Researchers in Schools

The Researchers in Schools (RIS) programme is a route into teaching designed specifically for PhD graduates.

What does the Researchers in Schools programme offer?

RIS is set up to allow our participants to optimise the use of their subject expertise and knowledge of research in non-selective secondary schools to maximise their positive impact on their pupils.

Our participants complete their training year and the early stages of their teaching career with our support.


Since the RIS programme began in 2014 we have had 382 participants working in 214 schools. These participants and the staff at RIS have been consistently working towards achieving the three RIS aims:

  • To increase and disseminate subject expertise
  • To promote education research
  • To champion university access

As with all TBC programmes, we constantly monitor our impact.

You can find out more about the impact RIS participants are making in their schools via the button below.

      Research Leader in Education

      In addition to completing the roles and responsibilities of a trainee or early career teacher, RIS participants also complete the Research Leader in Education award. This comprises a series of projects spread over the course of the programme that combine their teaching and research skills.

      Uni Pathways

      • Planning a series of university-style tutorials on a topic related to PhD topic
      • Launch trip to a university
      • Students write a university-style assignment on the topic
      • Working with less advantaged students to aim to increase their chance of attending a competitive university in the future

      Participant-Identified Activity

      • Working with their school to design and carry out a small WP project
      • Making use of PhD research and academic connections

      Pilot Project

      Outstanding Leadership in Education

      • With OLEVI

      Leadership Project

      • Build on pilot project by delivering CPD to colleagues on the chosen area of focus and widening the scale of the original project

      Getting into teaching

      The RIS 2021 cohort is our final group of participants and we will sadly not be recruiting for any future trainees.

      If you are a PhD researcher who is interested in getting into teaching and were hoping to train through RIS, here is some information on alternatives and commonly asked questions.

      If you have any further questions, then please do contact us at

      How can I become a qualified teacher?

      There are several routes into teaching, which are laid out here:

      How can I fund my teacher training?

      You may be eligible for a bursary.

      More information on the amounts and details of eligibility can be found here:

      Additionally, some training route options will pay you a salary in line with the national standardised payment scale for unqualified teachers. The amounts vary by location and can be found here:

      What qualifications do I need?

      In addition to your degree, you would be required to have level 4s or Cs in GCSE English, Maths and Science (primary teaching only).

      If you studied outside of England and have equivalent qualifications, these also fulfil the qualification requirements.

      More information on international equivalency can be found here:

      Do I need to have experience of teaching in a school to be able to train?

      School experience is not a requirement for undergoing teacher training. It is a valuable opportunity to get an insight to the profession and is highly recommended. Guidance on how to arrange school experience can be found in the following links:

      General info: