Programme Overview

Why does RIS exist?

In the UK today, there is an entrenched link between pupils’ background and their access to higher education. The UCAS Multiple Equality Measure shows that 1 in 4 of the most advantaged quintile of English 18-year-olds enter highly-selective universities compared to only 1 in 50 pupils from the most disadvantaged quintile.

1in 4

of the most advantaged quintile of 18-year-olds progress to a highly-selective university

1in 50

of the most disadvantaged quintile of 18-year-olds progress to a highly-selective university

The Researchers in Schools programme tackles this by mobilising the research community to become outstanding classroom teachers, as well as champions of evidence-informed practice and higher education.

Programme Structure

The RIS Programme offers a tailored route into teaching exclusively for PhD graduates. It is specifically designed to utilise your academic expertise to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. We place participants in non-selective secondary schools across England.

The programme is designed to run over three years: you’ll achieve qualified teacher status by the end of Year 1, completing our unique professional qualification, the Research Leader in Education award by the end of Year 3. Along the way, you’ll be supported to become an excellent new teacher and research leader, and have access to honorary research associate status at a selective university.

The Three-Year RIS Programme

Year 1: Becoming a teacher and sharing your PhD

Train one day per week with your regional ITE provider, working towards achieving Qualified Teacher Status, the qualification that allows you to teach in any state school in England and Wales.

Spend three days per week in the classroom, building up your teaching expertise through a structured programme of observation, advice and feedback.

Use your RLE day – one day of protected time per week – to deliver Uni Pathways, our pupil-focused widening participation intervention.

Year 2: Increasing your impact

Complete your Newly-Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, building on your training and now teaching four days per week.

Continue to take one day per week to pursue the RLE award, developing a research project worth 30 Master’s credits aimed at improving outcomes for pupils from under-represented backgrounds.

Receive on-going professional development training provided by The Brilliant Club and our partners.

Year 3: Leading pupil impact

Continue to teach four days per week .and use the expertise and experience you have developed to refine your teaching practice.

Complete the final year of the RLE, refining and up-scaling your Year 2 research project.

Increase the impact of your intervention by training other teachers in your school to deliver your research project. Receive additional leadership training throughout the year to help you do this.

Summer Training

To ensure you can hit the ground running in Year 1, you’ll attend our induction course, Summer Training, in August 2019. This residential 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 learnings 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.

More Information


The RLE Award

Find out more about the RLE award, a unique feature of the RIS programme that is delivered alongside your teacher training.

The RLE Award

Pupils in Tutorial_PERM(Y)

Want to find out more?

Read about what current RIS participants have done on the programme and how this has impacted their pupils and schools.

Case Studies