Leader in Education

The Research Leader in Education Award is a fully-funded, three-year programme of professional development for teachers on the RIS programme.

This award has been designed by experts to optimise the skills that you have gained from your PhD and maximise the impact you have on the pupils that you teach. To help support you, you’ll have one day per week of protected time to work towards this – this is your RLE day. 

We have worked with sector-leading partners to establish this award, which will support you in your career progression and professional development, including developing as a leader of research in school. Upon successful completion of the award, you will have gained 30 Masters’ credits from Sheffield Hallam Institute of Education, as well as vital experience in leadership training to help you increase and develop your teaching skill set. 

Year 1: Becoming a teacher and sharing your PhD 

Career Transition 

One of our priorities at the start of the programme is to help you make the transition from academia to teaching in a non-selective state school. To do this, you’ll be supported with training on concepts such as university access and educational research that will equip you to the deliver the interventions and projects that form the RLE. 

Uni Pathways 

To ensure your research has the maximum effect in your school, you’ll deliver our Uni Pathways programme alongside your main classroom teaching. Uni Pathways is a one-year programme that you will design to support a small group of pupils to increase their chances of attending a highly-selective university. 

You’ll deliver a series of university-style tutorials to them based on your PhD, structured through a pupil workbook that you design.  This enables your pupils to develop their subject knowledge and confidence. As your tutorials are based on your PhD, you will tailor pupils’ learning to your field of expertise and have the freedom to make the course your own. 

Year 2: Increasing your impact 

Research-informed pilot project 

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research and development project, the aim of which is down to you: you can focus on an intervention to increase your pupils’ subject expertise, drawing on your in-depth knowledge of your discipline, or you might choose to focus on widening participation – helping to increase the number of your pupils progressing to highly-selective universities. 

Whichever option you choose, you’ll create a portfolio of evidence that will be submitted for accreditation by Sheffield Hallam University – a highly-respected university with one of the largest education departments in the country. This project will be worth 30 Master’s credits and will form a basis for the research-informed leadership project that you will run in Year 3. 

Year 3: Leading pupil impact 

Research-informed Leadership Project 

Using the findings and experience from your pilot project, you’ll now refine and deliver a pupil-focused intervention to help improve the outcomes for a group of pupils in your school.  To maximise the impact of your work, you’ll also design and deliver sessions for other members of staff in your school to help develop and enhance their knowledge. To help you to deliver these continuing professional development (CPD) sessions, you will receive additional leadership training spread throughout the year from experts in the field.