IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academic to lead ESRC education research programme

6 September 2021

Professor Gemma Moss has been appointed as Education Research Director to guide and inform a substantial new investment in education research by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Professor Gemma Moss (Photo: Supplied)

Over the next five years, the Education Research Director will play a key role in connecting ESRC to the education research community, building lasting networks and identifying and promoting key strategic aims for future education research.

Professor Moss will provide leadership and strategic direction to a £6.5 million programme of original research designed to build new, interdisciplinary research capacity focused on the role of teachers and technology for teaching and learning. As Education Research Director she will ensure overall coherence to the programme of research and enhance its scientific, policy, practice, and societal outcomes.

Education represents a key area of public policy, impacting current and future society. During the pandemic, we have witnessed both huge challenges for the education system, its staff and pupils, as well as resilience and adaptability. The programme will build on existing research and knowledge to establish important and relevant research questions to be addressed as well as partners and collaborators to ensure findings are relevant to key stakeholders. 

Professor Moss said: "This is an exciting opportunity to shape a research agenda that engages in new ways with key questions for education in the four nations of the UK. 

“We know that there are significant differences in education governance in the four nations of the UK and that these in turn shape differing conceptions of professional knowledge, professional judgement and theories of change. This research programme will encourage fresh opportunities for co-partnership working involving the full range of stakeholders - pupils, parents, teachers, system leaders and policymakers. It will also provide opportunities for researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds to learn from each other.

“I am looking forward to leading this initiative and creating a dynamic environment for education research in the UK."

Professor Li Wei, Director and Dean of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) said: “The IOE very much welcomes this appointment. Professor Moss is very committed to building enhanced research capacity and research engagement in education and has an excellent track record to draw on. We look forward to the programme of research her appointment will support.”

Professor Alison Park, Interim Executive Chair, ESRC said: “This five year post is strategically very important for the ESRC. We congratulate Professor Gemma Moss on her successful appointment. She brings intellectual leadership to the role, as well as a track record in building networks and collaborations, and we look forward to working with her, to fulfil ESRC’s ambition to fund vital new educational research of relevance to policy makers, schools and teachers.”

Professor Moss is currently Director of the International Literacy Centre at the IOE, her ESRC-funded role commences in September 2021.