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BERA Small Grants Fund 2023/2024: Education in a digital age: Perspectives from policy and practice

BERA Council is pleased to issue a call for the BERA Small Grants Fund 2023/2024. This year the theme for proposals is "Education in a digital age: perspectives from policy and practice"

BERA Council is pleased to issue a call for the BERA Small Grants Fund 2023/2024.

This year the theme for proposals is

Education in a digital age: perspectives from policy and practice

Through our Small Grants Fund, BERA awards funding annually to research on a different, pressing theme each year, with the intention that each project will:

  • make important contributions to the discipline by contributing to and leading current debates
  • develop research capacity by involving postgraduate students and early career researchers
  • receive applications from and involving practitioners and policymakers as well as academic researchers.

The value of each individual award is up to £5,000 and BERA has budgeted for funding of up to three projects.

This year’s funding is designed to allow awardees to explore different aspects of the way in which digital technology and practices are changing education with a particular emphasis on how this impacts on practitioners and policy-makers. To that end, we would particularly welcome proposals that build collaboration between researchers and those in a policy or practice situation. Educational researchers in any context, or at any career stage are invited to apply. One project will be ringfenced for submissions where the project lead is an Early Career Researcher.

The key output will be a final report of between 2,000-3,000 words to be published by BERA (previous examples from recent small grants funds can be found here) . Recipients of the funding would also be expected to write at least one BERA Blog on the subject of their research and are strongly encouraged to submit their work to present at the BERA Conference in 2024. We may also consider holding bespoke events on the subject of each or collectively. The timetable is outlined below.

Criteria for assessment

Proposals should be submitted on a proforma (see below) and each proposal will be judged as to how well the aims and objectives of the proposed research address the priority theme and are rigorous in their approach. Applications will be scored in the first instance by BERA’s College of Reviewers and assessed as to:

  • Originality, potential contribution to knowledge and the extent that the proposed project demonstrates innovation potential
  • Quality of research design and methods including the soundness of the concept, and credibility of the proposed methodology
  • Relevance to the theme chosen by BERA
  • Significance of outputs, dissemination and impact – the extent to which the outputs of the project would contribute to each of the expected impacts mentioned
  • Value for money – both the direct costs and the potential to bring in other resources through collaboration

BERA reserves the right not to award a grant if insufficient quality proposals are submitted. All applicants must be a current individual member of BERA and where possible, teams of researchers should include an early career researcher. This award will be judged in the first instance by the BERA College of Reviewers, with members of Leadership Committee making the final decision. In line with our wider discussions on equality and diversity, the ethnicity, gender and institutional affiliation of all applications will be collected and monitored.

We regret that as a small-scale funder, and a registered charity relying on the volunteer labour of our members, BERA is not able to offer feedback on individual applications and correspondence will not be entered into.


  • 23 February 2023 – Award opens for submisions 
  • 29 May 2023 – deadline for submissions
  • July 2023 – final awards made and research to commence
  • November 2023 –project update interim report provided to BERA
  • March 2024 – final report submitted to BERA

The specific approach and methodology will be for each project to agree for itself at the point of application. We expect there to be tangible outcome of each proposal.

BERA would like these projects to help the discipline, potentially working alongside practitioners and policymakers, to contribute to and lead current debates.  It should be noted that we wish to encourage the development of research capacity through involving postgraduate students and early career researchers.

Research Ethics
The host organisation is responsible for ensuring that ethical issues relating to the research project are identified and brought to the attention of the relevant approval or regulatory body. Approval to undertake the research must be granted before any work requiring approval begins. Ethical issues should be interpreted broadly and may encompass, among other things, relevant codes of practice, the involvement of human participants, tissue or data in research, the use of animals, research that may result in damage to the environment and the use of sensitive economic, social or personal data. The BERA Ethical Guidelines can be found at:

How to apply

  1. Please complete the attached application form. 

    Then, please click here to submit your application and upload the form to our system.

    You must rename the file LAST NAME. FIRST NAME. SMALL GRANT.

    Files without this naming convention will not be accepted.

    Deadline: 12pm on May 29, 2023.