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BERA Small Grants Fund

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 normally budgets for funding of up to three projects. In addition to the £5,000 award, if they are presenting their research at the BERA 2025 conference, the recipient will be able to claim back the cost of conference registration.  

Call for Applications: BERA Small Grants Fund 2024/2025 

For this year’s awards, BERA wishes to fund research focusing on the professional learning for teacher educators within the following four areas:  

  • teacher education for a multilingual/multicultural world
  • teacher education for a digital world
  • teacher education for resilience/wellbeing
  • teacher education for equality, diversity and inclusion.


The key output is a final report of between 2,000-3,000 words to be published by BERA . Recipients of the funding are also 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.

Educational researchers in any context, or at any career stage are invited to apply. 

Each small grants recipient will be appointed a member of council as a point of contact throughout the duration of the project.  

Criteria for assessment

Proposals are submitted on a proforma (see below) and each proposal is judged as to how well the aims and objectives of the proposed research address the priority theme (the professional learning for teacher educators) and are rigorous in their approach. 

Applications are 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 and dissemination for 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. 
  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion* – the extent to which equal opportunities are considered in the research team and for research participants 

*BERA’s work is based on building meaningful, enduring, and respectful relationships across different peoples and cultures. To do this successfully, requires a strong commitment to EDI and this commitment extends to all aspects of our work. When we talk about EDI at BERA, we mean treating people fairly, impartially and without bias creating conditions which encourage and value diversity, promote dignity and inclusion and a culturally sensitive approach.For more details see BERA’s Equality Policy

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.


BERA aims for these projects to make contributions to the discipline. Applicants are encouraged to identify audiences beyond teacher educators such as training teachers and policymakers to maximise its impact and contribution to debates.

Format for proposal  

Please download the project proposal form here

Format for the Final Report 

 The Final Report should not exceed 3000 words, excluding title and references. Estimates for word count are indicated per section to indicate the expected text balance.  

  • Executive summary (250 words) 
  • Introduction: provides background information to contextualise the project and a brief review of any relevant literature (400 words) 
  • Research design: sets out the research question(s) and methodology for the study (750 words) 
  • Findings & Discussion: presents the findings, analyses the results, and discusses policy and practice implications (1,200 words) 
  • Conclusions & recommendations: offers concluding remarks and next steps for consideration (400 words) 


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: 

If you require this application in a different format for accessibility reasons, please contact  


As these grants are designed to be both topical and themed alongside one another, the aim is to publish them concurrently to achieve maximum impact. Therefore, no extensions to the timetable will be granted. Should recipients not be able to adhere to this timetable, the funds will have to be returned to BERA.   

  • May 15 2024 – Deadline for proposals 
  • July 2024 – Final awards made
  • September 2024 – BERA Council advisor appointed
  • November 2024 – interim report and update provided to BERA 
  • 31 January 2025 – BERA Conference 2025 abstract submission deadline 
  • 1st June 2025 – Final Report submission
  • Summer 2025 – Public-facing report copyedited, designed and published.  
  • 9-11 September 2025 – BERA Conference 2025 (provisional dates) 

The primary applicant must be an upto date BERA Member. If you aren’t currently a member, you can join here.

To submit an application, please upload your completed proposal form here

Deadline: May 15, 2024


2023/2024: Education in a digital age: Perspectives from policy and practice

The 2023 funding was 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 particularly welcomed proposals that aimed to build collaboration between researchers and those in a policy or practice situation. Featured Item

The 2023/2024 funding recipients are:

  • Achala Gupta, University of Southampton, “When AI (Artificial Intelligence) Meets AI (Academic Integrity): Educational Opportunities and Challenges in a Digital Age
  • Carina Girvan, Trinity College Dublin , “An existential threat to education? A foundational study into educational stakeholder perspectives on generative AI in education
  • Lulu Shi, University of Oxford, “The political and economic agenda behind the push for digitalisation of education –perspectives from policy and EdTech actors
  • Michael Jopling, University of Brighton, “The (post) digital school: What is and what might be

2022/2023: Learning for All

The 2022/23  grants supported projects which examined educational provision in its widest sense that seeks to provide or enhance learning opportunities for all. These include interventions, approaches including pedagogical or curriculum approaches and other alternative provision.

The 2022/2023 funding recipients were:

  • Alice Bradbury, UCL Institute of Education: Food banks in schools: exploring the impact on children’s learning
  • Anna Lise Gordon, St Mary’s University: Grief Matters – exploring the impact of bereavement and grief on learning for all
  • Emma Clarke, Bishop Grosseteste University:‘Images from the edge’: Examining girls’ experiences of being at risk of permanent exclusion
  • Johny Daniel, University of Durham:  Identifying Pupils with Reading Disabilities: A Practitioner Survey
  • Rebecca Berkley, University of Reading: Musicianship for Teachers: teaching general primary teachers to teach classroom music
  • Silke Zschomler, U C L Insitute of Education: Developing language learning opportunities for precarious migrant workers at HE institutions – charting possibilities, challenges, and recommendations for policy and practice

2021/2022 Race & Education

The 2021/2022 grants looked at aspects of race and ethnicity across the education sector. This work is part of the association’s commitment to address the structural and institutional inequities and unjust power imbalances that affect our members and the wider research community, as set out in our Race Equality Policy

2020/2021: Education and Covid-19

The 2020/2021 grants supported 14 research projects  that investigated Covid-19’s impact on important aspects of education and educational research. This work covered issues and themes of ongoing relevance as our education systems and societies continue to readjust, including:

The funding recipients were

  • William Baker (University of Bristol) – Examining the impact of COVID-19 on Children’s Centres in Bristol: lessons for policy, practice and promoting life chances in the early years
  • Jan Barnes (University of Wales, Trinity St David) – How has COVID-19 impacted on the way in which teacher educators engage their students with learning?
  • Sara Bonetti (Education Policy Institute) – The impact of COVID-19 on early years settings and the workforce
  • Olivene Burke (The University of the West Indies, Jamaica) – Access to education in a time of pan(dem)ic in Jamaica rural and urban primary (K-6) schools’ experience
  • Jane Carter (University of the West of England) – A case study of the impact of Coronavirus on supporting one to one reading for children in need of additional support: the innovations and challenges experienced by Reading Recovery Teachers in Bristol
  • Anne-Marie Chase (Australian Council for Educational Research) – What sources of data were used by teachers to inform remote teaching practice under COVID-19:  A study to examine teachers use of existing student data to target synchronous and asynchronous activities during periods of remote learning
  • Elizabeth J. Done (University of Plymouth) – Exclusion and the strategic leadership role of Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) in England: planning for COVID-19 and future crises
  • Fadoua Govaerts (University of Bath) – Towards developing an Education Continuity Plan: supporting schools in times of crisis
  • Gurpinder Lalli (University of Wolverhampton) – The impact of COVID-19 on access and (in) effective support of the school food voucher scheme.
  • Marsha Maraj (Imperial College London) – Do virtual spaces act as boundaries in collaborative learning? Examining intra- and inter-team peer connections in online learning environments
  • Caroline Oliver (University College London) – The COVID-19 pandemic: the experiences of young people with autism and their parents of lockdown and the reopening of schools
  • Rachel Shanks (University of Aberdeen) – New teachers’ responses to COVID-19: building on ITE for their professional learning
  • Joan Walton (York St John University) – The impact of COVID-19 on the mental health and learning of young children
  • Annabel Watson (University of Exeter) – Teaching English when Schools are Closed: Experiences and lessons learnt for the future about teaching English remotely
  • Abide Zenenga (Riverside Education, Birmingham) – Exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health & wellbeing of learners with autism: A case study of two special education schools in the English West Midlands region