of this to your online Application Form.

Rosalind Franklin Nomination Form 2020

If you have any questions about the application process, or the conference itself, please contact

Application Form

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