Evaluation Bursary

In the summer of 2021, the Directorate of Student Experience, Teaching and Learning (SETL) launched the Evaluation Bursary Scheme that aimed to support academic staff in delivering evaluations of learning and teaching activities that aimed to enhance the student experience. After a successful first round of funding, the 2022-23 Evaluation Bursary is being opened up to all staff that are delivering interventions that aim to enhance some element of the student lifecycle (access, retention, attainment, and progression).


Evaluation Bursary Overview

The Evaluation Bursary aims to

  • develop and apply an evaluative mindset approach to intervention design
  • increase perceptions of the value of evaluation, inclusive of all areas within the institution (academic and professional services)
  • enhance student experiences through evidence-informed interventions and decision making
  • contribute robust evidence for enhancement and regulatory returns


In 2022-23 the scheme is open to all staff (academic and professional services) who 

  • are working on implementing an evidenced informed intervention which aims to impact positively on access, retention, attainment, or progression of student outcomes. The intervention should also align with Sheffield Hallam University’s or sector strategic drivers (Access and Participation Plans, Awarding Gap, Hallam Values, etc).
  • are committed to developing a participatory approach to evaluation, where stakeholders are involved in the design of the initiative and the evaluation approach.
  • will share the findings within the institutional Evaluation Repository and beyond.


The bursary is up to £1000 worth of funding for up to 12 projects. The funding can be spent on

  • payment for student participation in the design and evaluation of the intervention
  • payment for student participation in collaborative capacity-building workshops
  • payment for resources associated with the intervention or evaluation
  • costs associated with the dissemination of outputs.


Projects can be funded for either 12 or 18 months. 12-month projects must use all funding by July 2023. 18 months projects will receive £600 for the first 12 months and £400 for the last six months. The first instalment must be used by July 2023 and the second instalment by January 2024. 


Student Collaboration

Students are central to the Evaluation Bursaries, and they should be involved at all stages of the intervention and evaluation design, delivery and dissemination. Every effort should be made by project teams to engage students about their experiences of the intervention and the impact it has had on them.

Project teams also have access to a pool of trained student researchers that are managed by SELT. Student researchers are paid £11.05 per hour which the bursary funding should cover. Student researchers bring valuable skills and insight into the evaluation process. Project teams should carefully consider how they can use and engage student researchers in their intervention and evaluation.

Examples of student researcher involvement in Evaluation Bursaries

  • Literature and evidence reviewing
  • Designing or delivering an intervention
  • Creating resources or content for intervention
  • Evaluation field work such as conducting focus groups, interviews, or surveys
  • Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
  • Contribute to the dissemination such as report writing or presenting at conferences


Project Support

Each project team and the student researchers working with them will receive a comprehensive package from SETL that includes training and development workshops, online resources, and tailored support for developing and evaluating these interventions. Projects teams will be expected to participate in a community of practice via a Teams channel where they share their progress and offer support to other project teams.


Bursary Timeline 2022-2023

Call for applications opens 16 June 22
Informal discussion about potential projects (please contact Nathaniel Pickering n.pickering@shu.ac.uk) June to July
Application deadline 18 July 2022
Confirmation of successful/unsuccessful applications 12 August 2022
Theory of change project team workshops October to December
Ethics support sessions w/c 03, 10 and 17 October 2022
Ethics submission deadline November 2022
Community of practice drop-ins (optional) Every four weeks
Six-month progress update January 2023
Nine-month progress update April 2023
12-month projects complete or progress update for 18-month projects July 2023
15-month projects progress update for 18-month projects October 2023
18-month projects complete December 2023


Application form

Please do consider having an informal discussion about potential ideas with Nathaniel Pickering (n.pickering@shu.ac.uk) before completing the application form.

Other Funding Opportunities

Each college is funding several Teaching, Learning & Student Experience Enhancement projects in 2022-2023. Proposals may be submitted by an individual academic, a module or course team, or a group of academics from across a department or college. Up to £1800 per project available and proposals should aim to develop innovative enhancements aligned to the ambitions of improving the teaching, learning & student experience in your area and align with Hallam’s strategic priorities such as reducing the Degree Award Gap.

Closing date for applications: 5 pm, Monday 18 July 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, 12 August 2022. Please contact the Head of Learning and Teaching for your college for more information.

  • BTE: Lucian Tipi
  • HWLS: Jo Lidster
  • SSA: Emma Heron


Funded Projects

2022-2023 Projects:

Skills Employability Training Evaluation (Vicki West – Students’ Union)

The Skills Employability Training (SET) programme will support Society Committee members in the Students’ Union to recognise and articulate skills and experiences they gain in their roles so they can increase confidence in applying for jobs and enable them to feel more confident in their own skills and abilities and to help students gain increased confidence in feeling work ready.

Creating a more accessible course for international students (Dr Emily Johnston and Dr Saima Nazir – College of Social Sciences and Arts College)

This project aims to work with and learn from students to adapt the course materials to reflect our international student body. The project aims to increase engagement with the skills centre and improved understanding of assessments, leading to fewer referrals on modules and fewer academic conduct cases.

To what extent can technology improve the learning outcomes for first-generation students in Higher Education? (Mike Bass – College of Business Technology and Engineering)

This project aims to improve the support first generation students receive once they have transitioned in to higher education by using technological intervention – the messaging platform ‘Discord’ to help overcome barriers this student group faces.

Increasing the reach of the Library’s Skills Centre (Kirsty Hemsworth, Jayne Evans and Sam Dougherty – Library Skills Centre)

This action research project will implement and evaluate two interventions that aim to expand the reach of the Library’s Skills Centre to student groups with whom we do not currently engage. These interventions will be designed, delivered and evaluated collaboratively with a team of three student researchers and will align with key points in the student lifecycle linked to assessment.

Assessment literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students (Christine O’Leary – College of Business, Technology and Engineering)

The evaluation project builds on the outcome of a previous enhancement project which aimed to develop a set of evidence-based design principles/ protocols in order to foster a change in practice and improve assessment literacy for all students, with particular attention to the needs of the linguistically and culturally diverse international student body.

Involving undergraduate students in co-designed outreach project (Katherine Rawlinson and Mel Lacey – College of Health Wellbeing and Life Sciences)

Since January 2022, 22 undergraduate student researchers were employed to help design and deliver outreach activities with over 400 primary school children and over 1200 secondary school students. This evaluation will examine the impact of this work on the employed student researchers and analyse the project from a Higher Education pedagogy perspective.

Hepp Multiple Intervention Programme (Alex Bairstow and Tom Broome – Hepp)

HEPP with its Multiple Intervention Programme wants to tackle the learners that lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence to make informed decisions about higher education progression. The project wants to evaluate whether by delivering the programme and working with a targeted group of learners three times per year over 1-3 year period is effective at impacting participants’ knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions about HE progression.

Black British Applicant Programme (Marie Kendrew and the Access Development Team)

Summary: The project wants to build on the existing evaluative framework specifically to develop a Black British Applicant Access Programme using Theory of Change. Student researchers are needed to help to refresh the bank of evidence for the groups and to develop the interventions we will deliver as part of the project.

Understanding student use of alternate file formats for Blackboard resources (Claire Hannah and Stuart Hepplestone – Digital Learning Team)

Blackboard Ally is an alternative file format service built to improve accessibility and learning inclusivity. Since its launch in 2020, more than three hundred thousand alternative file formats have been downloaded by users. The project aims to evaluate how students are using it and whether it is helping students overcome the accessibility, usability, and readability limitations in the types of content being provided by academics?

2021-22 Projects:

Miyoung Oh: The project is to help PESS staff to understand ways in which the course is colonised so that they can decolonise it and provide fairer education to current and future students. In particular, the project seeks to investigate how to decolonise the course from ethnicity and disability angles. The project aims to examine pedagogies, module content and materials staff use and provide staff with recommendations to help them decolonise their modules and practices, and the course.


Alex Hamilton: Understanding the impact of the colonised nature of the traditional chemistry curriculum is the first step to driving positive change and widen participation within the chemical sciences. This project aims to integrate the important research conducted by chemists from ethnic minorities and the Global South into our students learning.


Lada Price: The overall aim of the project is to establish a successful partnership with the BBC’s 50:50 Equality Initiative. This involves embedding diversity of sourcing in practical journalism projects and assignments and data collection using BBC’s methodology and self-monitoring system. Data collection will be guided by the BBC’s approach ‘count, share.


Jane Gurman: Across undergraduate courses in Biosciences and Chemistry there is a need to embed and enhance the understanding and application of Big Data was identified. We will investigate the barriers to student engagement; the requirements of placement and graduate employers for these skills; and design a student-centred learning package to embed data set analysis with introductory programming at level 5.


James Rumbold: The project will evaluate the effectiveness of a co-design course approach to improving postgraduate students career readiness. Two course representatives and teaching staff will work together with MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology students to develop three tailored career development workshop symposia. The project will be qualitatively evaluated by student researchers.


Vicky Mellon: Establish a student research group to provide greater understanding and a review of areas in the course which have received low NSS scores through the STEER/SETL Evaluation CIP Bursary. This would include student researchers working with Alumni and current final year graduates to understand their experiences of SHU in relation to areas of NSS priorities as set by the university. Analysis from this data would lead to recommendations for improvement to the low scoring areas of NSS on the BSc International Tourism Management.


Elizabeth Freeman: BSc Psychology are looking to explore the barriers and enablers to peer mentoring and evaluate our many enhanced course activities, which will also contribute to better communication strategy as a poor or misinformed approach often undermines efforts to improve student engagement and experience.


Aimee France: The study will explore the experiences of the first cohort of BSc (Degree Apprenticeship) Physiotherapy learners who are due to complete their studies in August 2021. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with the learners and the data analysed using thematic analysis. The results of the study will be disseminated locally and nationally and used to inform future developments and deliveries of the programme.


Asif Majid: Microsoft Teams is a collaboration online platform that can bring groups of people together for work, projects, or common interests. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of the platform in building course communities and establishing a broader multilevel network. The findings will be disseminated through university forums, conferences, and a journal publication.


Evaluation of the 2021-22 Evaluation Bursary Scheme

Coming soon