Sparked is the Science Network's mentoring programme, designed to support those making the transition from undergraduate study into a career in scientific research.
On the Sparked programme, you'll be part of a group of like-minded students and graduates seeking to think, live and speak for Jesus amongst the scientific community. Drawing on the wisdom of mentors who've been living out their faith in the workplace for many years, we'll explore how the Bible's teaching transforms how we think about and do science. Whether you're applying for a PhD or just embarking on a career in industry, Sparked will equip you for the unique opportunities and challenges that come with being a Christian working in the sciences.
Who is Sparked for?
Sparked is aimed at those making the transition from undergraduate study to a career in science. We welcome applications from final year undergraduates, Master's students, and those in their first year of work or postgraduate study.
What does the programme involve?
The Sparked programme runs over one academic year, from September to June. Mentoring takes place in a small group setting, with an online session or in-person gathering roughly once per month. We cover a range of topics through the year, including Christian ethics in research, apologetics for scientists, and thriving in a competitive work environment.
You'll also have the opportunity to develop your communication skills by producing a written assignment each term, and have one-to-one time with your mentor to receive feedback. Assignments may include a personal reflection on how your faith impacts your science, an essay on an ethical issue in your discipline, or an evangelistic talk aimed at scientists.
"I really enjoyed looking at the biblical mandate for science as it's not something I'd really thought through fully before, especially about science being part of God's reconciliation plan for the world, and it definitely enhanced my view of doing science."
Who will I be mentored by?
Our mentors are all Christians currently active in research, who have years of experience living out their faith in their academic context. As far as possible, we'll try and assign you a mentor working in a field similar to your own.
What does it cost?
The cost of participating in Sparked 23-24 is £100, which covers the cost of in-person conferences and study materials. Payment will be taken when places are allocated in September.
"I wish something like this had existed when I was a student!"
How do I apply?
Applications for Sparked 2023-24 are now closed. Applications for 2024-25 will open in the summer, so watch this space!