FAQs
for
researchers

If you have a question about becoming a Scholars Programme tutor, the answer may be below.

How long will it take to complete the application form?

The application form should take no more than 1 hour to complete. We do ask that you explain, in as much detail as you can, your motivation for working as a Scholars Programme tutor and what experience and skills you will bring to the role.

What’s the deadline for applying?

Our application cycle is rolling, so you can submit your application at any time. However, our main assessment centre windows are in May/ June (for Autumn and Spring term placements) and November/ December (for Summer term placements).

 

  • If you want to work in the Autumn or Spring term, please apply by 26 June
  • If you want to work in the Summer term, please apply by 30 October

What are you looking for in an application form?

We are looking for applications that demonstrate motivation to support students from underrepresented groups to access university, and clear evidence of the following qualities:

  • Mission alignment – an understanding of and affinity with The Brilliant Club mission
  • Communication skills – good written English; the ability to communicate with a range of audiences
  • Professionalism – understanding of the importance of working within the expectations of the schools you would be placed in; a commitment to upholding the reputation of the charity to deliver high quality placements in our schools.
  • Reflectiveness – examples of your ability to recognise your own areas for development and adapt based on feedback from experts

We do not expect PhD tutors to have experience of working with young people already, though this is of course welcomed, as we provide thorough pedagogical training to all successful applicants.

You can find further guidance for completing an application form in our Application Guidance for Tutors.

What happens at Assessment Centre?

At Assessment Centre, you will be asked to do three things:

  1. Teach an 8-minute mini tutorial
  2. Write a self-evaluation to reflect upon your tutorial
  3. A short interview (15-20 minutes)

If you are invited to Assessment Centre, we will send you detailed guidance to help you to prepare.

Can I work for you if I am not a UK citizen?

Yes, as long as you have Right to Work in the UK. You will have to bring the relevant documentation, in the form of physical documents, to prove this to your assessment centre.

Do you sponsor visas?

No, we cannot sponsor visas.

Does this count towards my Tier 4 visa limit for working hours?

A placement with us does count as paid work; you should check the government policy guidance to ensure you understand the limit for your specific situation.

What’s the time commitment/hourly pay/ how many hours is a placement?

We pay a stipend of £500 per placement delivered, with an additional £100 when you create a new (self-designed) course and complete your first placement (i.e. a total of £600 for that placement).

For each placement you are required to:

  • Attend a launch trip (usually from 9.30am-3.30pm)
  • Run a subsequent 6 tutorials in school (2 hours weekly)

As a guide, you should expect to work between 40 and 55 hours over the course of a placement – longer if it is your first placement delivering a self-designed course. Under no circumstances do we expect you to spend more than 60 hours working on any single placement.

What if I’m not available to work straight away?

That’s fine. If you are successful at assessment centre, we will send you a termly availability form to check whether you would like to work that term.

How far will I have to travel to get to the school?

Our team will endeavour to place you at a school which is in a reasonable distance from your home address (usually no more than an hour away), and will check with you before placing you at a school to ensure it is convenient for you to get to. Some of our tutors travel a fairly long way to school placements, and others work at schools very close to home. This is dependent on which schools we work with in your area.

We will pay travel expenses to and from your school placements, so cost should not be a limiting factor.

What training do you offer/ what happens at a training weekend?

The Brilliant Club runs three training weekends for PhD tutors a year, usually in September, November and late February. These training events are run in parallel at three regional locations. The dates and locations are advertised well in advance. 

The training consists of core pedagogy modules, individual support to help you design your own course, and elective modules that you can select to suit your needs.

New PhD tutors are required to attend a full training weekend (both days). If you return to work with us on subsequent placements, you must attend at least one day of training each academic year to complete their Continuous Professional Development sessions – these are always on a Sunday.  

Can I do more than one placement?

Yes, many of our PhD tutors run multiple placements in one term or return to work with us each term or year.

What happens if I have field work in the middle of a placement?

You will need to ensure you can commit to a full placement, as outlined above, before you agree to work in any given term. Once we have agreed dates with you and the school, these cannot be amended as the school will have made arrangements for the programme to run within this time frame.

What skills would I develop?

Working with The Brilliant Club enables researchers to develop communication skills, as they disseminate their research to a non-specialist audience, gain valuable teaching and public engagement experience and deepen their knowledge of the UK education system.

Further details about the skills developed are evidenced in our Researcher Development Case Study.

Will we be expected to understand the school curriculum?

No, we will provide thorough training to all successful candidates, and will ensure you understand the aspects of the curriculum that are relevant for your role.

What if I haven’t been educated in the UK?

That’s fine! We welcome applications from researchers of all nationalities, and believe it is a real strength of our programme that school pupils are working with tutors from all over the world. We run training sessions about the UK education system as part of our training weekends, for any tutors who feel this will better equip them to work in a UK school.

Can I select which age group I work with?

You will be placed at the school that you are best suited to in terms of location and subject requirements, and the age group you work with will usually be determined by the term in which you choose to work.

If there is a particular age group you would prefer, please apply to work in the most relevant term, and inform your programme officer.

  • In the Autumn and Spring terms, our PhD tutors will normally deliver their own programmes to pupils in Key Stage 4 (years 9 and 10), who are aged 13-15, and Key Stage 5 (year 12), who are aged 16-17.
  • In the Summer term, our PhD tutors normally deliver pre-designed programmes to pupils in Key Stage 2 (years 5 and 6), who are aged 9-11, and Key Stage 3, who are aged 11-13.

How are the pupils selected? Why did you pick your selection criteria?

We ask that schools select at least 55% of their group to meet at least one of our targeting criteria:

  1. Eligible for pupil premium funding (funds allocated to schools to provide additional support for pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds)
  2. No parental history of higher education
  3. Living in postcodes that are in the lowest 2 quintiles of the IDACI postcode data (an indicator of deprivation)

This is to ensure we reach a broad range of pupils who are currently underrepresented at UK universities.

How are schools selected?

We work with any non-selective state schools in the UK who would like to take part.

Who pays for the programme? / Why do schools have to pay?

Schools have to pay a contribution to the programme to cover our costs; schools do not charge individual pupils, and often use a government ‘pupil premium’ fund, which is designed to support the academic progress of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

When will placements start if schools aren’t open in September/ what are your plans to adapt in light of COVID-19?

We are awaiting government guidance about schools reopening and will be led by this. We hope to start placements as usual in the Autumn term but will be in contact with all tutors if this changes. We ask for your availability each term, so in the event of any delay to placements starting we would ask for your upcoming availability again.