Announcement About Our Royal Patronage

Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency – FAQS

The STAAR programme has been designed to provide a unique experience to inspire young people to learn more about advanced aerospace systems and engineering and to encourage them to study and take up careers in STEM – related fields.

Applications for STAAR 2024 are now closed. 

Who is STAAR for?

STAAR is for Year 9 (Scottish S3) students in academic year 2023/2024 who show an aptitude or interest for STEM subjects. We particularly welcome applicants who have not had the chance to interact with STEM in such a way previously or take part in residential trips.

Students must apply in conjunction with a teacher, school representative or organisation leader. However, teachers, school representatives and organisation leaders can support multiple applications if they wish to do so.

Please be aware that STAAR is open to UK citizens only.

STAAR is not open to children of Northrop Grumman or Royal Air Force Museum employees.

Teachers, school representatives and organisation leaders do not attend the STAAR programme with the students.

Application FAQs
Who completes the application form?
Applications must be made by the student in conjunction with a teacher, school representative or organisation leader to apply. A school/organisation email address must be provided for further communication and for notification of the outcome of the application.

Any applications that are made by students or parents/guardians will not be

There are sections of the application form which must be completed by the student alone. This is made clear in the application form.

A student can complete their section using a printed copy of the form. The teacher, school representative or organisation leader will then need to type the answers into the application form.

Where do I complete the application form?
To apply, please fill out the application form linked below.  

Can I save my progress on my application form?
Unfortunately, you cannot save your progress on your application form. We would recommend gathering all the information you need and having this to hand before commencing your application.

The student section can be printed and completed at home by the student. Their answers must then be typed into the application form.

We would recommend drafting the student personal statement and teacher statement in a separate document and copy and paste it into your application form.

Can I complete a printed version of the application form?

Yes, we have a printable version of the application form available here. 

You can handwrite the application form and email the completed form to 

The application form must be completed in conjunction with a teacher, school representative or organisation leader. 

Same application guidelines apply. 

Where do I upload the student personal statement and teacher statement?
On the application form there is a section to upload the student personal statement and teacher statement. There is 4000 character limit for each statement.

As you cannot save your progress on the application form, we would recommend drafting the student personal statement and teacher statement in a separate document and copy and paste it into your application form.

Do I need parental permission to complete the application form in conjunction with
a student?
Teachers, school representatives or organisation leaders must receive parental permission to complete the application in conjunction with the student.

What are the key dates?
Application forms open on Monday 5 February 2024. The deadline to submit application is midday on Friday 19 April 2024.

Successful students will be chosen based on the application form, teacher statement and student personal  statement alone so make sure to give it your best shot as there are only 40 spaces available.

Successful students will be contacted via the teacher, school representative or organisation leader email provided on Monday 13 May 2024.

The STAAR programme will run on;
Monday 22 - Friday 26 July 2024
Monday 29 July - Friday 2 August 2024

How will STAAR Recruits be selected?
Applications will be judged on the application data, teacher statements and student
personal statements alone.

Please note there is no competition element running for 2024.

Please be aware that there are 20 residential spaces available for each week, so
students will be with a cohort from across the nation.

Can a teacher, school representative or organisation leader apply on behalf of more
than one student?
Yes, please complete a separate form for each student individually.

If you apply for more than one student, there is no guarantee both students will be
successful as decisions are made based on individual application alone.

Can I edit my application form after I have submitted it?
No, after submitting your application form you will not be able to go back a re-edit.

STAAR Programme FAQs
When is STAAR 2024 and why does the residential take place when the students
move into Year 10 (S4 in Scotland)?
Residentials take place: Monday 22 – Friday 26 July for Week 1 & Monday 29 July - Friday 2 August for Week 2. This is to give students the chance to explore STEM as they move into their final years of compulsory education. Selected students will take part in one of the above weeks, not both. We cannot
guarantee selected students will attend on their preferred week.

How much will it cost?
STAAR is a free fully funded programme including funds towards the cost of transport for your students if they are successful and chosen to attend the residential. Transport needs will be discussed via call.

Where does STAAR take place?
STAAR activities will be delivered between the base at RAF Cosford and the RAF Museum Midlands site. Bus transportation will be arranged by RAF Cosford between the two sites as necessary. The residential accommodation is on base at RAF Cosford.

RAF Cosford is a secure campus. RAF personnel, video monitoring and perimeter fencing are in place 24/7. During the week, guests must check in through the main security gate where they are issued with the required pass for admittance.
Additionally, fire and safety equipment is located in buildings throughout the campus.

RAF Museum Midlands is open to the general public from 10.00am to 5.00pm from March to October. The Museum site has monitored CCTV, with fire and safety equipment in each of the Hangars and main buildings. Students will spend time at the Museum as part of the programme and the Graduation Ceremony on the final day will be hosted in the Museum auditorium.

What happens in the event of a cancellation?
In the unfortunate event that the residential programme must be cancelled, students will be notified as quickly as possible with the view to arrange alternative dates if possible.

What will STAAR Recruits will get from the competition and (if successful)
residential course?
• Discover the stories of historical aircraft and the evolution of aerospace over time.
• Explore advanced aerospace concepts and design.
• Examine the evolution and future of advanced aerospace technologies.
• Learn about multi-role aerospace capabilities.
• Develop critical thinking skills and team building.

Why learn about advanced aerospace technologies?
There is no better way to experience the power of aerospace engineering than by
seeing first-hand how it is applied to the design and development of unmanned
aircraft and other advanced aerospace systems, and the impact it has in meeting
the needs of a nation: to stimulate innovation, to push the boundaries of scientific
research and development, to create next-generation technologies and
manufacturing capabilities and to produce a skilled workforce for now and the

Where will STAAR Recruits be staying?
Recruits will be assigned to a shared room in an accommodation block on the RAF
Cosford camp. Different genders will be housed in the same block but in separate
rooms. Staff from Tablet Academy & RAF Museum, who are all CRB/DBS Police
checked, will be on duty in the accommodation 24/7 and will accompany recruits
during their activities.

Where will STAAR Recruits take their meals?
STAAR Recruits will enjoy daily meals either in their own dedicated area in the
Junior Ranks’ Mess at RAF Cosford or, on occasions when the Mess is too far, they
will be provided with packed lunches. The food service staff will ensure that healthy
meals are available and that any special dietary needs are met.

What does a typical STAAR day’s schedule look like?
7.15am Breakfast
8.00am – 12.00pm Morning activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break)
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm – 5.00pm Afternoon activities at RAF Cosford / RAF Museum (including a break)
5.00pm Dinner
5.45pm – 7.00pm Personal reflection time
7.00pm – 9.30pm Evening social activities
10.00pm Lights out

Can teachers accompany the students?
We would prefer students to be unaccompanied as we want them to have the whole
unique residential experience. Please get in touch if you have any further queries or

What is the STAAR Dress Code?
While attending the STAAR programme, Recruits are required to dress in an
appropriate and conservative manner, with clothing suitable for practical activities.
Recruits will be provided with STAAR programme kit, including t-shirts, hats and a
bag pack.

Will a student be with someone from their school?
This year, as there is no collaborative competition element the selection process is
based on the application form alone it is highly unlikely that a student will be
someone from their school.

*Please note,  the RAF Museum has the right to cancel or delay the STAAR programme.

*Please note, the RAF Museum has the right to extend the deadline of the application process.

If you have further any questions about the programme not already covered above,
please contact us at or telephone 01902 376 200