Froebel Trust: PhD Bursaries 2018


The Froebel Trust is offering two PhD Bursaries (full time or part time) to foster research which advances the development and application of Froebelian principles to early years (age 0-8). The Bursaries will enable outstanding students to pursue a PhD at a UK university or similar research institution.  
Bursaries cover tuition fees and a maintenance stipend and are based upon the prevailing rates offered by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to PhD candidates.

Froebel Trust research priorities

In order to be considered, all proposals must demonstrate how they meet the Trust's Research Priorities.

The objectives of our research strand are to:

a. Contribute to deepening understanding of:

  • The theoretical underpinning of Froebelian principles
  • How Froebelian principles may contribute to high quality early childhood development, care and education.

b. Provide evidence of how effective practice that follows those principles can be developed and supported for children in care and education settings

We have five major priorities:

  • Access to high quality early years provision for families in disadvantaged areas: What are the particular difficulties faced by families in disadvantaged areas in accessing provision and in what ways may Froebelian Principles inform the strengthening of the capacity of provision to work in partnership with families?

  • Transition to primary school: What are the challenges facing children and families in the transition from early years to primary school? What models are there of how these challenges have been mitigated? What evidence is there of the impact of these models on children’s well-being and attainment?  

  • Nurturing high quality, stable and sensitive interactions between staff and children/families: What models of continuing professional development (CPD) are being used to promote stability and sensitivity of interaction between staff and children and what is the contribution of a Froebelian approach here? What evidence is there of the effectiveness of different models of CPD? If the importance of ‘competent’ systems as well as ‘competent’ practitioners is accepted, what evidence is there of the key features of a competent system to facilitate effective CPD? What are the key features of a successful key person approach?

  • Developing playful pedagogy and resourcing for play

  • Finding pedagogies that are inclusive of and celebrate diversity (including white children from lower income backgrounds, and ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic status).

Please note that PhD bursary holders cannot hold either a full-time job, or a permanent part-time job during the period of their award. Part-time bursary holders cannot hold a full-time job.

Students may undertake a small amount of other paid work either in term-time or during holidays. The Trust does not encourage such work especially during the times when students are expected to be fully engaged in research training and thesis preparation. Students may not undertake paid or unpaid work equating to more than 36 days per annum without the agreement of the Trust in advance.

Deadline and notification

The deadline for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on the 29th June 2018.

Candidates will be notified about the outcome of their application by October 2018. The bursaries are available therefore for a January 2019 start.

Applications from candidates due to commence their studies in September 2019 will also be considered, with any bursary payable from September 2019 (i.e. there will be no retrospective payments).

Further information

See the Froebel Trust website for more information on these PhD Bursaries and to download application forms.