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Five new scholars to benefit from Research Further funding

25th April 2023

Research Further Scholars

The Research Further project has announced funding for five new scholars to support practitioners in colleges to carry out postgraduate or doctorate-level study.

The project is run in partnership with the Association of Colleges and NCFE and this year is supported with funding from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and Edge Foundation and aims to drive innovation and growth in the Further Education (FE) sector.

The scholars will undertake a range of study projects across various important topics, including occupational culture and early careers teachers in further education, at several universities. These projects will be conducted alongside their existing day jobs with the support of their colleges, who have committed to granting the scholars remission time for their studies.

In their first year, the current Research Further scholars have already contributed to several conferences and webinars, engaged with policymakers and stakeholders, are working on academic papers and publishing widely-read thought leadership pieces.

This year's intake of scholars will increase the total number of Research Further scholars to 15, building on the success of the first 11 scholars announced last year. One scholar has already completed their studies and become a Research Further alumnus, and they will continue to contribute to the programme's growth and thought leadership in the future.

David Hughes, Association of Colleges chief executive, said: "Research Further scholars are leading the way in growing research and evidence from and for the FE sector. We are delighted to be able to add a further five scholars to this programme and look forward to seeing their ground-breaking work progress."

David Gallagher, NCFE chief executive, said: "We are proud to continue our partnership with the Research Further project and support the development of scholars in the FE sector. The new scholars will undoubtedly add significant value to the program and the wider sector."

Dr Katerina Kolyva, Education and Training Foundation chief executive, said: "Building on our long track record of supporting practitioner research in the FE sector we are very pleased to be collaborating on the Research Further project, which will bring fresh perspectives and insights. It is an important initiative that is helping to drive innovation and growth in the FE sector, and we look forward to seeing the new scholars’ research contributions in the years ahead.”

Andrea Laczik, director of research at Edge Foundation said: "The new scholars have an excellent opportunity to progress and to gain access to high-quality education and training. We are delighted to support this programme, and we believe that it will help to drive forward innovation and progress in the sector.”

Notes to editors:

The new scholars are as follows:





Suki Dhesi

Vice principal


Exploring how to make technical education more culturally inclusive for 16-19-year-old FE students

Lliam Dickinson

Higher education pathway leader

Barnsley College

Developing Digital Skills Through Esports: An Exploratory Study

Lynette Leith

Vice principal curriculum

Hull College

An investigation in the role of core and character education in context of narrowing the non-technical skill gap and tackling socio-economic inequalities in education outcomes for FE students

Stephanie Marshall-Whitley

Beauty therapy tutor and lecturer

Truro and Penwith College

From Novice to Nurtured: Supporting Early Career Teachers' growth in Further Education through Mentorship

Amy Woodrow

Teaching and learning manager

City of Bristol College

I just can't put my finger on it: How can occupational culture be developed through vocational Further Education and college teaching?

Picture caption (left to right): Suki Dhesi, HSDC vice principal, Lliam Dickinson, Barnsley College higher education pathway leader, Stephanie Marshall-Whitley Hull College vice principal curriculum, Lynette Leith beauty therapy tutor and lecturer at Truro and Penwith College, Amy Woodrow teaching and learning manager at City of Bristol College.