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Four fully funded PhDs at the Open University, UK

The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK - Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)

The Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology at the Open University has an international reputation for the quality of its research. Providing research students with a supportive environment and excellent research facilities ensures a future supply of first class researchers. We are recruiting PhD students in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) who study under guidance from world-class experts in the field. Open Technology Enhanced Learning (OpenTEL) brings together the Technology Enhanced Learning Cluster in the Institute of Educational Technology with researchers in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies. We encourage interdisciplinary research which also brings in researchers from the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Mathematics, Computing and Technology, and the Knowledge Media Institute. If you feel that the challenge of research in this exciting and interesting area is for you and you have the drive and intellectual curiosity to pursue postgraduate research, then we look forward to hearing from you!

We are offering up to 4 fully funded full-time studentships for a 1+3 programme (MRes and PhD) or +3 programme (3-year PhD).

Closing date: 1 July 2015

More information on the range of topics and how to apply here. Topics include:

How are digital tools and technologies influencing participation in citizen inquiry initiatives?

This project will combine several lines of complementary research to explore citizen inquiry activities. Building on the findings of previous doctoral research (Curtis, 2015), you will explore developments with digital tools and technologies and how they mediate interaction and online activity, influencing and extending opportunities for participation and collaboration, and the ways in which the greater visibility and value afforded to stakeholders and publics is shifting and extending academic scholarly practices. We are particular interested in proposals that address one or more of the following issues in relation to citizen inquiry initiatives: 1) what role does gender play in participation; 2) what are the factors affecting participation in different disciplinary domains, e.g. comparing arts-focused and science-based projects?

Supervisors: Dr Richard Holliman, Professor Eileen Scanlon and Dr Ann Jones

Curtis, V. (2015). Online citizen science projects: an exploration of motivation, contribution and participation. PhD thesis The Open University. Available here.

The battle for open and engaged research

Public funding for research is increasingly founded on the requirements for researchers to be both open and engaged. This project will address current theoretical, practical and policy developments in open and engaged research, exploring how calls for greater openness and transparency, and engagement on the part of researchers with other forms of expertise, is reshaping and extending the social practices of research (Weller, 2104; Grand et al. 2015). We are particular interested in proposals that explore practices of open and engaged scholarship in relation to the roles that digital tools and technologies play in mediating information, interaction and participation.

Supervisors: Dr Richard Holliman, Professor Eileen Scanlon and Professor Martin Weller

Grand, A., Davies, G., Holliman, R. and Adams, A. (2015). Mapping Public Engagement with Research in a UK University. PLoS ONE, 10(4) pp. 1–19. Available here.

Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open: How openness won and why it doesn't feel like victory. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI here.


  • Open university
  • phd