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 ESRC CASE Studentship:


 19 October 2009 | visits 924

The University of Manchester

Modernisation Through Personalised Public Services: An Investigation Into Localized School Policymaking

The University of Manchester - School of Education

Applications are invited for an ESRC CASE (+3) Studentship in the area of education policy. The specific focus is on how a school makes policy at a time of rapid policy reform. The project is a case study of a secondary school and in particular it will examine the drive towards personalisation in educational provision. The studentship is suitable for postgraduates interested in ethnographic research, providing the opportunity to develop understandings of everyday practice and the life of a school. Potential applicants with an interest in education who have research qualifications from education and/or from sociology, political science or history would find this study of relevance to them. The project offers an exciting opportunity to join a team of senior researchers who are working on the dynamics of policy and practice, and to develop a PhD thesis.


Working under the supervision of Professor Helen M Gunter, Dr Christopher Chapman and Kevin Hollins, Principal of Knutsford High School, s/he will undertake a piece of research to examine School's personalisation agenda. The research will be guided by the following questions:How does a school conceptualise and develop a personalised curriculum and learning opportunities?How does national policy enable and/or limit these developments?How does a school develop a policy strategy based on the interplay between external and internal policy processes?How can a school develop as a researching school in order to support curriculum and learning developments?

ESRC meets the tuition fees and pays a basic (tax free) maintenance grant of £14,940 p.a.The collaborating organisation, Knutsford High School, pays an additional £2,000 p.a.The studentship will start no later than 1st February 2010. All nominees must satisfy ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements which can be found in the guidance for Applicants downloaded from:

The Successful Candidate will be a full member of the doctoral programme and will be expected to satisfy the usual criteria for admission and progression. In particular s/he will be expected to have 2.1 or above Bachelors degree and completed an ESRC recognised master's degree in educational or social science research methods. Experience of working in schools, local authorities or other education settings, especially in England, will be an advantage, but is not essential.

Applications must include the following:

A letter of application outlining interest and suitability for the studentship

A full CVA piece of published or unpublished academic writing (preferably single authored)Two academic references

Further details of the studentship are available at:

 Applicants are strongly urged to discuss their application with Professor Gunter in advance of submission. Professor Gunter's contact details are:

Applications should be sent to Alison Wilson either by email ( or by post to School of Education, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester.


Deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 20th November 2009

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