The effectiveness of careers services is the research topic with the largest Scottish Office grant in the latest round of nine awards. The contract for Pounds 103,000 over two years goes jointly to Edinburgh and Strathclyde Universities.
The research will look at the 17 careers companies: the one in Fife was strongly criticised last week by an independent consultant.
Three projects reflect the Government focus on pre-school. They are shared by Paula Gilder Consulting, Strathclyde University and Stirling University.
Other topics include teachers' need for knowledge of information technology (Robert Gordon University) and an evaluation of the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (St Andrew's College).
The Quality in Education Centre adds to its remit on effective schools a Pounds 78,000 three-year study in deprived areas.