In National Careers Week (4th – 9th March), The OR Society, the leading membership organisation for operational researchers, is partnering with the award-winning charity, In2scienceUK[i] to support young people from low income and disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the innovative In2STEM programme.

In2science was established in 2010 to unlock the potential of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and boost diversity and inclusion in the sector to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based industries.

The In2STEM programme[ii] provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people to collaborate with dedicated volunteer STEM professionals, undertaking cutting-edge research and learning STEM skills in some of Britain’s pioneering centres of STEM education, research and industry.

The programme is for 17-year-olds passionate about STEM and runs from 22 July to 23 August 2024. It offers a blend of online and in-person activities and equips students the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to excel in STEM. The programme is free to join, and the charity provides a bursary, to cover travel and lunch expenses during placements.

The OR Society is partnering with In2scienceUK to sponsor two young people who will have work placements and mentors within operational research at universities. They will also be delivering virtual workshops on operational research for the entire cohort of students participating in the programme at the end of the summer.

Operational research (OR) involves the application of advanced mathematical techniques such as modelling, optimisation, and simulation, with innovative problem-solving approaches, to address complex real-world challenges, and OR professionals are in high demand across many sectors.

However, a recent YouGov survey on behalf of education charity, Teach First[iii] highlighted the UK’s STEM skills shortage is at risk of growing, as more than half of parents (51%) from a lower socio-economic background believe their children are “unlikely” to have a career in science, technology, engineering and maths.

According to In2scienceUK there is an annual shortfall of 40,000 STEM skilled workers with the number of future technical jobs forecast to increase[iv]. With salaries in STEM being 20% higher than other sectors, In2scienceUK say getting more young people from low-income backgrounds into these professions promotes social mobility and fights economic inequality.


Chiara Carparelli, Education Manager at The OR Society said: “We are excited to help inspire the next generation of young STEM professionals. The In2STEM programme is helping to address the skills shortage and encourage young people to consider a STEM based career such as OR.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to make informed choices, boost their academic profile and prepare for a successful future in the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Proficiency in STEM subjects is vital for those aspiring for a career in OR. With technologies like AI and data analytics advancing, job opportunities for OR specialists are expected to surge in the coming years and encouraging young people from all backgrounds into these careers is vital.”


To find out more about In2STEM, including how young people can apply visit:

To explore the career possibilities within OR visit:

About The OR Society

The OR Society is a member-led organization that supports professional operational researchers across various industries and academia. It serves as a vibrant community of professionals and researchers who collectively shape the future of operational research, data science, and analytics. The organization’s members address complex challenges across many industries, from optimization to modelling and improving systems, including healthcare. Celebrating its 75th anniversary from September 2023 to 2024, The OR Society is a registered charity that contributes to expanding the boundaries of the discipline through publications and events.

The OR Society 12 Edward Street, Birmingham, B1 2RX, UK Main Tel: +44 (0)121 233 9300 Email: [email protected] Website:






Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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