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 state secondary schools across England, in partnership with number of teacher training providers.

The programme is designed to run over three 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. For the remaining two years of the programme you will be employed as an early career teacher and spend four days a week teaching.

During the three years of the programme you will spend one day a week completing our Research Leader in Education Award. Throughout the programme you will also have the support of a dedicated Programme Officer who will provide regular one-to-one mentoring and coaching.

The Three-Year RIS Programme

Year 1: Becoming a teacher and sharing your PhD

Teacher Training

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 RLE day – one day of protected time per week – 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

Complete your Newly-Qualified Teacher (NQT) year, building on your training and teaching four days per week. Continue 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 underpinned by Master’s level education research in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University and will be worth 30 Master’s credits. Receive on-going professional development training provided by The Brilliant Club and our partners.

Year 3: Leading pupil impact

Teacher Training

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

The Research Leader in Education

Refine, evaluate and expand your Year 2 education research project. Increase the impact of your project 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 2020. 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.

Other teacher training routes only take one year - why is RIS a three-year programme?

The initial teacher training part of the RIS programme leading to Qualified Teacher Status takes a year to complete (as it does for many other teacher training programmes) however RIS is much more than a teaching qualification. It offers continuous, structured professional development opportunities across three years, which form part of our unique award: The Research Leader in Education.

The activities and projects you will undertake on the RLE are designed to harness the subject and knowledge and research expertise you have, as well as your growing secondary teaching expertise, to benefit the school community in which you work. As your teaching knowledge grows, so too does the scope of the RLE projects, ensuring that you have a clear framework within which to learn and develop, whilst helping you to make a real impact early in your teaching career. We believe that by supporting you to be part of a network of like-minded people and providing you with dedicated, personalised support throughout your transition into a secondary school teaching career, you will be well placed to making a lasting impact on young people.

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.

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)

Apply Now

Head to our applications page and start on the journey to using your PhD and making a difference to young people.

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