A single well-designed and timely intervention can influence future student behavior and offers a framework of potential use.
“We provide evidence from a 5-year study to show that a single concerted effort at the start of undergraduate study can have a clear and lasting effect on the attitudes of students toward plant science. Attendance at a week-long residential plant science summer school in the first year of an undergraduate degree resulted in many students changing courses to include more plant science and increased numbers of graduates selecting plant-based PhDs. The evidence shows that the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School has increased the pool of high-quality plant science related PhD applicants in the UK and has had a positive impact on students’ career aspirations. The results are discussed within the context of enhancing the pipeline of future plant scientists and reversing the decline of this vulnerable and strategically important subject relevant to addressing food security and other major global challenges. We have shown that a single well-designed and timely intervention can influence future student behavior and as such offers a framework of potential use.”