The STEM Education teacher scholarship is worth up to 70% of 15 students' tuition fees pursuing our MA in STEM Education. It is funded by Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company.
The scholarship is available to students studying on the MA in STEM Education programme who are working in a state-funded school in England (e.g. comprehensive, academy, free school). This includes primary, secondary and FE-levels. They should be a specialist teacher in: Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, Design & Technology or Geography and have been teaching for a minimum of 6 months on application.
Find out if you are eligible, learn more and apply on the King's funding pages. The deadline for applications is Monday 26 June 2023.
The Rosalind Driver Scholarship Fund was set-up in honour of Professor Driver’s research concerning students’ ideas in science, carried out at Leeds University and King’s College London. The fund was endowed with the purpose of supporting the advancement of research in science education. This predominantly takes the form of funding the fees and stipend for one or two PhD studentships per year within CRESTEM.
Rosalind Driver (1941–97) was a science teacher and academic whose work focused on the practice of teaching and learning science in schools, and in particular on the active role of the learner. Her 1983 book The Pupil as Scientist?, which was written primarily for teachers, articulated her central contention that children do not enter the classroom as ‘empty vessels’ but as active thinkers with their own preconceptions about the natural and physical world. In this account, the role of the teacher is to encourage scientific enquiry and experimentation in order to engage with and challenge these preconceived ideas.
Throughout her academic career, Ros worked with practising science teachers – mainly in West Yorkshire but also overseas, including Sierra Leone and Malaysia. The primary aim of this work was to influence and enhance teachers’ classroom practice; this was achieved through discussion of teaching strategies and collaborative development of learning materials. For Ros, collaboration with other researchers and practitioners was essential, and a way to ensure that her own thinking and practice remained fresh and relevant.
For the next academic year, we are looking to recruit an imaginative and enthusiastic student to undertake a PhD study in any aspect of science education. You can find out more about eligibility criteria and the application process here. Applications focused on the following three areas would align particularly closely with ongoing research in CRESTEM:
- How might the goals of equitable science/STEM education (with respect to knowledge, understanding and participation in society) be best conceptualised and implemented?
- How can we best foster and support learners’ agency and participation in environment-related learning and engagement?
- How are epistemic goals, such as knowledge and understanding, interpreted in science/STEM education policy and practice?
The Fund will provide a studentship and tuition fees for the successful applicant at the home fee level (although international applicants are welcome to apply). Watch this space for this year's application deadline, which will be announced in early 2023. If you have any questions or queries, please email Dr Heather King.
Find out more and apply for the Rosalind Driver Scholarship here.
Who has benefitted?
Dissertation title: Computational thinking and making in the primary setting
Shukri writes: I am a Qualified Primary School teacher with over 10 years' teaching experience in primary schools, leading both Primary Science and DT subject curriculums. I completed an MA in Education in 2012, which sparked my interest in education research. In 2020, I completed an MA in Digital Media and Design with a focus on Technology Enhanced Learning and the development of educational apps for the classroom. It was my love of technology and education which encouraged me to move into EdTech where I worked over six years as an Education Content Writer and a Primary Science Subject Specialist. I have recently joined King's College London to complete my PhD in education research with the support of the Rosalind Driver Studentship. My research area is focussed on improving the STEM engagement of girls (an underrepresented group) in computational thinking through the use of making activities.
Dissertation title: Investigating issues of inclusion/exclusion and participation of secondary school science education, using LGBTI+ perspectives.
Liam writes: My career in education has included being a secondary school science teacher since 2003. I have held departmental and whole school leadership positions of responsibility in several schools before moving into academia. I joined King’s in 2019, initially completing a Master's in STEM Education before being awarded a Rosalind Driver studentship to study for a PhD. In my doctoral research, I am working with LGBTI+ science students of late secondary (16–18-year-olds). The study is exploring the experiences of LGBTI+ students with regards to their science education and what barriers they face in choosing to continue studying science beyond secondary school.
Dissertation title: How does non-formal environmental education influence young people's perceptions of their role in environmental action?
Sophie writes: I have a background in informal science education and engagement, having worked on interdisciplinary science engagement and education projects as a producer and evaluator since 2016. I joined King's in 2020 and am studying for my PhD part-time alongside my role as Research & Learning Coordinator at Science Gallery Dublin where I help design and deliver programmes for 15-25 year olds. I hope to explore non-formal environmental education (EE) programmes in order to build an understanding of how these activities, the topics they address, and the processes they use to do so, influence the ways in which young people feel about the environment and their role within it.
Dissertation title: Reimagining teaching and learning in forest school to support social justice and gender equality in environmental education.
Shirin writes: Having previously worked in journalism, communications and library administration, I joined King’s in 2017 for a part-time MA in Child Studies, which I completed in 2019. My MA dissertation, which explored children’s constructions of gender in forest school, combined my interests in children’s rights and gender equality with experience gained as a forest school volunteer with primary-aged children. I am interested in forest school’s potential to support more socially just forms of environmental education in mainstream schools, specifically with regard to gender equality, and I aim to explore this further in my MPhil/PhD.
Dissertation title: How do teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy influence their pedagogical approaches to practical work in Key Stage 3 science?
Lucy writes: During my 13-year primary and secondary teaching career in Hertfordshire, I led science professional development courses sparking an interest in formative assessment within enquiry-based science. This interest continued through an MA in Science Education at King’s, with my dissertation examining teachers’ attitudes towards and confidence in assessment of science in English primary schools. In my MPhil/PhD study, I will continue to explore teacher beliefs by focusing on how they influence the provision of practical science for 11-14 year olds.
Dissertation title: Governmentalities of Climate Change Education: Perspectives from History, Policy and Position-holders
Kate writes: My thesis presents an examination of the climate change education policy landscape in England and offers new insight into how the current situation has come to be, such that progress might be made. The research, which is theoretically framed by Foucault’s concept of governmentalities and his analytical instruments of policy historiography and policy archaeology, sets out to examine the rules that govern climate change education in England. Using qualitative, interpretive research methods, specifically, exploratory interviews and thematic analysis, the research explores why some perspectives have come to shape climate change education policy in England, and why some influential people and stakeholders have not seen their role as one of doing so. It then proposes several pathways for action such that education would be positioned to play a more meaningful role in society’s efforts to avert a climate catastrophe. In particular, it is suggested that more policy influence could be realised by viewing ‘influence’ through an ‘activism’ lens.
Dissertation title: Drifting away from science - White British working-class disengagement from post-compulsory science.
Dissertation title: Family communication and genetics: a mixed methods study.
Jonathan writes: I have worked as a genetic counsellor in both clinical and research environments. In addition to genetic counselling I have worked as a teacher in special needs schools and as a volunteer for the Samaritans. I have a degree in the History and Philosophy of Science.
Dissertation title: Exploring students’ initial resources for engaging with outdoor science: a study of Nigerian - Yorùbá and Sierra Leonean - Krio girls in London.
Rachel writes: My research interests stem from my career in the environmental sector where I lead work to address equity and inclusion for under-represented groups in the natural environment and address ethnic / racial disparities in the workplace.
My PhD study has explored the relationship between the development of interests, attitudes and dispositions within the family context and students' engagement with outdoor science learning at school. This investigation centred on six girls in London, three of whom were of second-generation Nigerian heritage and three of whom were first / second-generation Sierra Leonean heritage. I explore the data using Bronfenbrenner's (1979) socio-ecological theory and Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, capital and social field. I am a part-time PhD student and I've had two interruptions through this time for maternity leave and caring responsibilities for Covid-19.
Dissertation title: The relationship between school science and mathematics education.
Vicky writes: Prior to my PhD, I spent 10 years as a secondary science teacher in England, Spain and New Zealand, and also worked as an education consultant and writer. I currently teach on the PGCE course at Oxford University. My research interests include how mathematics is used in school science, the development of science education policy, and school practical work.
Dissertation title: Urban girls’ engagement with science within lessons, class visits and family visits to science museums: Interactions of gender, social class and ethnicity
Spela writes: Prior to starting my PhD study, I studied and worked in the fields of pharmacy, public health and social research. My doctoral research was part of the Enterprising Science project, focusing on 'science capital' and increasing and broadening young people's engagement with science. Since March 2017, I have worked as a Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Education.
Dissertation title: Urban Science Teachers – exploring how their views and experiences can influence decisions to remain in-post or not.
Alex writes: I am a lecturer in Science Education at King’s, where I focus on the recruitment of physics teachers and the initial teacher education of science graduates. My research focuses on the retention of teachers within the profession, attempting to better understand how teachers develop throughout their careers as a pathway to more informed retention.
Dissertation title: Identifying Impact at the Reach Out Lab – investigating the impact that STEM outreach experiences at the Reach Out Lab have upon pupils’ identification and engagement with science, in addition to their aspirations to pursue a STEM based future.
Alex writes: Whilst in the final stages of my PhD write-up, I was fortunate enough to be offered employment as a researcher at Engineering UK (EUK), a leading NGO dedicated to widening participation in engineering and its related STEM subjects. After a year at EUK, I proceeded to work on a collaborative research project between EUK and the University at Bristol, helping to evaluate the national Tomorrow's Engineers project. I am now working as head of research, operations and technology at Zorin Finance, an alternative lender which provides funding for SME builders who have struggled to operate since the 2008 financial crisis.
Dissertation title: Exploring science learning in a botanic garden – a study of families at Kew Gardens.
Naomi writes: I am a research associate at University College London and I am currently conducting research on the Science Museum’s ‘Building Bridges’ project. My research interests focus on how and why people engage with and learn about science in museums, and the connections they make between museums and their everyday lives.
Dissertation title: Meeting scientists: impacts on visitors to the Natural History Museum, London, UK.
Amy writes: Following my PhD research, I have continued to research science learning and engagement in out-of-school contexts and to apply this in practice. I have worked as a research associate on the Enterprising Science project at King’s College London, and at the Wellcome Trust managing funding and supporting researchers in their public engagement. I am currently the engagement coordinator for evaluation and impact at Imperial College London, where my role focuses on evaluation and research of public engagement programmes.
Dissertation title: Teaching science outside the classroom: the role of teachers’ beliefs and teacher self-efficacy during a two-year professional development programme.
Melissa writes: My research interests are in outdoor science, teachers’ beliefs and self-efficacy and environmental science. I am a lecturer in science education at King’s and contribute to the PGCE science programme. I am currently the co-chair for the outdoor learning strand for the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA).
Dissertation title: Self and social regulation of learning during scientific inquiry activities: a naturalistic study with Turkish upper primary school students.
Serkan writes: I am an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, Harran University, Turkey. I completed MA and PhD studies at King's College London. My research interests involve regulation of learning theory, collaborative inquiry science learning, flipped learning and personal learning networks.
Dissertation title: Science aspirations: investigating the views of 11-14 year old minority ethnic pupils.
Billy writes: After the PhD, I did a postdoc at King’s before becoming a lecturer in education at Roehampton University. My research continues to draw on sociological approaches in the science education context and my latest work is around computer science education. I am currently a lecturer in widening participation at the University of Reading.
Dissertation title: Engaging children in learning ecological science: professional botanic garden educators’ pedagogical practices.
Junging writes: I was a research fellow at the National Institution of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore from August 2011 to January 2014. I am now an associate professor at the Department of Education, Zhejiang University, China. My work has been published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, the International Journal of Science Education, Research in Science Education and Public Understanding of Science.
Dissertation title: Non-participation in public engagement with science: A study of four socio- economically disadvantaged, minority ethnic groups.
Emily writes: My work focuses on how people engage with and learn about science, with an emphasis on equity and social justice. My current research explores how to disrupt rather than reproduce social disadvantages in relation to science education, engagement and communication. I currently work as a lecturer in the Department of Science & Technology Studies at UCL.
Dissertation titles: Students’ Conceptions of Theories and Evidence: The Development and Implementation of a New Instrument for Assessment (MRes).
The Science Classroom as a Site of Epistemic Talk: Two Case Studies of Teachers and their Students (PhD).
Andri writes: I am a lecturer in education at Southampton Education School. My research focuses on teachers’ use of dialogic argumentation and the development of epistemic discourse in science classrooms. I have taught modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and I am currently leading the MSc education programmes.
Dissertation title: Exploring the relationship between classroom talk and cognitive development in primary science classrooms undertaking a CASE intervention.
Natasha writes: I work as a senior lecturer in primary education at Nottingham Trent University, where I lead the team for primary science across all training routes. I have maintained a research relationship with King’s, most recently as a postdoc on an EU-FP7 funded project ASSIST-ME. I am the co-editor for the next publication of the ASE Guide to Primary Science Education.
Dissertation title: Argue-WISE: exploring young students’ features of argumentation within a socio-scientific issue when they engage with an on-line learning environment advisors.
Maria writes: I am currently an Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus, where I have been working since September 2009. The theoretical framework of my work draws upon contemporary perspectives of science education, instructional design and the use of technology in support of learning. I have published in international science education journals and books. I am currently the co-chair for the Pre-Service Teaching Strand for the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), and I am involved in various EU funded projects.
Dissertation title: Supporting teachers on science-focussed school trips: Towards an integrated framework of theory and practice.
Jen writes: I'm now a researcher at UCL’s Institute of Education. Prior to that I was a researcher at King's, working on the ASPIRES and Enterprising Science projects.
The Bernard Dawson Scholarship Fund was set up to support chemistry education research. Dr Bernard Dawson was an academic in chemistry education at King’s and pioneered new approaches to science teaching. The fund was set up by Dr Dawson to support chemistry education PhD scholarships at King’s.
Dr Bernard Dawson (1924–2009) read Chemistry at King’s and continued on to complete his PGCE. He then taught in London schools for more than 10 years. He returned to King’s as an academic in the Faculty of Education, where he worked until his retirement, becoming Senior Lecturer in Science (Chemistry & Physical Science) Education. Among his many achievements in teaching, higher degree supervision and curriculum development, he was heavily involved from 1963-1986 with five of the National Science Teaching Projects, sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation. From 1987-1992 he initiated and then produced Surveys of Research and Development in Science Education. He was elected as a Fellow of King’s College London in 1984.
We are not recruiting for this scholarship in the 2020/21 academic year. Please check back in spring 2022 for information about future years.
Who has benefitted?
Dissertation title: How do experts articulate the intrinsic value of chemistry?
Katherine writes: After teaching secondary science, I moved into research and development, working as an educational researcher at the National Foundation for Education Research, the Institute of Education, and Teach First, before my PhD in chemistry education at King’s. I hold an MA in Teaching (IoE) and an MChem in Chemistry (Oxford). I am currently a Lecturer in Chemistry Education at King’s, where I lead PGCE Chemistry. My research interests include the intrinsic value of science-related experiences, the nature and value of understanding in science, and applying historical and philosophical analysis in the field of chemistry education.