Small Grants

Small Grants Scheme 2023

Teachers, Teaching and Teacher Education: Trajectories, Threats and Transformations

The Society for Educational Studies invites bids from researchers interested in making an original contribution to knowledge in the field of educational studies on the theme: Teachers, Teaching and Teacher Education: Trajectories, Threats and Transformations. Applicants applying for these grants must be affiliated with a British university and will be asked to become members of the SES if they are not already members. (Membership fee for 2023 is £30 [£20 students]). Small Grants are awarded with the purpose of stimulating new and insightful research in education.

In this 2023 round, the Society is looking to award a maximum of two grants of up to £10,000 each and a maximum of two grants of up to £20,000 each. Each award will be for one year (starting between 1st June-1st September 2023).



The role, work and status of teachers, including their preparation and continuing professional development, remains in a condition of paradox. On the one hand, teachers are one of the most – if not the most – significant factor impacting on children and young people’s educational experiences, attainment and outcomes. Everyone remembers a good teacher. On one reading, teachers are autonomous professionals who require and exhibit not just technical knowledge or subject knowledge, but who act ethically, operate in loco parentis and who use their professional judgement and wisdom for the good of those in their care. This understanding of the teacher requires teachers to have a positive sense of their profession and to think deeply about what education is for, what constitutes a good education and, indeed, the place of education in what it means to live a good life. The very importance of teachers and teaching as transformative has been recognised internationally

Yet, on the other hand, teachers, teaching and teacher education exist in difficult times. A succession of government policies and agendas over at least the last 45 years (particularly in England) have increasingly viewed teachers as civil servants and as deliverers of an at times narrowed curriculum. Teaching itself has often been constituted as a technical, de-contextualised and prescriptive activity, with teacher education increasingly taken out of universities and colleges of higher education in favour of more practically focused time in schools. Teacher recruitment and retention, including of school leaders, is in crisis in some areas of the United Kingdom.

Of course, the nature and extent of these changes have played out differently in the four nations of the United Kingdom, with rather different emphases and implications. In this complex and at times fraught context one of the key aims of the 2023 Awards is to encourage new research in the area, with fresh perspectives and themes. We especially encourage applications from early career academics. Successful applicants will be expected to present on a relevant theme of their award at the Society for Educational Studies’ 2023 annual colloquium to be held at Oriel College, Oxford, 7-8 September 2023.



The application form for grants is available electronically below.

Applications failing to adhere to the submission guidelines will not be considered. Applicants should ensure that the bids have appropriate and clear research aims and objectives. These should be realistic given the size of the grants offered through the scheme.

Please note that in relation to costings, the SES is not able to meet full economic costing on account of its charitable status. Non-FEC salary costs of up to a total of 50% of the total award will be considered in relation to an application. This may include payment for research-based activities which can be carried out by any person rather than a specific individual e.g. when undertaking interviews or preparing transcriptions. At the present time, the Society will not pay costs for open access publishing.

Completed application forms should be sent as a single pdf email attachment clearly headed ‘SES 2023 Awards application’ to Prof. Andrew Peterson ([email protected]), Prof. Hazel Bryan ([email protected]), and to Aidan Thompson ([email protected]). The deadline for applications is 17:00 hours on Wednesday 31st May 2023. Late applications will not be considered.

Applicants are required to provide:

  • the names of two academic referees; and
  • a letter of support from their educational institution.

Applicants are required to acknowledge the support of SES in any publications resulting from their research.

Successful awards will be expected to begin on 1st June 2023 [although this is negotiable].  Recipients are required to submit a progress report on their research within six months of the award being made. In addition, a final report should be submitted no later than six months after completion. Appropriate publications in academic and/or professional journals are expected as outputs from any project.

Applications will first be considered by the Awards Committee of SES, who will then make recommendations to the Executive Committee.

Applications cannot be considered for the following expenses:

  • Salary costs at full economic costing;
  • Supply cover for teachers or other educational workers involved in the project;
  • Any administrative overheads charged by educational institutions;
  • Equipment such as computers, tape or video recorders;
  • Conference fees or membership fees (including SES membership fees);
  • Registration, tuition or examination fees for diplomas or degrees;

Travel, subsistence and accommodation costs can only be considered for visits to educational institutions or settings directly connected with the research and should be clearly specified and costed in any application.

The decision of the Executive Committee is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding unsuccessful applications.

Successful applicants will be expected to attend the Society for Educational Studies’ 2023 Annual Colloquium to be held at Oriel College, Oxford, September 7th-8th 2023. Where possible, grantees will be asked to submit a proposal to speak.


Details of the previous 2020 Anniversary Small Grant Awards are available here.

Reports relating to previously-funded projects are available to view below.

Final Report Downloads

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