Research and Impact

Everything that The Brilliant Club does, we do in pursuit of consistent and reliable outcomes for pupils. Our Research and Impact Department brings together a team of social scientists who work to understand the impact of our programmes on pupil outcomes. We use this evidence to widen participation to highly-selective universities, and to measure and improve curriculum enrichment.

On this page you will find updates on the work of the Research and Impact Department including the results of research and evaluations, as well as details of the Department’s work with external organisations.

Research and Impact

UCAS Independent Impact Evaluation

For the fourth year in a row, independent analysis by UCAS showed that pupils on The Scholars Programme are significantly more likely to apply to, receive an offer from and progress to a highly-selective university than pupils with similar socio-demographic background and GCSE attainment.

For the first time this year, pupils who completed The Scholars Programme in Year 9, Year 10 or Year 12 (in previous years we only looked at Year 12) are included, allowing us to evaluate the impact of starting this type of intervention younger.

Read our most recent impact evaluation here:

University of Cambridge External Evaluation

Following a competitive tender process, The Brilliant Club has commissioned the University of Cambridge to evaluate the impact of its programmes on pupils’ cognitive outcomes. The evaluation will be led by Dr Sonia Ilie and Professor Anna Vignoles from the Faculty of Education, and will take place between 2018 and 2020. To find out more, click here.

Annual Impact Reports

Research and Impact Series

Our Research and Impact Series provides three ways for you to engage with our work and that of our partners:


The seminars provide a forum for practitioners to engage with academic research.

Case Study

The case studies identify some of the key barriers to widening access and discuss how these barriers can be addressed.


The research reports examine how different programme features contribute towards pupil outcomes.

Research Seminar Series
In partnership with collaborating universities, we host seminar series that examine how academic research can be used to inform practices in schools and widening participation. Uniquely, each seminar features a presentation by at least one academic and one practitioner, linked by a central theme. The seminars are particularly useful for academics and practitioners interested in the social mobility agenda who want to have in-depth discussions about the role of research in widening participation – Read about the Research Seminar Series

Impact Case Study Series
Accessible case studies addressing key thematic challenges in widening participation and curriculum enrichment, and how we have approached them – read our latest impact case studies.

Research Report Series
Detailed research reports looking at specific ways in which we have tried to improve and evaluate the impact of our programmes, including what we have learnt and the translation of research and evaluation into wider practice – read our latest research reports.

Contact Details
Dr Lauren Bellaera (Research and Impact Director) can provide further information on the Research and Impact Series, as well as the wider work of the department. Please email