From education to employment

CEL doubles investment to meet White Paper and Foster Review demands

A scheme to establish a research community in the learning and skills sector has received an enormous response to phase three of its tender process.

The Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) attracted three times as many proposals than any previous tender invitations to the Practitioner Research Project that will enable sector practitioners to identify topics and issues that benefit further research.

CEL doubled its investment in the third round of the practitioner research project scheme to address the key issues highlighted in recent government White Papers and in the Foster Review.

At the project launch event last week, Professor David Collinson, CEL’s National Research Director commented, “We received a large number of high-quality applications, and this gave the review panel something of a challenge to decide which projects should be funded. Even though the funding has doubled this year, the popularity of the scheme has also grown and we were able to fund only a third of the applications received. Included in this year’s programme is an award for the best project, so we look forward to seeing some high-calibre research projects.”

Some of the research areas involved in this year’s funding include leading quality improvement, organisational transformation, collaborative leadership, leading diversity and equality, the learners voice and achievement, middle leadership and adult and community learning (ACL) and work-based learning (WBL).

These small research projects will help the CEL reassess and revise aspects of its current research and to identify issues and topics that would benefit from further research. The research will also prove to be an invaluable tool to help enabling sector practitioners to identify leadership issues and feed back detailed knowledge about specific themes that concern them.

The CEL will continue to develop a research community for those people interested in leadership research to network with each other and compare notes, perspectives, methods and stories from the field.

This year’s research projects are expected to be complete in late spring 2007 and will be widely disseminated to identify the success of the project.

Irene Watt.

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