From education to employment

Higher Education Curriculum Leader in creative industries named as one of the first Research Further scholars in the education sector

Evan Wood, Curriculum Leader Creative Industries at Barnsley College Higher Education (HE), has been chosen as one of the first Research Further scholars, as announced by Association of Colleges (@AoC_info) and NCFE (@NCFE).

In October 2021, AoC and NCFE joined forces to launch Research Further – a scholarship programme supporting practitioners to carry out Masters or doctorate level study. Following the submission of dozens of research proposals, 11 scholars from across AoC member colleges in the UK were chosen by Research Further’s high calibre advisory board. The scholars will now undertake funded research into areas of post-16 teaching practice and policy that have little to no data available currently. Evan’s research will examine teaching best practice within Further education creative industries provisions to explore and celebrate the impact it has on learning.

Evan said: “What a privilege it is to be selected! The creative industries serve as one of our most important cultural environments; building economies of the future to helping shape mental health services and build communities. The opportunity to explore best practice and celebrate the impact Further Education has within creative industries is exciting”.

The other scholars will research a wide-range of topics which include finance, inequalities, regional outcomes and culture and best practice. Colleges have confirmed that their Research Further scholars will be given one day per week of remission to carry out the work. They will be supported by the advisory board, consisting of representatives from government, awarding organisations, funders, and sector leaders from across the UK, and will soon start to support each other and the wider research community in FE through a series of written pieces and webinars.

The scholars’ work will be tracked through a webinar series hosted by AoC and NCFE, and new knowledge on pedagogy or policy will be shared with the sector through think-pieces, reports, articles and blogs.

AoC’s Senior Research Policy Manager (Research and Evidence), Julia Belgutay added:

“I’m delighted to be able to announce the first Research Further scholars. They are already real experts in their fields and their work will help us fill crucial gaps in evidence. At the same time, their knowledge and experience as they go about their chosen qualifications will inspire and help grow the blossoming practitioner research community across the sector.”

David Gallagher, NCFE’s CEO, commented:

“It is fantastic to see this pioneering initiative progressing so well. We’ve been blown away by the calibre of the scholars and wait in eager anticipation to see what their research uncovers.

“This project is an important moment for the Further Education sector and quite rightly invests in educators, giving them the opportunity to carry out innovative research and bring to light ideas to form future best practice.

“Up until now there has been a shortfall of truly practitioner-led research. This programme is all about untapping potential and we believe that those closest to students and learning have a huge role to play in the future of FE.”

If you’re looking for a rewarding career at one of the UK’s top colleges, why not join us? Check out our vacancies page for our current opportunities: or email: to find out how you can become part of the Barnsley College family.

Barnsley College offers a range of roles across academic and service departments. From Teacher to IT Technician, Additional Learning Support Co-ordinator to Digital Content Officer, we have jobs for applicants at any level.

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