The Application Process

The Researchers in Schools application process is specially designed to be efficient and easy to follow, whilst ensuring you have lots of opportunities to prove you’re a great fit for the programme.

Please note: Applications to the RIS Programme for 2021 are now closed.


The Researchers in Schools application process is specially designed to be efficient and easy to follow, whilst ensuring you have lots of opportunities to prove you’re a great fit for the programme. To this end, our recruitment team are always on hand to provide information and support on the next step in the journey as you progress.

Throughout the process we will be looking to assess your potential to be an excellent teacher and a successful Researchers in Schools participant. There are eight key competencies that we are assessing in addition to ensuring you are suitable for a career in teaching. 


Application Form 

The application form is the first step in the application process. It helps us to assess your suitability for the programme, as well as collect the required personal information for your registration. 

In many subjects and regions, places may fill up before the end of the recruitment cycle. We advise you to apply early to ensure the best chance of being matched to an assessment centre that meets your preferences. 

If your application meets our success criteria, it will be held in a pool until we match you to a suitable assessment centre based on your preferred region and subject. 

First-Round Interview 

The next step in the process in a first-round interview. This is an opportunity for us to find out a little more about you and your interest in the programme. You’ll also have to opportunity to hear from us and ask any questions you might have. 

At the end of this interview, we will make a decision on your suitability for the programme and which training route(s) you are eligible for. We will inform your of the outcome of the interview shortly afterwards and if you are successful we’ll discuss next steps with you. 

UCAS Application 

Once a decision has been reached on the route you will take, you’ll be required to complete a short UCAS application to register you with the ITE provider who will conduct the next part of the assessment and, if you are successful, will be your training provider for Year 1. 

The UCAS application requires you to nominate references, who will be contacted before you are invited to an assessment centre. The application will not be complete until your referees return their references so you may have to chase these up quickly, as you cannot proceed without them. 

Assessment Centre 

These day-long assessments will take place at a school or training venue in the ITE provider’s network. The requirements of the assessment centre may vary across providers, but this would usually include: 

  • a mini-lesson on a given subject 
  • a self-evaluation of your mini-lesson 
  • a group activity with other candidates 
  • a one-to-one or panel interview with the assessment team 

If your application is considered by more than one ITE provider, you may need to attend more than one assessment centre. You may also be required to attend an interview at a school following your assessment centre. 

Conditional Offer and Onboarding 

If you are successful at the assessment centre stage, you will be made a conditional offer to join the RIS programme. 

The ITE provider that assessed you will liaise with placement schools within its network to find a placement based on your preferred region and subject. 

Once a school placement has been found, we will begin the onboarding process. This will support you to satisfy the conditions of your offer and undertake the necessary preparations for summer training in August and starting school in September. 

The more flexible you can be, the easier it will be to find a suitable school for you. 

Summer Training 

In August, you will be invited to our two-week summer training induction. Here, you’ll meet the rest of your cohort and get to grips with the first year of the programme. You can read more about summer training here.

It is important to bear in mind that you are still being assessed at this point and we’re still keen to see you embody the key competencies we look for throughout summer training, as well as throughout your time on the programme. 


Notes on the application process 

As the demand for schools fluctuates across the year, requests are subject to change and, for a limited number of cases, we are not able to guarantee that candidates will pass from one stage of the process to the next, even where they meet the criteria required at that stage. Naturally, we do our utmost to ensure that this does not occur, to ensure that we are placing as many committed subject experts into schools as possible. Should you have any questions about your place in the process, or any concerns about your progress, you can reach us by emailing or by calling 0208 194 1629.