Founded in 2004 by Dr Tony Sewell CBE, Generating Genius supports low-income students across the UK to obtain places at top universities and in careers to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). We have a vision to create a thriving and diverse STEM workforce and community. We believe that in order to increase more underrepresented groups getting into STEM you have to start working with them at school age and provide them with long-term engagement.
Generating Genius was originally set up to support Black African and Caribbean boys from low-income households to get into STEM degrees at top universities and into top careers. At the time, this group of students were the lowest achieving group in London. In line with the changing attainment picture in Britain we now support low-income students across the UK of all genders and ethnicities with around 1,500 students joining our programmes every academic year. Generating Genius supports these students through high quality programmes which are carried out in partnership with leading universities and top companies across different industries.
The Impact of Syncona’s support
Generating Genius runs a university scholarship programme which aims to remove all barriers to both the aspiration and achievement of students. These scholarships support students with both university fees and living expenses.
The Syncona Foundation is our biggest scholarship funder who have helped us in putting our vision into action. The scholarship fund from Syncona is called the David Twumasi Syncona Foundation Scholarship, named after the Syncona employee who first brought us to the attention of the Syncona Foundation. The generous donation from the Foundation will allow five Generating Genius students who need it most to be provided with full scholarships that fund all university fees and living expenses throughout their course. The aim is that these scholarships will allow these students to achieve their full potential in a STEM focused degree and then go onto careers within STEM, or continue onto further study/research.
Syncona employees are also offering their knowledge and career development support to the scholars. During their time at university these students will also engage with, and in some cases, intern with Syncona’s portfolio companies. This is part of a longer-term vision for some of these students, in future years, to be part of diversifying the pipeline of talent entering the Syncona workforce.
Testimonials- the impact scholarships have
‘I want to give a prodigious thank you to The Black Heart Foundation and Generating Genius for this extraordinary, life-impacting scholarship! I am beyond grateful for this blessing. Since the age of 16, I have had to work in retail to support my educational needs, which included everything from funding essential educational trips to purchasing textbooks and train tickets for my medical school interviews. Working part-time alongside my ‘A’ level studies was difficult and studying Medicine at Nottingham University is proving to be the most significant academic and social challenge yet, especially during a pandemic. I understand what a privilege it is to be able to study this profession and how hard I have worked to be in my position. Therefore, with the financial stability that this scholarship provides, I can dedicate 100% of my time towards my degree. This gives me the time to focus on becoming the best doctor I can be. Being able to effectively balance my studies alongside my university’s social, volunteering and mentoring opportunities allows me to make the most of my time here, as well as engage in roles that help to support prospective STEM students to achieve their goals. Once again, thank you so much for this support. I strive to repay your generosity and thus contribute to helping future generations of underprivileged students.’
- Waseem, Medical Student, University of Nottingham
“This scholarship has given me a level of financial freedom I’ve never experienced in my life. Growing up in a low income, single-parent household has meant always juggling my education and financial worries with little time for aspirations or hobbies. With this support I can now focus more on my career prospects and extracurricular activities. I have always felt like I have to work twice as hard for the same opportunities but with this scholarship, I feel on par with my peers. I am now able to fully engage with my course material, making my dreams of becoming a medical researcher more tangible. Thank you.’
- Siham, Biomedical Science, University of Warwick