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Ongoing project

Expert Panel on Educational Research Funding

Expert Panel update

BERA’s Expert Panel on educational research funding is continuing its work. Having had two meetings, the panel has revised its aims and also engaged a RA who is working with the Chair, David James, to compile and analyse data. It will shortly be moving to the interview stage where members of the panel will speak to key individuals both in funding organisations and HEIs to look at the landscape. Interim findings will be presented at this year’s BERA Conference in Manchester and then a draft final report and recommendations will be given at BERA’s AGM in November with the full report following shortly afterwards. The panel meets again at the beginning of July when it will review interviews that have taken place and identify the gaps to be gilled over the summer.

Expert Panel Established

BERA Council has agreed to establish an expert panel to investigate the situation regarding funding for educational research in the UK. David James (Cardiff University, and chair of the REF 2021 Education sub-panel) has agreed to chair this.

This BERA Expert Panel is a continuation of the Education: The State of the Discipline initiative where the funding for educational research was identified as a priority area for BERA to develop work in. It is intended to clarify the changing landscape of funding for educational research and to help the Association to understand the research environment and to act to support educational researchers.

The panel will present interim findings at the BERA conference in September 2024 and will report subsequently to BERA’s AGM and Council. 


The panel is chaired by David James, Professor of Sociology of Education, Cardiff University.  

The members include:

  • Professor Jo-Ann Baird (Oxford)
  • Professor Rachel C Boyle (Leeds Beckett)
  • Professor Huw Morris (Welsh Government and UCL)
  • Professor Daniel Muijs (Queens University Belfast)
  • Professor Gemma Moss (IOE-UCL)
  • Anthony Tomei CBE (former CEO, Nuffield Foundation). 

BERA’s President Vivienne Baumfield, Vice-President Marlon Moncrieffe and Chief Executive Nick Johnson will also form part of the panel’s deliberations.

 The panel has been composed to ensure a strong level of experience and expertise from those with knowledge of research council funding mechanisms and processes, major charitable funding mechanisms and processes, government funding mechanisms and processes and HEI educational research grant capture


 The aims of the expert panel are to:

  1. To present a map of the nature and volume of funding for educational research, highlighting notable trends over time and how it compares to other social science disciplines.  
  2. To present an informed analysis of the elements of infrastructure and current relationships between research, policy and practice in the UK, including key variations across the four jurisdictions. 
  3. To consider and articulate a view on the extent to which these current arrangements: (a) serve goals such as enabling research capacity building or fostering imaginative and creative responses to educational challenges; (b) serve the public good and a selection of stakeholders such as children, learners, citizens, educators, researchers, institutions.   
  4. To present recommendations that are forward-looking, and which may lead to improvements, where possible drawing on exemplars of interesting practice.  

Ways of working

In addition to relying on the knowledge and expertise of its members, the expert panel will consider evidence (such as that in REF and HESA data) and relevant publications, e.g., on the nature of educational research and how it is resourced. It will also seek conversations with a selection of key individuals whose experience can enhance its analysis.  Panel members are likely to be involved in facilitating contact with such key individuals.  In addition to meetings of the panel, they are also likely to be involved in commenting on draft material. We will be engaging an RA to support the work of the panel as it conducts its work.


Profile picture of David James
David James, Professor

Professor of Sociology of Education at Cardiff University

David James is Professor of Sociology of Education in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. He is editor of the British Journal of Sociology of Education and chair the UK REF 2021 (Research Excellence Framework) subpanel for...

Panel members

Profile picture of Jo-Anne Baird
Jo-Anne Baird, Professor

Professor of Educational Assessment at Oxford University

Jo-Anne Baird is Director of the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment. She has been Head of the Department of Education at Oxford, Standing Adviser to the House of Commons Education Select Committee, a member of Ofqual’s Standing...

Profile picture of Rachel C Boyle
Rachel C Boyle, Miss

Dean of Education at Leeds Beckett University

Rachel C. Boyle is the Dean of Education at the Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University. She is the first woman of colour to be appointed as a Dean in the university’s history. Rachel is a former Primary School teacher who spent...

Profile picture of Daniel Muijs
Daniel Muijs, Professor

Professor at Queen's University Belfast

Daniel Muijs is Head of the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and Professor of Education at Queen’s University Belfast. He is an acknowledged expert in the fields of educational and teacher effectiveness, school improvement...

Profile picture of Anthony Tomei
Anthony Tomei, Mr


Anthony Tomei was CEO of the Nuffield Foundation from 1995 to 2012. With a background in physics teaching he led the Foundation’s work in science and mathematics education, which included large-scale curriculum projects as well as many...

Huw Morris, Professor

Honorary Professor of Tertiary Education at University College London

Huw Morris is on secondment from the Welsh Government as an honorary Professor in the Institute of Education at University College London (UCL). Prior to taking on this role he was Director of Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning in the...

Profile picture of Vivienne Baumfield
Vivienne Baumfield, Professor

Professor of Professional Learning at University of Exeter

Vivienne Baumfield is Professor of Professional Learning in the Graduate School of Education and co-leader of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning. She is interested in the interaction of research, policy and practice when...

Profile picture of Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson, Mr

Chief Executive at British Educational Research Association

Nick has been the Chief Executive Officer at BERA since April 2012. He has a considerable background of management and advising on strategic direction in organisations concerned with public policy. Between 2004-7, he was the Director of Policy...

Profile picture of Marlon Moncrieffe
Marlon Moncrieffe, Dr

President Elect at British Educational Research Association

Dr Marlon Moncrieffe is a council member of the British Educational Research Association, and Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. He is an award-winning international interdisciplinary researcher and author, and teacher-educator.

Profile picture of Gemma Moss
Gemma Moss, Professor

Professor of Literacy at U C L Insitute of Education

Gemma Moss is Professor of Literacy at UCL Institute of Education. She has been appointed Director of the ESRC Education Research Programme (2021-26). She is interested in the shifting relationships between policymakers, practitioners and...

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