IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE CPA 'Classroom-Close' PhD scholarship

A 3-Year (or 1+3-Year) PhD Studentship in 'Classroom-Close' research. Application deadline: 23 May 2022. Decisions will be communicated to applicants by 30 May 2022.


  • Any principal supervisor based in CPA, but research proposal must have a ‘classroom-close’ focus, as defined below.

Application deadline

  • 23 May 2022, 23:59

Start date

  • 26 September 2022


  • London


Much of CPA’s work as a department is focused on research which is ‘classroom-close’ in nature.

Golding (2021) defines ‘classroom-close’ research as that which is focused on issues directly or indirectly relevant to education practice. High quality in classroom-close research requires the robust use of research design, theory and methods to address clearly defined research questions, through research and application processes that include reflections on practice, research, and context.

Within CPA, the quality of the doctoral experience, and of the research culture available to doctoral students, will be positively impacted by increased participation of full-time UK students focused on such work. Our international students are often motivated to experience UK cultures and acquire familiarity with UK education contexts and approaches, alongside their own work, and the successful candidates will contribute to a research culture which supports those aspirations.

This scholarship will:

  • Promote CPA’s principal focus of classroom-close work, in our teaching and research;
  • Enhance the experience of all postgraduate research students in the department by ensuring a profile of high quality home doctoral students with an in-depth understanding of local culture and education systems that can be shared across our doctoral research community;
  • Enhance the research culture in the department, and CPA’s contribution to national and international classroom-close knowledge, by supporting additional fulltime participation by outstanding students confident in local customs and education systems, and so able to actively catalyse enhanced integration of the range of our postgraduate researchers in the range of our research activities;
  • Contribute to strengthening the synergies between our teaching, our research, and our large part-time postgraduate research community, in line with UCL’s aspirations for a connected curriculum. 

Subject areas

The ‘CPA Classroom-Close Scholarship’ will support PhD research which has a classroom-close focus, defined as above, and which is well-aligned with IOE values of impact, excellence, curiosity…

The scholarship will support one doctoral student through their 3 year, 1+3 year, or 4-year integrated course, every other year (from September 2022, 2024…).

Applicants should have significant experience of working in UK classrooms, and be eligible for home fees.

Exceptionally, we would consider an application for a part-time doctorate from a candidate needing part-time study for EDI reasons, for example if they are precluded from fulltime study by a disability or substantial caring responsibilities.

However, selection for the scholarship will be by quality of potential contribution to the field, to practice, and to the IOE research culture through doctoral work that is classroom-close. Applicants will be expected to make a moral commitment to such work.

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the home rate, and an annual stipend of no less than £17,609 increasingly annually with inflation (tax free) pro rata. 

The candidate

The successful applicant should have, or expect to achieve, a high quality Masters degree. You must have submitted an application to UCL for full-time (3-year, 1+3-year or 4-year integrated face-to-face) MPhil/PhD research starting in September 2022, with principal supervisor based in CPA, before you can apply.

If you have applied but an offer has not already been made, you must include an expression of commitment from such a supervisor. Your application should demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the proposed area of research, significant experience of working in UK classrooms, the ability to think analytically and creatively, to communicate effectively in writing and orally, and a commitment to contribute to CPA postgraduate research culture.

Informal enquiries may be made of the Department Graduate Tutor, Dr Jennie Golding j.golding@ucl.ac.uk, who can provide an application form.  

Your application form will be submitted to Dr Golding by 23:59 on 23 May 2022.

You will include your research proposal (~2000 words) and an indication of how you see yourself contributing to the IOE’s research culture (100-200 words). Your submission will also include your supervisor’s and your own case for support (each 300-500 words), and two academic references. If appropriate, you may also make a case for consideration as a member of a currently under-represented group within UK citizens.

Selection criteria

Applications will be ranked according to scoring on the following criteria:

  • Excellence of proposal (/10): to what extent does the proposal include research design, theory and methods to address clearly defined research questions, through research and application processes that include reflections on practice, research, and context?
  • Potential for classroom-close impact of the proposed research (/10)
  • Potential contribution to IOE research culture (/5)
  • Strength of candidate case for support (/5)
  • Strength of supervisory support evidenced (/5) 
  • Total: /35

In the event of a tie or near-tie in rankings, consideration will be given to enhancing participation by under-represented groups within UK citizens. Applicants’ case for such consideration will not be shared with the panel until such point as it might be needed for such purposes.

Decisions will be communicated to applicants by 23:59 on 30 May 2022.