Our Application Process

Researchers in Schools is delivered by The Brilliant Club in partnership with sector-leading initial teacher education (ITE) providers. The first step is to complete our application form, which  The Brilliant Club will assess. The next stage is to invite you to a first-round interview. Candidates who are successful at this stage can then be recommended to one of our ITE provider’s assessment centres. Assessment centres are held by ITE providers, with the provider and The Brilliant Club making a joint decision on whether to accept candidates and offer them a place on both RIS and the ITE provider’s School Direct training programme. 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 at our offices. 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.


Offer and Placement

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.

At the end of the recruitment period, there may be a clearing process, in which current vacancies are made available to all suitable pooled candidates.

The more flexible you can be the easier the process of finding a suitable school for you will be.


Onboarding and Summer Training

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

It is important to bear in mind that you are still being assessed at this point and we expect you to embody the key competencies we look for throughout onboarding and summer training.

Where candidates fail to meet these expectations at any stage in the recruitment process, their offer to join the programme may be withdrawn.

Notes to 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, please email apply@researchersinschools.org.


Programme Design and Structure

Find out more about how the programme is structured across all three years, including your training year

Programme Overview


Research Leader in Education Award

Running alongside your classroom teaching duties, the RLE is a three-year award that is built around your unique skill set

The RLE Award