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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

  • The applicant should be a fully paid up member 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 2021; i.e this award is awarded to education students who have completed their doctorate in the previous year (2021).


  • £500
  • Your research presented as a BERA Blog
  • Complimentary registration at BERA Conference 2022.

Application Details

Application for the award should consist of

  1. A submitted nomination via the ‘apply now’ button (above left)
  2. Supporting documents
    1. An abstract of the thesis
    2. The thesis
    3. A supporting statement emailed directly to BERA  from your supervisor (600 words)
    4. A headshot we can use on the BERA website

 After submitting your application using the ‘apply now’ button above please email these documents to PDFs will not be accepted.


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)
  • Novelty of research area
  • Methodological originality
  • Significant conceptual or theoretical contribution
  • Potential impact of research (for practitioners, policy-makers and other research users such as children and young people)


2021 Winner

Thesis: Imaginative travellers in-situ: A case study of Chinese students at a UK transnational Higher Education institution

Jingran Yu

Jingran Yu won the BERA 2021 Doctoral Thesis Award for her thesis "Imaginative travellers in-situ: A case study of Chinese students at a UK transnational Higher Education institution" You can read the abstract below: This thesis explores the...

2020 Winner

Thesis: Learner-Centred Pedagogy and its Implications for Pupils’ Schooling Experiences and Learning Outcomes: A Mixed-Methods Case Study in Tanzania

Nozomi Sakata

UCL Institute of Education

Nozomi Sakata teaches at the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), UCL Institute of Education, co-leading online modules in MA Education and International Development and MA Education, Gender and International...

2019 Winner

Yasamin Alkhansa, Dr

University of Sussex

Yasamin completed her PhD at Center for International Education (CIE) at Universy of Sussex, in September 2018. Her thesis, supervised by Prof. Mario Novelli and Prof. Yusuf Sayed, explored the politics of teaching history in the Islamic Republic...

2018 Winner

Arunthathi Mahendran, Dr

Goldsmiths’ College, University of London

Arunthathi Mahendran was awarded the 2018 BERA Doctoral Thesis Award for her thesis Surgeon Education, Engaging with the Immanence of Events Of Practice: An Exploration of the Ontological and Ethical Dimensions of Surgical Training and...

2017 Winner

Sophina Choudry, Dr

University of Manchester

Sophina Choudry was awarded the 2017 BERA Doctoral Thesis Award for her thesis: Mathematics Capital in the Classroom and Wider Educational Field: Intersections of Ethnicity, Gender and Social Class. The abstract for her thesis is...