Young Scientists for Africa provides scholarships for talented African science students to attend the annual London International Youth Science Forum

Our Mission

YoSA provides a scholarship scheme for young African scientists to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF), focusing on individuals for whom other financial support is not available. Each year these African scholars join 500 of the best science students from across the globe for a two week summer school, learning from world-leading scientists through lectures, debates and visits. The forum provides YoSA scholars with life-changing knowledge and contacts which will empower their science careers and help address the critical shortage of scientists in Africa. YoSA is also developing a network of student science communities to help support the next generation of African scientists. Over the past 5 years, and despite Covid interuption, we have supported a number of students from over 5 African countries to attend LIYSF, either by travelling to London or virtual attendance.

Twitter feed is not available at the moment.

Who We Are

Young Scientists for Africa (YoSA) is a UK registered charity committed to motivating, developing and sponsoring scientific interest in students in Africa. The trustees are:

Clare Elwell

Clare is a Professor of Medical Physics at University College London and leads a scientific research project in Africa, the BRIGHT project. Clare’s own career was inspired by attending the London International Youth Science Forum as student in 1984. She is passionate about encouraging young people to pursue careers in science and has established YoSA to provide opportunities specifically for young scientists in Africa.

Read more about Clare

Clare Thomson BSc, MEd, FInstP

Clare Thomson was Curriculum and Diversity Manager in the Education department at the Institute of Physics for 8 years, until her retirement in April 2015. She oversaw the Institute’s work on encouraging more girls to take physics post-16, including the influential reports, ‘It’s Different for Girls’ (2012) and ‘Closing Doors’ (2013). Most recently she was managing the ‘Improving Gender Balance’ strand of the Stimulating Physics Network, funded by the DFE and the ‘Opening Doors’ project funded by the Government Equalities Office (2014/5).

Before joining the Institute, Clare was a teacher of physics for more than 30 years in a variety of independent and maintained schools in London and the North-West. Her last post was Head of Physics at Bromley High School. While working part-time, she studied for a Master’s degree in Science Education at Kings College London (1984).

Clare was an author on the first revision of the Salters Horners Advanced Physics materials (2009) and provided the chapter on Equality and Diversity in Science Education in the 4th Edition of the ASE Guide to Secondary Science Education (2018). She is also on the editorial board of the international journal ‘Physics Education’, and currently their book review editor.

Until recently, she was a trustee of the British Physics Olympiad and was part of the group that guided the organisation into achieving charity status. She has supported LIYSF for a number of years and been an expert/judge at the Bazaar poster event.

Clare Thomson Bio Photo

Peter Upton

Peter Upton has recently retired after a career investigating corporate fraud for a number of FTSE 100 Companies with additional expertise in Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Bribery & Corruption. He is a former President of a local rugby club and has been instrumental in developing youth rugby in general and girls rugby in particular.

David Lobley

David is a financial manager at G4S, the international security business which now forms part of the Allied Universal group. He was a close friend of founding trustee Tim since their time at university and shared many happy times together.

David has a commitment to fairness and equality in the world and is delighted to work with the YoSA to help achieve this.


Manuel Tapia

Manuel Tapia is from Colombia. He is currently a master’s student in education at the University of Barcelona. He has experience working with young, indigenous political leaders and students. He has taught at University and supported local government social, youth and inclusivity projects. Since 2022 he has been part of YoSA and is currently supporting the visa application process for students who are beneficiaries of the LIYSF scholarship.

Tim Rooke

Tim Rooke co-founded YoSA and worked tirelessly to develop the charity until his passing in 2021. YoSA was incredibly close to Tim’s heart and he loved the positive change the charity is making in providing opportunities for gifted African science students. He was a chartered accountant and partner at Ernst & Young (EY) the global accountancy firm with expertise in the financial services industry as an auditor and finance, risk and compliance advisor to leading global banking organisations. The YoSA team continue to develop the charity from the hard work of Tim and Clare and will continue to honour him and his memory.

Scholarship Opportunity

The Clare Elwell Scholarship supports young African science students to attend the London International Youth Science Forum. The scholarship is aimed at students with a keen interest in science for whom other financial support would not normally be available.

All sponsorship funding is controlled within the UK and YoSA offers to fund a number of students to attend LIYSF from within Africa each year. YoSA offers full and partial scholarships. A full scholarship covers both LIYSF participation charge and also return flights to London, a partial scholarship will cover the LIYSF participation charge, but not return London flights. Please note below exclusions for all scholarships.

The funding covers:

*  The attendance fees for LIYSF including admission to the full scientific and social programme, accommodation and all meals.
*  Return flights to and from London as well as travel to and from the airport to the LIYSF venue in central London (for full scholarship awards).

YoSA does not fund:

*  Domestic travel to an international airport
*  Visa and passport costs
*  Any fees for optional non-scientific visits to London attractions that may be offered by LIYSF.


COVID Statement

LIYSF is due to continue as normal in person, as restrictions have been lifted to travel to the UK. We are however constantly monitoring the situation and LIYSF is being held as a hybrid event, with students being able to attend online if there should be any change in the feasiabiliy of physical attendance. For more updates and further information please see the LIYSF website at

London International Youth Science Forum

The London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF) is a two week residential student event hosted at Imperial College London, with lectures and demonstrations from world-leading scientists, visits to pioneering university laboratories, research centres and UK scientific institutions. Annually, LIYSF attracts 500 leading young scientists aged 16-21 years old, from 75 countries across the globe. Students are able to tailor their programme at LIYSF to suit their STEM interests. There is a strong and active social calendar at LIYSF. A vital part of the experience of attending LIYSF is teaching and learning about different cultures and traditions. Further details can be found at
Attending LIYSF has a huge personal impact on and benefit for the individuals that attend. They have the opportunity to meet peers from around the world and learn about developing scientific initiatives and technologies used worldwide and bring them home. This encourages students to consider new areas of scientific and combined scientific disciplines and broadens the international outlook of the attending students, forging international networks that will be invaluable in their careers in supporting international collaborations in future research.

Whilst LIYSF welcomes students from over 70 countries across the world and from each continent, Africa is not currently well represented.  LIYSF is looking to work over the coming years to change this and establish better and sustained international representation across Africa. To date, YoSA has provided scholarships to students from Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa. These students were the only representatives from their countries, and were such excellent representatives for their regions and countries that some have been invited back to join the LIYSF student counsellor team this year. YoSA has identified LIYSF as a key platform to help achieve its charitable aims and shares with LIYSF the ambition to increase the representation of attendees from across Africa.

Nomination Process

Click the link below to view the Nomination Process covering qualifying criteria and expectations of a nominated student, the role of the local facilitator and how to obtain relevant nomination and consent forms.