Research Bursary Scheme – FAQs

The Application Process

What is the deadline to apply for support under the Framework?

The closing date to apply under the current round of the framework is 3pm on Thursday, 4 November, 2021.

What type of research is considered for funding under the Research Bursary Scheme?

The RBS offers support to teachers in carrying out new research that demonstrates significant capacity for shared learning and supports enhanced practice. The Framework is a key element of the Council’s CROÍ Research Series (Collaboration and Research for Ongoing Innovation) which places a strong emphasis on research activities which strengthen the links between research, policy and practice, and on collaboration among teachers, and between teachers and other stakeholders in education.

Applications must demonstrate capacity to contribute to research, policy and practice in relation to one or more of the six learning areas of Cosán, the national framework for Teachers’ Learning:

  • Leading Learning
  • Inclusion
  • Wellbeing
  • ICT
  • Literacy & Numeracy
  • Supporting Teachers’ Learning

How is the framework structured?

In 2021 the Teaching Council undertook a review of the Framework to ensure it continues to meet its objectives. On foot of that review, the Framework has now been redesigned as two separate but complementary schemes:

  • The Research Bursary Scheme (RBS)

and

  • The Researchers in Residence Scheme (RiRS)for schools, which will launch in early 2022.

Who can apply?

Every application, whether individual or collaborative must be led by a practising teacher, known as the Cinnire Taighde. Registered teachers and other educational researchers may also be included on collaborative applications, however, a practising teacher must be the Project Leader (Cinnire Taighde) in every application. Previous research experience is not essential.

What is a practising teacher?

A teacher/principal who currently works in a recognised school or centre for education as set out in Section 10 of the Education Act.

Applicants who indicate that they are practising teachers will be required, as part of the application process, to make a declaration on the application form specifying their role (e.g. classroom teacher, principal, SET, etc.) and school. This teacher must maintain his or her registration from the time of submission of the application to completion of the project.

If I am not a practising teacher but I am registered with the Teaching Council, am I eligible to apply for support under the framework?

Registered teachers who are not currently practising are not eligible to apply for support as the sole applicant. If you are a registered teacher currently on career break /secondment/or teaching in a setting other than a recognised school or centre education, you are not considered to be eligible for this scheme. Registered teachers may however be included in an application with a practising teacher. 

What is the total funding available for the RBS?

The RBS will see a set number of bursaries awarded to successful applicants subject to an overall maximum of €50,000.

How many awards will there be and how much will each successful recipient be awarded?

It is not yet possible to confirm the exact number of bursaries that will be awarded as part of the current round of funding, or the amount of each. At this point, however, it is anticipated that seven bursaries of €2,000 will be available for individual projects and nine bursaries of €4,000 will be available for collaborative projects.

Can I access support for my application?

Yes, support is available from the Teaching Council via a range of materials including webinars and the guidance notes. Support may also be accessed by email at research@teachingcouncil.ie.

Applicants may also wish to seek support via T-REX. T-REX (Teachers’ Research Exchange) is an online network where teachers, student teachers and other educational researchers in Ireland can come together to talk, collaborate, and learn from one another. Through T-REX, applicants may identify people with similar research interests, discuss research ideas and locate potential collaborators. A series of webinars offering practical guidance and support for researchers is accessible here.

How will applications be assessed?

Key criteria will be used when considering each application. Please find further detail on the criteria for the review of applications in the guidance notes on page 3 of the guidance notes here.

Can additional applicants be added to the application?

No additional applicants cannot be added to the application once the closing date has passed.

When will I be informed if my application is successful?

It is anticipated that you will be informed on whether your application has been successful in early 2022. For successful applicants, we anticipate that an awards event will be held in May 2022.

Research

What are the most important things I should bear in mind, so as to ensure my research is rigorous and of high quality?

A series of webinars is available to support applicants in ensuring the rigour and quality of their research activity. Click here to see more.

Where can I learn more about the analysis of statistical data using a package such as SPSS?

There is a series of webinars on conducting research that may help with your query. You can watch all our webinars, and download the slides, about carrying out a research project.

The ESRI run regular workshops on the Growing Up in Ireland data and have related resources on their website here. They use SPSS in their workshops, so this could be a good starting point. For other SPSS workshops, most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) run these regularly, so it is recommended that you check with your local HEI to see if there might be upcoming opportunities. The Children’s Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland periodically host similar workshops and further details are available here. The activelink.ie website may also be a useful reference point.

Can you recommend any books or good resources on using Statistics in quantitative research?

Andy Field’s Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics or Julie Pallant’s SPSS Survival Manual are good resources. Additionally, Alan Bryman’s Social Research Methods is a good generic book on social research methods.

Where can I find a sample literature review?

There is a webinar on conducting literature reviews available on the Teaching Council website which covers all aspects of literature reviews, from initial research to written format. You can watch the webinar here.

How far into a literature search should I proceed before articulating the problem I wish to research?

There is a webinar on conducting literature reviews available on the Teaching Council website which covers all aspects of literature reviews, from initial research to written format. You can watch the webinar here.

I’m having trouble finding Irish-based research on my topic. What should I do?

It is recommended that you watch our webinars on literature reviews, qualitative and quantitative research here. You may also wish to access the Teaching Council’s online library here. You will find final reports from previous research funding by the Teaching Council here. Another option would be to expand your scope to include research from other countries. If you are struggling to find any research at all on your topic, consider rethinking your research question or methodology.

What can I do if I find out that the research I want to do has already been done by someone else?

You can research the same area but ask a different question or use a different theory or method. It’s a good idea to let the existing research guide you in formulating your question. Our webinar on Literature Reviews should be helpful. Applicants may also wish to seek support via T-REX. T-REX (Teachers’ Research Exchange) is an online network where teachers, student teachers and other educational researchers in Ireland can come together to talk, collaborate, and learn from one another. Through T-REX, applicants may identify people who have researched similar topics, discuss research ideas, and locate potential collaborators.

What is an ideal sample size for qualitative research in particular when conducting a case study of one school? 

The webinar on qualitative research will help you to answer this question. You can watch it here.

I want to conduct my research in my school, but I’m worried that my questionnaire for parents will get a low response rate. Is there any way that I can address this issue?

Achieving good survey response rates is often a challenge for researchers. It is important when planning your research to give plenty of consideration to the most appropriate data collection method(s). If you consider that survey response rate may be a particular challenge in the case of your sample, it may well be worthwhile to consider alternative methods, such as focus groups and/or interviews. For more guidance on data collection methods, we recommend you watch the webinars here on conducting qualitative and quantitative research.

In the project plan section, a date is required for each segment of the plan.  How do I decide when I’ll be able to start my research if I don’t know when the resources I need will be available to me?

The first instalment will be paid prior to the awards event, see timeline on page 2 of the guidance notes. The final instalment will be payable on completion of the project. Based on this, it should be possible for you to give a best estimate for when you believe each stage of your research will commence and conclude.

RBS Application Form

I am having trouble submitting my online application.  What should I do?

The application form has been made available via Microsoft Forms which allows you to complete and submit your application online. Please ensure all areas of the application form have been completed before submitting. If the application form link does not work for you, you can email research@teachingcouncil.ie.

Research Reporting

When will my funding be made available to me?

The first instalment will be paid prior to the awards event due to be held in May 2022. The final instalment will be payable following completion of the project and submission of a satisfactory final report. The final report will demonstrate that a number of conditions have been fulfilled. Fulfilment of these conditions will be determined by the RSF Review Panel when it meets once each year to review final reports.

What reporting requirements are attached to the receipt of financial support under the Framework?

Awards will be paid to successful applicants in two instalments. The first half of the award is presented at an awards event for all successful applicants following adjudication by the RSF Review Panel. The second instalment will be paid following completion of the project and submission of a satisfactory final report. A final report template is available here to support applicants once the research is complete.

Final Report

Successful applicants will be expected to submit a final report within 60 days of completing the research. The final report will demonstrate that a number of conditions have been fulfilled. Fulfilment of these conditions will be determined by the RSF Review Panel when it meets in the spring each year to review final reports. In the case of the vast majority of projects, it is expected that final reports will be submitted within a period of three years of being awarded funding. In exceptional circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, this may be extended, subject to agreement with the Teaching Council, and an absolute maximum of six years from the date of award. The final report template is available to download here.

Researchmeet

Where can I get more information about Researchmeet or contact other teacher-researchers?

Successful applicants are invited to present on their research projects and share their learning at ResearchMeet as part of FÉILTE. Applicants are required to join and participate on the T-REX platform and join the John Coolahan Research Support Framework group. An invitation to participate at FÉILTE will be posted seeking expressions of interest from recipients.  We will post important communications on the site and, as such, engagement via this platform is required of all recipients. 

How and when will I hear about presenting at Researchmeet?

You will be contacted via T-REX Teachers’ Research Exchange about participating at ResearchMeet in the months leading up to the event.