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Raising awareness and understanding of research within FE practitioners – Practitioner Research Programme applications now open

ETF-SUNCETT Practitioner Research Programme 

Applications for the 2021–22 Education and Training Foundation (ETF) Practitioner Research Programme (PRP) are now open.

The programme of research training, academic supervision and mentoring support is delivered on behalf of the ETF by the University of Sunderland’s Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (SUNCETT).

It provides successful applicants with the research training and support they need to conduct research in the context of their practice and to evaluate the impact of their research. This includes the identification of any improvements in educational practice or student achievement arising from or attributable to their research.

Participants are required to attend four Research Development Workshops during the academic year, provide SUNCETT with monthly updates on the impact and reach of their research, produce an annual research report collating emerging change on their practice, learners and wider organisation, and submit an abstract summarising their research and present their research at the ETF’s Early Career Researcher Conference. Each participant is allocated a SUNCETT research mentor to support them.

The programme is open to practitioners in English, maths and ESOL working in ESFA funded provider organisations across the Further Education and Training sector in England. It has been offered by the ETF and SUNCETT since 2009.

We aim for participation to be as diverse as the sector it serves. We particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented groups including those with disabilities and/or from a BAME background. All applications must be supported by the applicant’s management team.

There are currently two different PRP pathways:

  1. A one-year, Master of Arts (MA) Short Course in Educational Research (30 credits at Masters Level)
  2. A two-year full Research Degree, Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Education.

The deadline for applications for the 2021–22 programme is 5pm on Friday 17 September 2021.

Practitioner Research Programme evaluation report 

In 2019, the ETF commissioned SQW to undertake an evaluation of the Practitioner Research Programme, which is delivered on the ETF’s behalf by the University of Sunderland Centre for Excellence in Teaching Training (SUNCETT). The report presents the findings of the evaluation.

The Practitioner Research Programme aims to raise awareness and understanding of research within FE practitioners, supporting them to develop and test their own research ideas.

It promotes evidence informed practice by prompting practitioners to develop their teaching ability through conducting research and deepening their understanding of the relationships between educational research, theory and practice.

It also aims – through the participation of practitioners in the programme – to create a growing community of research active practitioners who will be bringing about change and improvement across the sector.

The report looks at the impact the programme is having on participants, their organisations, students and the wider sector, and reports participants’ views on how it could be improved even further for future cohorts.

A summary of the main findings are presented at the beginning of the report.

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