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Understanding the barriers to embedding industry-relevant skills into higher education curricula.


Project Description

PhD studentship opportunities in Applied Science Education at Edinburgh Napier University. The School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University is a thriving multidisciplinary research environment, hosting Teacher Education, Life Sciences, Sport, Psychology and Sociology subject areas where research students are welcome. We identify supervisory teams that ensure that our PhD students get relevant support and experience, and achieve their research aims. We particularly welcome students who have a solid academic background in relevant subject fields, evidenced by their past performance.

In collaboration with the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, academic members of staff in the School conduct research on a growing range of topics including school education, vocational, professional and higher education, adult education and lifelong learning. Informed by a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, including psychology, sociology and educational theory, we develop and evaluate new approaches to education, with impact on practice in the UK and further afield.
Planned research projects cover the following areas: education in science; pedagogy; policy; and professional education, including the education of teachers and lecturers.

Areas of study within the School include (but are not restricted to):
• Pedagogy and learning, with focus on student engagement, novel methods, and applied science skills development
• Specific curriculum areas, especially biology
• Teachers’ (and related professionals’) professional learning in secondary and higher education contexts
• Students’ perspectives on schooling or higher education, with a focus on internationalisation, mental health and stress
• Equity and inclusion in education

Studentship opportunity
The research project will develop and apply novel methods to understand the barriers higher education practitioners and other stakeholders face in successfully embedding relevant industry-focussed skills and experiences into degree-level curricula. There is some flexibility in the disciplinary topic area, however in the first instance we intend to focus on the undergraduate Life Sciences curriculum. The project will build on the relationship between the University, Skills Development Scotland, Sottish Enterprise, the Royal Society of Biology and other stakeholders in order to support and disseminate the findings of the work.

Applications are welcomed from well qualified candidates interested in developing high level research skills and applying them to theoretical and practical educational issues. Part-time applicants are welcome.


Academic qualifications:
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in science, social science, education or phsychology with a good fundamental knowledge of secondary, higher, or professional education.

English language requirement:
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
Experience of fundamental research design and execution
Competent in teamworking, evaluating data, statistics, research design
Knowledge of a range of relevant research methodologies
Good written and oral communication skills
Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
Good time management

Desirable attributes:
Experience of teaching, learning and assessment, and curriculum design in secondary school, higher education or professional contexts.


Funding Notes

Selection is based on academic merit. This is an unfunded position.

References

PhD studentship opportunities in Applied Science Education at Edinburgh Napier University. The School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University is a thriving multidisciplinary research environment, hosting Teacher Education, Life Sciences, Sport, Psychology and Sociology subject areas where research students are welcome. We identify supervisory teams that ensure that our PhD students get relevant support and experience, and achieve their research aims. We particularly welcome students who have a solid academic background in relevant subject fields, evidenced by their past performance.

In collaboration with the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement, academic members of staff in the School conduct research on a growing range of topics including school education, vocational, professional and higher education, adult education and lifelong learning. Informed by a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives, including psychology, sociology and educational theory, we develop and evaluate new approaches to education, with impact on practice in the UK and further afield.
Planned research projects cover the following areas: education in science; pedagogy; policy; and professional education, including the education of teachers and lecturers.

Areas of study within the School include (but are not restricted to):
• Pedagogy and learning, with focus on student engagement, novel methods, and applied science skills development
• Specific curriculum areas, especially biology
• Teachers' (and related professionals') professional learning in secondary and higher education contexts
• Students' perspectives on schooling or higher education, with a focus on internationalisation, mental health and stress
• Equity and inclusion in education

Studentship opportunity
The research project will develop and apply novel methods to understand the barriers higher education practitioners and other stakeholders face in successfully embedding relevant industry-focussed skills and experiences into degree-level curricula. There is some flexibility in the disciplinary topic area, however in the first instance we intend to focus on the undergraduate Life Sciences curriculum. The project will build on the relationship between the University, Skills Development Scotland, Sottish Enterprise, the Royal Society of Biology and other stakeholders in order to support and disseminate the findings of the work.

Applications are welcomed from well qualified candidates interested in developing high level research skills and applying them to theoretical and practical educational issues. Part-time applicants are welcome.

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