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The Directorate of Student Experience, Teaching and Learning (SETL)  Evaluation Bursary Scheme is open 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.


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 which 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.


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 SETL. Student researchers are paid £12.22 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 2023-2024

Call for applications opens June 2023
Informal discussion about potential projects (please contact Nathaniel Pickering June to July 2023
Application deadline 17 July 2023
Confirmation of successful/unsuccessful applications 24 August 2023
Theory of change project team workshops October to December
Ethics support sessions October 2023
Ethics submission deadline November 2023
Community of practice drop-ins (optional) Every four weeks


Application form

Please do consider having an informal discussion about potential ideas with Nathaniel Pickering ( before completing the application form.



Ethics approval is required for all projects. Please ensure you have read the supporting Ethical Guidance document and note that conducting the project without ethics approval in place constitutes research misconduct.

Other Funding Opportunities

College Research & Enhancement Projects 2023-24

Funded Projects

Please read the 2023 – 2024 project abstracts, as below. For all previously funded projects read our 2021/22 and 2022/23 outlines.


Abdel-Karim Al-Tamimi: EduChat: You Virtual AI Tutor

This research delves into students’ views on using chatbots in education, uncovering their diverse learning and course information needs. Initial findings highlight the significance of personalized educational tools and propose AI-driven solutions to chatbot challenges in education. It provides valuable insights for improving chatbot-based learning among educators and experts.

David Peplow: Empowering students: establishing and evaluating a Student Advisory Group

We will establish a Student Advisory Group, which will deliver long-term improvements to student experience within the Department of Culture and Media. The Student Researcher will facilitate Group meetings and present emergent ideas to academic staff in semester 2, with the aim of implementing proposals in the following academic year.

Nikita Bridgeman: Supporting Women in Business: The Role of Mentorship

By following the journey of students engaged with the Women in Business mentorship scheme at Sheffield Hallam University this research seeks to develop a greater understanding of the potential benefits mentorship can provide, allowing guidance principles to support successful mentorship for use in educational settings to be developed.

Gemma Styles: Evaluating Regional Impact of South Yorkshire Children’s University

South Yorkshire has three, soon to be four, Children’s University organisations. The two Sheffield Universities fund ‘South Yorkshire Children’s University’ to bring these organisations together to share good practice and drive further impact for children in the region. This project’s aim is to develop tools to understand regional impact.

Dr Rich Telling: A ‘one-stop shop’ approach to all things Student Voice related

Hallam students suffer from survey fatigue. We hope to resolve this through an intervention in November 2023 which will gather mid-module feedback, complete module evaluation and much more. We’ll need some help evaluating whether this one-stop shop approach is more impactful than our business-as-usual processes – which is where you’ll come in!

Elizabeth Sturge and Katie Smaylen: Using learning analytic data to investigate student behaviours and impact of SHARP

Sheffield Hallam’s learning analytics data identifies low- and non-engaging students and seeks to implement interventions that help and support students to re-engage with their learning. Using this data, the project will conduct secondary analysis of intervention work to understand commonalities, if any, of students that go through at-risk pathway.

Jozef Sen: Talk Club: Supporting Male Student Wellbeing through Peer Support and Community

Talk Club is a talking and listening group for men, with free to attend weekly meetings organised and led by a ‘Captain’ (male student, trained volunteers). This project will establish a Talk Club at Sheffield Hallam University and evaluate the impact and experiences of Student Captains from training, intervention development, and Talk Club facilitation.

Helena Roulston: Play Well, Stay Well

To increase health and wellbeing across our student population through physical activity in it’s broadest sense. We will do this by promoting the existing sports offer, exploring how to integrate physical activity into the curriculum and encourage movement through creative concepts of ‘play’.

Dania Ghani and David Beasant: Evaluating the early adoption of Blackboard Ultra – mixed methods study involving SHU students

We aim to enhance students’ learning experience by making module sites accessible and simplifying the user interface allowing students to navigate their study materials at any time and place. To achieve this, a new virtual learning environment interface called “Blackboard Ultra” has been introduced, along with a new site template and new ways of enhancing teaching and learning. Methods: online survey to students enrolled onto Ultra module sites. Recruitment via the announcements email feature within module sites to prompt voluntary survey completion. data collection at the start of academic year, end of semester and at end of academic year. mixed methods analysis to follow data collection.

Olga Daneyko: Creating Connections: Fostering International Student Transition and Well-being through Artful Engagement

This project introduces an art program for MSc Psychology Conversion Course students, focusing on expressive art to enhance well-being, combat isolation, stress, and anxiety.

Melissa Lacey: The impact of course trips on students’ sense of community, skills and knowledge

Within the Department of Biosciences and Chemistry, several courses undertake field trips. Research questions: RQ1: What do students and staff perceive as the value of field trips? RQ2: Do field trips increase students’ sense of belonging? RQ3: Do field trips increase students’ skills and knowledge?

Dr Elizabeth Freeman: Evaluation of department PSP Booster Week initiative for struggling students

This project will use both questionnaires, interviews and focus groups to evaluate the delivery of a Booster Week in Psychology, Sociology and Politics. The Booster Week is co-created with students and staff and aims to provide a personalised academic, personal and professional development support and refresher sessions to help students ‘get back on track’. This is an exciting opportunity to work on a departmental student development initiative.

Tom Brown: Barriers to considering Probation as a career

This research looks into why the Probation Service is under-represented on Criminology Courses in the FE sector and what interventions can be used to address this.