Original Research By Young Twinkle Students

ORBYTS is a flagship programme in which secondary school pupils work on research projects under the tuition of PhD students and other young scientists. While ORBYTS was originally centred around Twinkle, it has since grown to include a wide variety of research projects.

Unique Opportunities

Contribute to real research

ORBYTS gives school students the unique opportunity to contribute to real research Run by scientists from around the world, with ORBYTS, students also receive scientific training and build skills in a range of disciplines. 


Collaborate with scientists at top institutions

High Quality

Undergraduate level teaching

Valuable Experience

Advanced data analysis training and research experience

Get published

Opportunity to publish scientific papers

ORBYTS challenges the preconceptions or stereotypes about who can become a scientist and what scientific work is like.

ORBYTS was founded in 2016 by Dr Clara Sousa-Silva. Through this programme, students get hands-on experience of scientific research and work closely with young researchers.

The fortnightly mentoring programme teaches the skills required to contribute to an ORBYTS project. The original research has often led to co-authorship on papers published in peer-reviewed journals.

Outcomes for school students participating in ORBYTS:

  • Get a hands-on introduction to undergraduate-level science and connect with early-career scientists
  • Develop applied scientific skills such as data analysis, literature searching and using advanced Excel
  • Cultivate soft skills including oral presentation, group project collaboration, and academic writing
  • Gain practical experience of what’s involved in scientific research and what it’s like to be a researcher, with a view to potential future careers

Outcomes for schools participating in ORBYTS:

  • Inspire students and parents alike with the opportunity to engage in real scientific research and even co-author publications
  • Boost uptake of STEM subjects (at secondary school level and beyond) for participating pupils from underrepresented demographics
  • Build lasting outreach connections with local research institutions
  • Meet academic requirements in a novel, exciting way — ORBYTS projects are suitable for EPQ or CREST awards in the UK, and other academic awards or credits abroad

Outcomes for tutors participating in ORBYTS:

  • Nurture critical skills in leadership, project management and mentoring
  • Gain hands-on teaching and outreach experience
  • Get paid a living wage to deliver a customised project that contributes directly to their own personal academic research
  • Have the opportunity to be a role model, inspire students and give back to the community

Participating UK Schools

  • Highams Park School
  • Westminster City school
  • Grey Coat Hospital School
  • Marylebone Sixth Form
  • St Brendan’s College
  • Regent Highschool
  • The Camden School for Girls