Five for Sydney

Amazing Science. Amazing Experience.

In July 2017 the International Science School (ISS) will gather 150 top science students from nine countries (Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the USA and the United Kingdom) at the University of Sydney for a two-week fully residential programme of lectures by leading researchers, laboratory tours and hands-on activities ... not to mention a rich schedule of social events.

The ISS is open to year 12 students studying A-level/HL IB Physics or S5 students intending to take Advanced Higher Physics. Five full scholarships, each worth around £3500, will be awarded to cover flights to Sydney, all accommodation and meals, and the full two-week ISS programme.

Every ISS has a theme, and this year’s is Future Power — think solar energy, fusion, battery technology, smart grids. With amazing speakers from across a wide range of research disciplines and a packed schedule of events, it's an unforgettable two weeks.

Read on to find out how to apply...

Five for Sydney: the British team 2015

How to Apply

Please note that applications have now closed.  

If you have any questions, please contact Katherine Leech (Physics Outreach Officer) on or phone 01904 32 2209.  

Further Information

Useful Dates

  • Applications due by 9pm, Sun 5th March 2017
  • Shortlisted applicants notified, Mon 13th March 2017
  • Interviews and taster day, Mon 3rd April 2017
  • Final five notified by Wed 12th April 2017
  • Parents meeting and teambuilding, Sat 6th May 2017
  • Depart UK, Thurs 29th June 2017 (tbc)
  • International Science School starts Sun 2nd July 2017
  • International Science School finishes Sat 15th July 2017
  • Return to the UK, Sun 16th July 2017 (tbc)  

"The whole experience of the ISS was truly life changing. Everything about it, from the lectures to the other students, was fantastic."
(Tommy, UK participant 2015)

The UK student selection process is run by the Department of Physics at the University of York. To enter, you must be nominated by a teacher at your school. The selection process is in two stages:

Stage 1: Online Application

You will be asked to provide your personal details, school details, your GCSE results, and a letter of reference from the school.  You will also need to include your written responses to:

  • Why do you want to attend ISS2017 in Sydney? (250 words)
  • What do you like to do when you’re not in the classroom? (250 words)
  • The High-Speed Essay: 1000 words on a scientific application of a high-speed camera

Check out the video below for more information on the essay…

Your essay should be 1000 +/- 100 words long. We are looking for your insight into the issues you choose to write about, your understanding of the scientific concepts involved, and your creativity and originality in choosing your essay topic. You can use examples of high-speed photography applications that already exist, but you need to reference any examples properly and build on those applications with your own ideas. You can find information about correct referencing methods here

Stage 2: Interview and Conference at the University of York

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a day of research talks and hands-on activities at the University of York on Monday 3 April. During the day you will be interviewed by member of York’s Physics Department. The five scholarship winners will be chosen on the basis of these interviews and the online applications.

Still have questions?

Want to know more about what you'll be doing in Sydney? Find out what the 'Five for Sydney' got up to in 2015 in the Five for Sydney 2015 report (PDF  , 33,301kb)

Have questions about the application process? Contact Katherine Leech (Physics Outreach Officer) on 01904 322209 or

Have questions about the ISS, check out their website or contact