Developing Research Informed Practice

The Learning, Education and Development (LED) Research Centre at the University of Cumbria provides one year ‘professional inquiry’ projects and two year ‘research & development’ projects to support teachers in developing research-informed teaching. The focus of each project, with a group of up to 20 teachers, is negotiated with school leaders to tackle your priorities for enhancing quality in education. Find out more by downloading our flyer.

LED projects provide opportunities for class-room experimentation and evaluation to maximise teachers’ professional learning and impact on pupil outcomes.

By strengthening the professional learning community, LED projects support school strategies for improving teacher retention and building collective teacher efficacy.

LED projects are designed to meet the DfE National Professional Standard for teachers’ professional development.


Standard: Professional development should have a focus on improving and evaluating pupil outcomes
LED projects are collaboratively designed with you to include a focus on improving pupil outcomes in your priority areas of challenge through development of research-informed practice.

Standard: Professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise
LED projects include an initial accessible literature review for teachers and ongoing critical engagement with theory and research. They are experts in leading change through collaborative inquiry.

Standard: Professional development should include collaboration and expert challenge
LED projects provide a university-based research mentor who supports teachers in engagement with relevant research. All LED research mentors have successful previous careers in schools.

Standard: Professional development programmes should be sustained over time
LED projects are sustained, with time between workshops for classroom experimentation: ‘professional inquiry’ projects are for one year and ‘research & development’ projects are for two years.

And all this is underpinned by, and requires that:

Standard: Professional development must be prioritised by school leadership
LED projects are negotiated with school leaders to ensure integration with school development plans and teacher workload. Success measures and evaluation are identified at an early stage.


LED projects are negotiated with school leaders to ensure full support and integration with school development plans. Evaluation of projects is designed at an early stage and includes mid-project review. Some examples of LED projects are listed here.

Professional Inquiry Project

Cost is £6K total for up to 20 teachers for one year. Includes literature review and normally 6 workshops (a twilight is 1 unit, a half day is 2 units). LED can help form a viable group. LED will help you to create a viable group for maximum value.

Research and Development Project

Cost is £7K each year (total £14K) for up to 20 teacher researchers for two years. Includes literature review, research design, ethical clearance, and some transcription or data management. Normally 6 workshops for each of the two years plus a dissemination event. LED will help you to create a viable group for maximum value.

Contact LED Research Administrator Linda Shore 01228 616338 or

Collaborative Funding Bids

LED is keen to join Alliances and Schools in developing collaborative bids for external funding or to act as an external consultant to support your bid.

Contact the LED Director Professor Pete Boyd or Deputy Director Associate Professor Sally Elton-Chalcraft to discuss your needs.

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