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Ongoing project

Expert Panel on Educational Research Funding

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)
  • 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 examine, and articulate a view on:
    1. the proportion of money invested in educational research relative to UK public expenditure on education.
    2. trends in the nature and volume of investment in educational research, using data from REF (2014 and 2021) and HESA.
    3. how investment in educational research sits in relation to that across the social sciences more broadly.
  2. To consider and describe implications of the analysis of the above for a range of key stakeholders and interests, such as children, young people, BERA members, citizens, teachers, schools, colleges, universities, research funding bodies of various kinds, and governments.
  3. To consider and suggest ways forward including potential responses of key stakeholders.

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 University of Oxford

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.

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