Research and Impact Department

The Brilliant Club is committed to the rigorous evaluation of its programmes. We have a dedicated team of social scientists who ensure that our work is informed by the latest research and that it delivers impact for our pupils.

Visit our Research and Impact page to read about our latest impact news.

Could this be your school?

The Brilliant Club’s Scholars Programme trains PhD researchers to deliver courses based on their own research to small groups of state school pupils. Our PhD tutors receive excellent training as university access professionals, and support pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition needed to secure places at highly-selective universities.

Find out more about The Scholars Programme for your school

Researchers in Schools: A unique teacher training route for PhD graduates

Researchers in Schools is designed to utilise the academic expertise of PhD graduates to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. Could you champion university access and increase subject expertise in schools?

Find out more about teacher training with Researchers in Schools here

Our Mission

The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from underrepresented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. We do this by mobilising the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools.

Read our Annual Impact Report 2018/19 here

Our Programmes

The simple, scalable and sustainable way The Brilliant Club works to achieve our mission is by recruiting, training and placing PhD researchers to work in state schools. We run two core programmes: The Scholars Programme and Researchers in Schools.

The Scholars Programme recruits, trains and places doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in state schools to deliver programmes of academic enrichment to small groups of pupils. Through a combination of university trips, in-school tutorials and online resources, we support pupils aged 10-18 to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition needed to progress to highly-selective universities.

Researchers in Schools offers a bespoke route for PhD graduates to enter the teaching profession as full-time classroom teachers. Working in partnership with other providers, we offer a programme of initial teacher training and ongoing professional development that equips participants to utilise their academic expertise to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. Read more about Researchers in Schools here.

What The Brilliant Club Can Offer You


A national network of teaching talent



Exciting new learning opportunities



Incredible employment and career prospects


The Problem

In the UK today, there is an entrenched link between a pupil’s background and their access to higher education. The UCAS Multiple Equality Measure shows that 1 in 4 of the most advantaged quintile of English 18 year olds enter highly-selective universities compared to only 1 in 50 pupils from the most disadvantaged quintile.

1 in 4

of the most advantaged quintile of 18 year olds progress to a highly-selective university.

1 in 50

of the most disadvantaged quintile of 18 year olds progress to a highly-selective university.

“Widening university access, valuing the importance of subject knowledge, and research-based teaching are three areas where teachers with PhDs can have an enormous impact."
Rt Hn Nick Gibb MP

Minister of State for School Standards

“The Brilliant Club has helped develop in our students a desire to graduate from a top university. It has acted as the beginning of their journey to this success and has made our young people believe it is possible.”

Carly Mitchell

Principal, Oasis Academy South Bank

“The Brilliant Club does a simple but profoundly important thing. It enables some of our best young researchers to apply their skills in schools. Nothing does more to encourage teenagers to go on to university than seeing dynamic university researchers and teachers in action. The Brilliant Club makes that possible.”
Lord Adonis

Former Minister of State for Education

“You should offer The Brilliant Club to as many people as you can – it can really change someone’s outlook on life.”

Mohamed Abdi

Former Scholars Programme Pupil

“The Brilliant Club is an excellent programme that has the potential to transform the UK education system. I have enjoyed my experience tutoring and I am proud to be associated with such a worthwhile cause.”

Dr Babak Somekh

PhD Tutor, University of Oxford

“I love being a teacher because it allows me to inspire young adults and pass on my passion for science to them.”
Dr Riccardo Porcari

Researchers in Schools Participant, Challney School for Boys

Our Partners

The Brilliant Club works with more than 800 schools and colleges across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In 2018/19, we worked in partnership with schools, universities and other supporters to employ over 600 PhD researchers to reach over 13,500 pupils.

We are extremely grateful to our partner organisations and supporters
We are also grateful to our university partners across the UK for their continued support

Awards and Accreditation

We are grateful for the recognition our work has received from a number of awards and supporters.

Coming Up

We have a rolling application process for PhD researchers and hold regular information events at our partner universities. We also hold regular webinars for researchers; register your interest in attending one of these here.

Researchers in Schools Dates

For details of upcoming RIS events, including employer presentations and PhD career fairs, see here.

Find out more at