The BERA Independent Researchers’ forum is designed to support anyone in the field of educational research who is operating outside of academic institutions. The role of the Forum includes enabling people to learn from each other, to share their interests and experiences, and to develop their sense of belonging to a wider community of practice.
The Forum will also link and communicate with BERA to keep the organisation updated on developments. It will also ensure that BERA is ‘in tune’ with the needs and wishes of ‘unattached’ researchers, so as to better meet their needs and be aware of their different situation. This Forum will seek to represent the particular concerns of BERA members who have research interests in education and are not attached to an HE institution.
The Forum will provide ways of bringing together groups of individuals within education who have common interests and needs because of their independent status. Activity of the Forum will take place across the UK. Already, there is an awareness that independent educational researchers may suffer isolation and because of this, they may lack access to information absorbed through contact with other researchers and networking, sometimes absorbed just through meeting others in the lift or on the corridor. A key principle is that HE is changing and that independent researchers are there in greater numbers than before. HE is in the process of adapting to the changing context.