ESRC/IOP Fellowships

The Institute of Physics and the Economic and Social Research Council wish to support additional research into subject-based teaching and learning in Higher Education, in this case in Physics.

They have therefore agreed to support two research fellows, one based in a physics department, and one based in a social sciences department on a one year joint project to investigate the achievements and future potential of this area in more detail. The project will be co-funded by the two organisations. It will draw together experts from both physics and the social science disciplines to bring their different perspectives to the issue. The project will be funded with a grant of up to £100,000.

Central to the project will be comparisons of the UK position in educational research, for example, sustainable research funding, the maintenance of research capacity, including studentship provision and in-field career progression, and publishing opportunities and their take-up with that elsewhere in the world.

The objectives of the project will be:

to compare UK activity in this area with international competitors, notably in the USA and in the rest of Europe.

to investigate the factors that have encouraged and supported the growth of HE physics education research outside the UK, and the scientific and social/economic impact such research has had.

to investigate the potential for sustainable, subject-based, educational research at the HE level in the UK, and the impact it might have on HE in terms of subject content, methods of delivery and student achievement and progression; and

to understand the undergraduate syllabus in terms of its historical progression content, pedagogical justification and sensitivity to the needs of users.

Although it is expected that the outcomes will be of relevance to a broad range of subjects, this project will focus on physics.

An application form and guidance information and background information can be found at
The deadline for applications is 4 pm Monday 23 April 2012. Applications should be sent to

For further advice and information on potential partners please contact or

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