Skip to content
September 11, 2023

Celebrating ten years of research and innovation in Sheffield Institute of Education

As the new academic year begins, we celebrate ten years of research and innovation in Sheffield Institute of Education, taking the opportunity to thank Sam Twiselton for her leadership and support throughout this time.

In 2013, the education staff of Sheffield Hallam University were brought together in the Sheffield Institute of Education, with Sam Twiselton as our founding director, to work more closely and develop stronger links between our areas of work.  Ten years on, we are a national centre of education, internationally recognised for our excellence in teaching, learning, professional development, research and evaluation.

The development of our research and innovation activity was recognised in REF 2021, the UK-wide assessment of research. The growth in the number of research-active staff and the quality of our research means we are now ranked 11th out of 83 Higher Education Institutions nationally for research in education. Our research environment for education was recognised as the best in any modern university with 100% judged world-leading or internationally excellent, 70% of our research outputs in education were world-leading or internationally excellent, and almost 90% of our impact is world-leading or internationally excellent.

We are committed to our research having an impact on the lives of children and young people and the practitioners and educators who work with them. Accordingly, our research and innovation responds to four challenges:

  • Improving the effectiveness of educational professionals
  • Enhancing curriculum, pedagogy and learners’ experiences
  • Promoting social justice by addressing disadvantage, discrimination and oppression
  • Innovating in theory and methodology

To support our work, we gain around £2 million of funding each year from charities, national and international governments, businesses, local authorities, schools and others.

We will shortly be publishing a celebration of the last ten years of our research and innovation, showcasing some of our significant projects, our postgraduate researchers, our external engagement networks and some key facts and figures about our work. We will be celebrating the first ten years of Sheffield Institute of Education in further ways in the coming months, so please keep an eye out for announcements about these events and activities.

We are proud of the work we do, and its impact. As we look ahead to the next ten years, we’d like to say thank you to all our colleagues in Sheffield Institute of Education, including academic, professional services and technical staff, who have contributed to the development of our research and innovation activity. We are particularly grateful to all the funders, partners and practitioners who have commissioned, supported and participated in our work.  Special thanks to David Owen and Mike Coldwell for their leadership and support, and to Sam for her essential work in raising our profile, keeping us fully connected to the education system locally, nationally and internationally, and leading us through the last ten years.

Emily Perry and Mark Boylan, co-Heads of Research and Innovation, Sheffield Institute of Education

As founding Director of Sheffield Institute of Education, I am proud to have been part of the development of our research and innovation activity, and to work with a group of staff — including academics, professional services, and technicians — who are dedicated to improving the lives of children and young people. As I move on to other roles, I’ll be maintaining my links to these staff and continuing to work with them and celebrate their work. I look forward to seeing Sheffield Institute of Education’s research and innovation activity continue to develop in the coming years.

Sam Twiselton, Professor Emerita, Sheffield Hallam University, and founding Director of Sheffield Institute of Education (2013-2023)