Benefits for Participants

The RIS programme offers a host of benefits that help our researchers bring their expertise into the classroom.

Unique Benefits to Participants 

  • Access to the Research Leader in Education award 
  • Off-timetable, protected time to work towards completing the RLE award 
  • Honorary Research Associate status at a research-intensive university 
  • Recognised teaching qualifications and excellent opportunities for career progression 
  • Attractive pension options 

You can find out more about these unique features below. 

The Research Leader in Education Award 

Protected time to complete our unique professional award 

  • To help you make the most of your skills and experience, you’ll work towards the Research Leader in Education award – a fully-funded, two-year programme of professional development for teachers on the RIS programme. To help you achieve this, you’ll have the equivalent of half a day per week of protected time to work towards the charity’s mission. This will include delivering Uni Pathways in your first year, as well as focusing on education research in Year 2. 
  • To support you along the way, you will have a dedicated Programme Officer who will provide you with one-to-one mentoring and coaching. 
  • More information on the RLE can be found here. 

Honorary Research Associate Status 

Provided by King’s College London and the University of Southampton.

As part of the programme, you’ll automatically receive Honorary Research Associate (HRA) status, giving you the opportunity to maintain an independent research profile. It also provides you with an academic network that you can use to work towards the charity’s mission. This could include running university access activities to support your Uni Pathways course, or to help expose your pupils to university-level facilities and resources. 

Your HRA status will be awarded by a leading, UK-based university and includes the following features: 

  • Permission to use your title and the name of the university when publishing work 
  • Access to libraries and online resources 
  • A link to the Graduate School, research groups and faculties 
  • Access to counselling and support services 
  • Training opportunities on research methods and resources, as well as on widening participation to university 

Salary, Pension and Progression 

On the RIS programme, you’ll receive a competitive funding package while you train and a full salary once you qualify. As you progress through the programme and your career, there will be opportunities to take on departmental or leadership responsibilities, which can increase your earnings. When you’re employed as a teacher, you’ll also be eligible to join the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. The scheme is amongst the most attractive pension packages available and provides a number of benefits. More on this can be found at 

Maths and physics participants on the salaried route are also automatically eligible for a government-sponsored salary uplift in Years 1 and 2 through the Department for Education’s Chairs Programme. 

94% of those who complete the programme remain in teaching

45% of RIS alumni have a leadership role in their school

Recognised Qualifications 

Gaining Qualified Teacher Status through the RIS programme will allow you to teach in any maintained school in England and Wales and will make it easier to apply for QTS in Scotland or Northern Ireland. Beyond this, many of our ITE providers allow you to also study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) whilst on the RIS programme, providing you with an additional, internationally-recognised qualification.