BERA Doctoral Thesis Award

Every year BERA recognises academic excellence and rigour in research by a Doctoral student. This underscores BERA’s commitment to developing capacity, advancing quality and methodological originality within the field of educational research.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominators/proposers and the person/s being nominated should be fully paid up members of BERA at the time of nominations.
  • The institution at which the student submitted their dissertation should have confirmed the degree awarded by 31st December 2018; i.e this award is awarded to education students who have completed their doctorate in the previous year (2018).


  • £500
  • A 1,000 word double page spread of their paper to be featured in Research Intelligence.
  • A complimentary registration at BERA Conference 2018.
  • A BERA Blog


Nominations will be scored by a BERA selection panel. The panel’s judgement will be framed by the following criteria:

  • Research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity
  • New area of research
  • Methodological originality
  • Significant conceptual or theoretical contribution to its field
  • (Potential) impact for policy-makers, practitioners and other research users

The 2018 competition is now closed. The 2019 competition will open Summer 2018.



2017 Award

The 2017 Winner of the BERA Doctoral Thesis Award is Sophina Choudry (University of Manchester) for her dissertation: Mathematics Capital in the Classroom and Wider Educational Field: Intersections of Ethnicity, Gender and Social Class.







The abstract for her thesis is below:

“The problem addressed by this thesis is manifold: (a) how to model the ‘found’ relationships between intersecting categorical variables and academic mathematics attainment, and how these affect policy (e.g. on ethnicity and EAL); (b) theorising these models in relation to Bourdieu’s theory of practice and capital, especially, in classrooms and peer groups; and (c) negotiating the meaning of student’s social backgrounds (i.e. interactions of ethnic, gender and social class) in school and classroom policy discourses and practices and so the relation between students’ backgrounds and relationships with mathematics in classrooms.”

Many congratulations to Sophina and keep an eye on the BERA Blog and Research Intelligence for summaries of her research.