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Bonanza for researchers

NINE teams of academics have emerged victorious from the gruelling nine-month competition for the biggest financial prize ever offered to British education researchers.

Researchers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will share grants totalling pound;7.5 million that are being provided under the groundbreaking Teaching and Learning Research Programme.

The Economic and Social Research Council has awarded between pound;250,000 and pound;900,000 to each of the winning applicants. But the programme's administrators - who received 95 bids for the cash - have emphasised that their expectations are equally huge.

Professor Charles Desforges, the programme's director, said: "Our aim is t ensure that we deliver excellent research which is relevant to the needs of learners, teachers and other users."

Each project will run for between three and five years and involve partnerships between researchers and teachers. Four of the projects will focus on primary education, two on secondary schools and three on the post-16 sector.

The primary projects should provide new insights into groupwork, home-school co-operation, thinking skills, and the development of literacy and numeracy skills. The two secondary studies will examine how pupils learn, and consider the contribution that new technology can make to education.

Research Focus, 21

FE Focus, I

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