PedRIO research opportunities

​Pedagogic research is a growing field both nationally and within the University. This particular area of research activity has been included in the education submissions to the RAE in 1996, 2001, 2008. and the REF in 2014. 

PedRIO members work on collaborative projects with colleagues from within the University of Plymouth, nationally and internationally. 

PedRIO undertakes a range of projects from institutionally commissioned research through to collaboration, nationally and internationally, on externally funded projects.

PedRIO also funds projects within the University of Plymouth. Find out more about our current projects and funding opportunities.

Pedagogic research requires ethical approval – please visit the Faculty of Arts Ethics information page for further details, guidance and application forms, and dates of ethics committee meetings: Applying for Research Ethics Approval in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business.

Internally commissioned research

PedRIO undertakes a number of institutional research projects using the expertise of its members to help inform policy and practice. Examples of current commissioned projects include:

  • unconscious bias: promoting a culture change in higher education
  • feed-forward: exploring the staff and student experience of technology-facilitated feedback 
  • evaluation of two approaches to essay writing support: incorporating writing workshops and formative peer review into the curriculum in marine biology
  • becoming a student – partnerships and voices
  • an investigation into the gender and ethnicity attainment gap
  • examination feedback: an exploration of student and staff expectations.

Postgraduate research

PedRIO offers support and supervision for postgraduate research students in this area, as well as welcoming contact from researchers interested in collaborative projects. 

MPhil/PhD opportunities include:

  • Sustainability in higher education - contact Professor Debby Cotton
  • Student engagement and the experience of HE learning - contact Professor Pauline Kneale 
  • Digital literacy and student learning - contact Professor Neil Witt
  • Enhancing laboratory practical skills and knowledge development in the biomedical sciences - contact Dr Karen Gresty
  • Ethical issues in science in higher education - contact Professor Linda La Velle
  • Systemic thinking, interdisciplinary and sustainability literacy in higher education - contact Professor Stephen Sterling
  • The role and effectiveness of undergraduate fieldwork in contrasting academic disciplines - contact Dr Ruth Weaver.

Collaboration and interdisciplinary working

Members of PedRIO work in partnership with academics and researchers outside the University of Plymouth. Examples include:

  • HEA CPD project led by the University of Plymouth, in collaboration with Durham University, University Campus Suffolk and the Higher Education Development, Evaluation & Research LP (HEDERA). 
  • Sustainability in Business and Economics Disciplines, working with Fudan University, China Energy literacy in Higher Education, working with colleagues in six UK universities and in Portugal (University of Beira Interior), and in China (Zhejiang University).
  • Postgraduate Experience Project (PEP), led by Kingston University, and working with nine UK universities.
  • Staff from PedRIO and Disability Services at Plymouth are working with colleagues from the KomDIM Academy (Centre for the Development for Diversity Management for all 14 universities in North Rhine-Westphalia Germany). Plymouth staff are participating in workshops, presentations, discussions, and other activities to share good practice examples of inclusivity in higher education.
  • More than scaling-up: sustainability contexts, competencies, and consequences - a critical inquiry. Collaborative research project with Prof Harold Glasser, Western Michigan University
  • ESRC seminar series ‘Freedom to learn': an international cross-sector seminar series exploring socially just education and inequalities in education’. Partnership with seven HEIs (including Cambridge University, Institute of Education, Hull University).