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Sense of Belonging and Attainment in undergraduate Physics

   Department of Physics

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  Dr Eva Philippaki  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a 3.5 year funded PhD studentship to become a member of the Physics Education Research group (PER) in the Department of Physics at King’s College London.

The selected candidates are expected to focus on undergraduate students’ interest and science identity, in the framework of higher education physics contexts. This research project will be suitable for a student with a background in physics and with an interest in educational research.

The overarching vision of this project is to create more equitable Physics undergraduate courses and to assess quantitatively the impact of various teaching interventions on student attainment. The first goal will be examined through investigating the views of KCL students from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education physics, and assessing the impact that different learning modalities have on different groups. The second goal will be examined in the context of the data the department currently holds on the attainment of students under different teaching environments. This data can be examined in many ways, from demographic analysis to cohort studies, to evaluate the impact of teaching interventions on students’ learning outcomes. 

The research asks: What are the views of KCL Physics undergraduates on factors that promote or hinder their engagement with and achievement on their courses? What impact has the increased use of online tools had on quantifiable student learning outcomes, and can meaningful pedagogical strategies be found that allow us to maximise the leverage these tools provide?

Essential criteria:

·      Minimum of 2:1 in BSc in Physics and/or Master’s degree in STEM related discipline (a Master in STEM Education is also welcomed)

·      Interest in physics higher education research

·      Basic statistical analysis

·      Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

Desirable criteria:

·      Ability to work alone or as part of a team

·      Experience in completing education/physics education research

·      Experience in qualitative research

·      Programming skills in a mainstream language.

Training Opportunities

We expect that the successful candidate will contribute to our department’s teaching, for which payment will be made separately. The opportunity to contribute as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) during the PhD programme can be an interesting and rewarding experience and will help students develop skills relevant to a future role in Physics Education. Training and mentoring in teaching and learning in higher education will be provided, and the successful applicant will be expected to attend the Faculty’s GTA Development Programme. Successful applicants will also have the opportunity to complete the Learning & Teaching Programme (LTP), which is the King’s route to achieve Higher Education Academy (HEA) professional recognition.

At King’s, we are deeply committed to embedding good equality and diversity practice into all of our activities so that the university is an inclusive, welcoming and inspiring place to work and study, regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.

We particularly welcome applications from marginalised groups as King’s strives to have our staff and employees mirror diversity of our student population.

To be considered for the position candidates must apply via King’s Apply online application system.

Details are available at:

Please indicate your desired supervisor and quote research group PER in your application and all correspondence.

The selection process will involve a pre-selection on documents, if selected this will be followed by an invitation to an interview. If successful at the interview, an offer will be provided in due time.

For informal enquiries email: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Funding is available for 3.5 years and covers tuition fees at the level set for UK students, c. £6,120 p.a. and a tax-free stipend of approximately £19,000 p.a. with possible inflationary increases after the first year.
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