Making a difference: Impact from our research

We are committed to impact, public engagement and knowledge mobilisation through our research and through continuing learning and development for a diverse range of professional stakeholders. We work closely with organisations, governments, institutions and civil society at international, national and local levels. We contribute to equitable, sustainable and socially responsible developments in education, health and wellbeing.

Teaching that Matters for Migrant Students (TEAMS): Helping migrant students' integration in schools

Boy doing schoolwork in class
The TEAMS project addresses the urgent need to understand the challenges and opportunities for schools as they respond to the increased number of migrant students in classrooms.

Improving relationships and learning environments

High school students are having a discussing. Multi-ethnic male and females are in classroom.
Research into positive relationships, restorative practices and effective learning environments in schools has benefitted not only teachers and pupils but also parents and families.

Developing and implementing a new computing science curriculum in Scottish schools

Research advanced national curricular change by informing the revised Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Technologies curriculum and also supported research-informed development of professional learning for teachers.

Embedding Learning for Sustainability in Scottish education policy and teaching practice

Research and professional development offerings have embedded learning for sustainability (LfS) across Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, which is followed by more than 690,000 state school pupils.

Enhancing professional judgement and decision-making expertise in hyperdynamic environments

Research in sport and performance psychology has established new evidence that has had a demonstrable impact on enhancing professional judgement and decision making (PJDM) expertise in hyperdynamic environments, both inside and outside sport.

Supporting teachers to embrace linguistic diversity

Photo of group of children looking a globe of the world
Analysing teachers’ understanding of supporting pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL), researchers have promoted linguistic diversity in various educational contexts.

Preventing violence against children and promoting safe environments

Photo of three happy children
Research led by Fry ​and Maternowska in partnership with UN agencies and national partners has identified the common global drivers of violence against children, investigated its long-term effects and evaluated the effectiveness of school-based interventions for its prevention.

Digital Play

Child with tablet
Many parents tell us that they would like to know more about the role of digital media in the lives of children. The ‘Digital Play’ resource aims to support parents and professionals to make them feel more confident about developing strategies for integrating digital media into family life.

Pioneering the future of digital education in universities: The Manifesto for Teaching Online

The book 'The Manifesto for Teaching Online' is a distillation of a research programme beginning in 2011 that focuses on the politics and practices of digital education; this body of work has advanced knowledge of effective, critical digital education that has influenced universities and organisations globally.

Read, Write, Count collaborative partnership to support family learning and parental engagement

RWC logos
This collaborative partnership with the Scottish Book Trust and the City of Edinburgh Schools, Psychological Services and Lifelong Learning departments supports family learning approaches to promote parental engagement with young people’s learning, using the resources provided by the national Read, Write, Count initiative.

Improving reading and challenging gender stereotypes in Scotland

Photo of two children happily reading
Research on initial reading instruction, reading motivation and engagement, and sex differences in motivation, has had a positive impact on the educator sector, through supporting teachers’ professional learning, influencing national programmes and contributing to parliamentary debate.

Improving concussion awareness and education

Photograph of sports coaches and students at a sports stadium with "If in doubt, sit them out" banner in the background
Edinburgh-born collaborative project ConcussEd raises awareness about concussion and is improving how concussion education is delivered.

Enhancing global, UK and Scottish physical activity policy and guidance

Photograph of cyclists on cycle path
Internationally-recognised researchers from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) have had a demonstrable impact on shaping local, national and global public health policy by enhancing international economic assessment of the benefits of walking and cycling.

Inequalities and school curriculum: Informing policy on widening access to higher education and promoting social mobility

Photo of students studying
Research carried out by an international team of researchers led by Professor Iannelli provided new knowledge on the role of the school curriculum in widening access to higher education and promoting social mobility, which informed the work of the Commission on Widening Access (COWA) and the Scottish Government’s strategy to address the issue of subject choice in secondary schools.

Improving learning for higher education students

Photo image of 3 happy students in college corridor
Researchers from the Institute for Academic Development and the Moray House School of Education and Sport do internationally recognised work to understand how students learn in higher education and how we can collaborate with them to create the best possible learning experiences.

Enhancing racial and linguistic equality in education – Scotland and wider UK

Photograph showing teacher and two pupils
Analysing racial and linguistic understanding among teachers, researchers have promoted diversity in the profession and had a pronounced impact on policy, teaching practice and professional standards.

Applying sports science to enhance motor sport performance

Motor Sports
Improving the understanding of sports science can enhance the preparation and competitive behaviour of young race and rally drivers across the world.

Digitising exams – enhancing accessibility for pupils with additional support needs

digital exams
Using assistive and communication technology for pupils with additional needs, CALL Scotland improved inclusivity in schools’ national assessments.

Enabling notification of visual impairment in Scotland

Visual Impairment Scotland
Research on childhood visual impairment has resulted in a national registration system in both Scotland and Australia.

Football Fans in Training – walking towards increased physical activity

Professor Nanette Mutrie and colleagues have created a walking programme that has led to increased levels of physical activity among approximately 10,000 sports fans worldwide.

Higher education in Scotland, the devolution settlement and the referendum on independence

Girl looking up
This research has made a major contribution to the debate on Higher Education policy during a period of extensive constitutional change for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Collaborating with the BBC to support children's learning via CBeebies online games

Child's learning (thumbnail)
The BBC invited researchers to develop parent-friendly suggestions to improve children’s learning from and enjoyment of CBeebies online games.

Improving relationships and behaviour in Scottish schools by influencing policy

A female teacher sits consoling a young student in the corridor, the little girl looks very upset and holds her head in her hand
Research into relationships and behaviour in schools has influenced government policy and led to lower levels of exclusion from schools.

Innovating in digital and open education

Mariner's compass and solar system
Digital Education experts have transformed online, distance learning within and beyond the University of Edinburgh, creating vibrant networks of learners around the world participating in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

Outdoor learning and learning for sustainability policy development in Scotland

This research has embedded outdoor learning in Scottish national education policy, making it a world leader in Outdoor Learning and Learning for Sustainability.

Philosophy in Prisons: Developing Critical Thinking and a Community of Inquiry

Graphic brain
Using the critical thinking skills enhanced by studying philosophy, the researchers developed the critical reasoning and interpersonal skills of prisoners.

Supporting children’s transition and facilitating inclusive education

Smiling boy in wheelchair
Developing holistic approaches to supporting the transition of children with special needs into mainstream schools.

Teacher Agency for Inclusion and Social Justice

A distinctive approach to teaching and learning that supports the participation and achievements of diverse groups of students in classrooms and schools.

Transforming learning in early mathematics

Exploring the processes of hands-on learning, this research has led to the development of an innovative digital start-up to engage young children in mathematics.

Understanding the Value of Universal Youth Work

Youth work
Research demonstrating the educational, personal, and social benefits of universal youth work has emphasised its role in improving the community-based learning and development of young people beyond school education.