Eligibility and FAQs

Below are the eligibility criteria for the RIS programme. The first section of our application form deals with eligibility and will ask you to confirm a few statements, and these are explained below.

If you have any questions related to the eligibility criteria, or wish to discuss your circumstances with a member of the recruitment team, please contact us on 0207 939 1947 or email apply@researchersinschools.org.

Our Eligibility Criteria

To train to be a teacher in England, you require the following (see The Department for Education’s Website for more details):

  • You’ll need to demonstrate GCSE grade C / 4 (or standard equivalent) in mathematics and English. We, together with your training provider, will decide whether you meet this entry criteria. If you don’t, we may require you to sit a GCSE equivalency test or offer other evidence to demonstrate your ability.
  • You need to have a degree (or equivalent qualification). For equivalent qualifications, you’ll need to confirm your qualification is equivalent to a degree. Your chosen training provider may able to help you with this.
  • If all or part of your qualifications are from outside the UK, you may be asked to formally recognise any overseas qualifications through UK NARIC. You can compare overseas qualifications to the British degree standard on GOV.UK.
  • You must not already hold QTS or QTLS

Therefore, to train on the programme, you must meet all of the above criteria. Additionally, we require the following:

  • You must have a PhD in an area of study closely related to the subject you wish to teach. For a list of subjects, click here.
  • You must have a desire to work towards the RIS programme aims: to increase and disseminate subject expertise, to promote research-based practice in schools and to champion university access,

Eligibility FAQs

I haven’t fully completed my doctorate yet, can I still apply?

This depends on the routes you have a preference for (see the Your Teacher Training section):

  • For anyone on the bursary route, you must have completed your viva before 1st August 2019. If you have outstanding corrections after this date, you will need to discuss this with a member of our team.
  • To be considered for the salaried route, you must have completed your thesis, viva and any outstanding corrections before 1st August 2019. Here, the requirements are stricter to reflect the challenge and workload of the salaried route.

Can international/non-EEA applicants apply for the programme?

We welcome applications from overseas candidates, provided they can meet the above requirements. Your eligibility for the programme will also vary by the route you take:

Bursary Route

For the bursary route, you would need to secure the right to work independently as sponsorship is not available on this route. Those who gain the right to work for Year 1 via the Doctorate Extension Scheme should be able to undertake the bursary route, though securing sponsorship from a school would be necessary for progression to Years 2 and 3 of the programme, unless you are able to gain the right to work by other methods in the meantime.

Salaried Route

Limited placements are available to candidates successful in being awarded a placement on the salaried programme to teach a subject listed as a shortage occupation that also meets the minimum salary threshold for sponsorship (currently £20,800). This includes:

Maths and Physics– All regions
Chemistry*, Biology*, Computing and Mandarin – Inner London placements only (see Information on Regional Salaries section)

*Where an element of physics is taught

Some schools may be in a position to sponsor successful international candidates, but this is on a case-by-case basis and cannot be guaranteed. As participants are employed by their school, not Researchers in Schools, Researchers in Schools itself is unable to sponsor visa and work permit applications. Applicants may also be liable for costs incurred as part of the sponsorship process. Please refer to GOV.UK for more information.

Due to the fact that not all of our partner schools are able to sponsor candidates, we may require those who need sponsorship to be more geographically flexible when considering where they can be placed.

Can I apply to teach a foreign language if I’m a native speaker but my PhD is in another subject?

To be considered for the programme, you must hold a PhD in the subject you wish to teach. Therefore candidates who only have knowledge of a language through being a native speaker wouldn’t meet this requirement and, instead, should apply to teach the subject of their PhD. Candidates who should be eligible to teach a foreign language would include those with a PhD in the language/literature of the language they wish to teach.

Can I apply if I already hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) or an equivalent such as QTLS?

Unfortunately not. RIS is a teacher-training route and therefore can only consider those who do not already have QTS or QTLS. For international applicants, you may be eligible to gain QTS through your undergraduate degree. In this instance, it is imperative you do not apply for QTS through this route, as gaining QTS that way will make you ineligible to join the RIS programme.