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Opportunity: Independent Researchers’ Forum Convenor Applications Invited







The Independent Researchers’ Forum (IRF) was launched by BERA in July 2015 to create a dedicated space for those who see themselves as members of the educational research community but are not permanently employed in higher education. Researchers in this group are diverse and may work in schools, local authorities, community organisations, research organisations outside higher education, on  a self-employed basis or in a voluntary capacity. Whilst situations vary, researchers in this group may not have the same opportunities as those employed in HEIs to network with other researchers or to access academic and professional support. The aims of the forum are to facilitate networking and support both between researchers in this group and between these researchers and BERA members working in all types of settings.

Currently the IRF has two convenors, but we are seeking to develop a role for a third convenor who will have particular responsibility for electronic networking and web-based support. Existing expertise in this area would be useful but is less important than interest and willingness to develop expertise in the context of the forum.

The person taking on this role need not currently be a member of BERA but will need to become a member. He or she will:

  • Be an independent researcher (i.e. will not be permanently employed in an HEI)
  • Be committed to the development of a vibrant and diverse network of independent researchers
  • Work closely with the other convenors to integrate electronic networking and web-based support with the aims of the forum and with other areas of IRF activity
  • Involve members of the IRF in developing electronic networking and web-based support (e.g. by canvassing ideas and in developing ground rules)
  • Be responsible for day to day management of this area of work and for monitoring engagement

BERA funds two concessionary spaces for IRF convenors at its annual conference (subject to review by the Conference and Events Committee). The three convenors will decide how these concessions are allocated but this will usually be on a rotational basis.

The person elected will serve for three years from the date of election (unless they stand down sooner).

It is BERA’s wish that  all its committees and groups should be reflective of the field as a whole and therefore encourages under-represented groups to stand.

If you would like to express an interest, please explain (in approximately 200 words) why you are interested in being a convenor and what you think you can bring to the role for the benefit of forum members.

Expressions of interest in this role are invited by January 27 and should be sent to 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact either Carrie Birch ( or Frances Gallannaugh (