Physics teachers from the Maintained sector are being offered the opportunity to undertake temporary Fellowships to further their academic interest and to learn more about the University of Cambridge.

The scheme is the result of collaboration between Corpus Christi College and the Ogden Trust, which aims to promote the teaching of physics, particularly in state-funded schools.

Physics teachers have long been in demand; a 2008 survey suggested that almost one in four secondary schools in England no longer had a specialist physics teacher.

The purpose of the Fellowships, which will last either 5 or 10 weeks in Lent Term 2012, is to give the schoolteachers the chance to pursue their own interests in the subject, particularly focusing on projects that will benefit their teaching.

The teachers will also have the opportunity to learn more about the University and its admissions procedures, so that they can better advise and encourage potential applicants from their schools. Consequently,all teachers applying for the Fellowship must be involved in education for 16 to 18 years olds.

Tom Bennett, a philosophy and religious studies teacher from Raine’s Foundation School in London, who attended a similar project for his subject in Cambridge last year, said: “Having the chance to reflect on teaching produced some of the most deliberate, productive growth I have experienced in my understanding of the aims and ethics of teaching in my career.”

He also said that many students from schools such as his were put off from applying because of the elitist reputation of the University, but that participating in the Schoolteacher Fellowship “blew these unhelpful stereotypes apart”.

Physics teachers taking part in the 2012 scheme will be receive free accommodation and meals during their stay. The Ogden Trust will cover replacement teacher costs of up to £6000.

Participants will be able to attend lectures, visit University and College libraries, and attend lab classes and research seminars at the Cavendish Laboratory. They will also be involved in the Department’s outreach events.