The Research Leader in Education Award (RLE)

The Research Leader in Education Award is a fully-funded, three-year programme of professional development for teachers on the RIS programme. This award has been designed by experts to optimise the skills that you have gained from your PhD and maximise the impact you have on the pupils that you teach. To help support you, you’ll have one day per week of protected time to work towards this – this is your RLE day.

We have worked with sector-leading partners to establish this award, which will support you in your career progression and professional development, including developing as a leader of research in school. Upon successful completion of the award, you will have gained 30 Masters’ credits from Sheffield Hallam Institute of Education, as well as vital experience in leadership training to help you increase and develop your teaching skill set.

"The RLE day allows me the opportunity to reflect on my teaching practices, and how best I can use educational research to inform and shape what I do."
Elaheh Gholami 2018 cohort
Elaheh Gholami

Harris Academy Battersea

Year 1: Becoming a teacher and sharing your PhD

Career Transition

One of our priorities at the start of the programme is to help you make the transition from academia to teaching in a non-selective state school. To do this, you’ll be supported with training on concepts such as university access and educational research that will equip you to the deliver the interventions and projects that form the RLE.

Uni Pathways
To ensure your research has the maximum effect in your school, you’ll deliver our Uni Pathways programme alongside your main classroom teaching. Uni Pathways is a one-year programme that you will design to support a small group of pupils to increase their chances of attending a highly-selective university.

You’ll deliver a series of university-style tutorials to them based on your PhD, structured through a pupil workbook that you design.  This enables your pupils to develop their subject knowledge and confidence. As your tutorials are based on your PhD, you will tailor pupils’ learning to your field of expertise and have the freedom to make the course your own.

Year 2: Increasing your impact

Research-informed pilot project

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research and development project, the aim of which is down to you: you can focus on an intervention to increase your pupils’ subject expertise, drawing on your in-depth knowledge of your discipline, or you might choose to focus on widening participation – helping to increase the number of your pupils progressing to highly-selective universities.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll create a portfolio of evidence that will be submitted for accreditation by Sheffield Hallam University – a highly-respected university with one of the largest education departments in the country. This project will be worth 30 Master’s credits and will form a basis for the research-informed leadership project that you will run in Year 3.

Year 3: Leading pupil impact

Research-informed Leadership Project

Using the findings and experience from your pilot project, you’ll now refine and deliver a pupil-focused intervention to help improve the outcomes for a group of pupils in your school.  To maximise the impact of your work, you’ll also design and deliver sessions for other members of staff in your school to help develop and enhance their knowledge. To help you to deliver these continuing professional development (CPD) sessions, you will receive additional leadership training spread throughout the year from experts in the field.

More Information


Teacher Training Information

The RLE is a key component of the RIS programme and is specifically tailored to help you make the most of your background. You’ll work on the RLE across all three years of the programme and alongside your teacher training. To find out more about the teacher training side of the the programme, including the routes available, click here.

Teacher Training


Our Application Process

To find out more about our application process, including what we look for and how your potential to train to teach is assessed, please visit our application process section. Alternatively, you can view our eligibility criteria or key competencies.

Application Process