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Research opportunity

Research Assistant role – Analysis of the REF Impact case Studies

BERA is looking to engage a Research Assistant to analyse the 4* REF case studies so BERA can produce a new publication that demonstrates the positive impact of educational research.


This project fits into BERA’s wider project on Education: the state of the discipline. It also builds on work we undertook in 2016 with the Academy of Social Sciences as part of their series on Making the Case for the Social Sciences. Then, we worked to publish a collection of 12 case studies that “have led to improvements in learning and teaching practices. Studies featured in the booklet also demonstrate the positive impacts of social science and educational research on public policy, while highlighting its benefit to society more generally.” The full collection can be found here –



We have decided to make use of the recently published REF case studies to produce a new version of Making the Case that demonstrates the positive impact of educational research. We will broadly follow the format of the previous AcSS piece which is as follows:

  • summaries of around 300 words in straightforward and simple language (no references, no passive tenses)
  • What the issue was, 
  • What the researchers did, 
  • What they found, 
  • What changed as a result. 
  • Ideally a link where an interested reader can follow up the story.


We are aiming to have 12-15 studies in the final edition, encompassing a four nations perspective and wider EDI considerations. These studies will be chosen based on the kind of impact and the range of where the impact has been felt, rather than specific institutions.

For this project, we will rely upon the REF impact case studies. Initially we will look at those institutions who had 4* outputs across the board as this should give us sufficient material. If after this process, we feel that we need more diverse examples, then we could look at some 3* outputs if absolutely necessary. The aim is to produce a collection that highlights education as a vibrant and exciting discipline and can be used for a variety of different audiences.


Research assistant role

We are now looking to engage a Research Assistant to analyse the 4* case studies, and to produce a summary of each study reviewing content, authors, institutions and regions etc…

BERA’s Leadership Committee will act as the decision-making body of which studies to include in the final publication, with ongoing advice from David James, Chair of the REF Education Sub panel. Following this, the authors/ lead researchers will be approached to produce the summaries in the format outlined above. The RA will continue to work on this to follow up and collate the rewrites as they come in. We might also include a table highlighting all 4* work to be included as an appendix to the report.

Once we have these updated submissions, BERA will edit and move to publication. BERA will provide an introductory piece highlighting that these case studies are the tip of the iceberg.

We are seeking a consultant early career researcher or equivalent to conduct research and analysis to support this project. The timetable for this work is set out below.

The role will involve attending the occasional online meeting but can largely be done around other commitments. We anticipate the total commitment being around 10 days’ work at a rate of c.£200 per day and to run until the publication of the final report in April 2023.

To apply, please email your CV alongside a short statement (c.500 words) outlining your suitability for the role and any relevant experience to



  • September/ October 2022 recruit RA to start collating case studies
  • 1st November 2022 Submission of analysis of all 4* case studies
  • 15th November 2022             LC to finalise short list and approach authors
  • January 2023 deadline for amended studies to return to BERA
  • February/ March 2023 copyediting and design work
  • April 2023 publication and possible launch event


We anticipate that the initial analysis will be c.4 days work, the subsequent contacting and monitoring of responses will be a further c.4 days and then a further 2 days for support around the editing.

 Please ensure that you have applied by 9am on Friday 30th September 2022. We hope to be able to be in touch with candidates we wish to consider further by the end of the following week.