Programme Overview

The RIS programme offers a tailored route into teaching exclusively for PhD graduates.


The programme is specifically designed to utilise your academic expertise to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. We place participants in non-selective state secondary schools across England, in partnership with a number of teacher training providers. 

The programme is designed to run over two years. At the end of the first year you will achieve Qualified Teacher Status, the national qualification that allows you to teach in any state school in England and Wales.

During the two years of the programme you will have protected time to complete our Research Leader in Education Award, equivalent to half a day per week. Throughout the programme you will also have the support of a dedicated Programme Officer who will provide regular one-to-one coaching and support.

Year 1: Becoming a teacher and sharing your PhD 

Teacher Training Overview 

Train with your ITE provider, working towards achieving Qualified Teacher Status. Spend the rest of your time in the classroom, building up your teaching expertise through a structured programme of observation, advice and feedback.

The Research Leader in Education

Use your protected time to deliver Uni Pathways, a tutorial course designed by you and based on your PhD. This course is delivered to students to improve their understanding of university and high-level academic study.

Year 2: Increasing your impact

Teacher Training

Begin your first Newly-Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, benefiting from training that forms part of the national Early Career Framework (ECF), a structured package of professional development for teachers in England. To reflect your experience, you’ll see an increase in your timetabled teaching capacity while continuing to receive support from your subject mentor, colleagues and RIS programme officer.

The Research Leader in Education

Create and pilot an education research project. The project will be designed to positively impact pupil attainment using the latest education research. Receive on-going professional development training provided by The Brilliant Club and our partners. Receive additional leadership training throughout the year

Pre-Year 1: Summer training

To ensure you can hit the ground running in Year 1, you’ll attend our summer training induction course in August 2021. This training programme is facilitated by education experts from The Brilliant Club and the wider education profession. Here, you’ll meet the rest of your cohort and those who are already on the programme, allowing you to build a network of like-minded, education-focused researchers who can share their learning and experience with you. Topics covered at summer training include: making the career transition into secondary education, designing your Uni Pathways course, and widening participation strategies.

Note: Summer training is usually held as a residential event but, due to the ongoing global pandemic, this is subject to change. We will provide more details on this nearer the time.

Programme FAQS

Where can I teach? 

Because we aim to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds who go on to study at highly-selective universities, we have a particular focus on areas where these challenges are greatest. Being placed in one of these areas means that your work can have the greatest impact possible, not only on pupils’ achievement but also on the schools and the wider community that you’ll become a part of.

Our application form gives you the opportunity to name up to three major towns or cities that best represent where you would like to work. We then aim to place you with a provider that can offer a placement in one of these areas. We encourage candidates to be as flexible as possible when filling out their regional preferences on our application form. As the demand from schools fluctuates throughout the year as their workforces change, it is important to remember that we cannot guarantee placement in any school, though we’ll always do our utmost to find you a placement in an area that works for you.

What subjects can I teach?

Researchers in Schools participants can teach in any of the following English Baccalaureate (EBacc) subjects. These are: 

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • Modern Languages
  • Chemistry
  • Geography
  • History
  • Classics (Latin/Greek)

As the RIS programme gives pupils the opportunity to learn from teachers who are experts in their field, we require candidates to teach the subject most closely associated with their doctoral studies. If you feel there is potentially more than one subject that is suitable for you (interdisciplinary scientists or engineers, for example), please feel free to contact us via to discuss. 

How many places are there for each subject? 

The specific number of placements for each subject will depend on the demand expressed by our partner schools and therefore may fluctuate throughout the year. Therefore, we advise participants to apply as early as possible to stand the best chance of securing a place on the programme.