Jonathan Hancock

Research Assistant


Jonathan is a Research Assistant at Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh. His work focuses on research methods and research project coordination in education, in areas including outdoor learning and sustainability, languages and communication, learning spaces, hybrid learning and teaching, and initial teacher education. He has over ten years professional research experience, having previously worked in research and public policy in the Third Sector, and as a teacher for two years in Japan, before rejoining Moray House as a Research Assistant in 2019.

He has published on ecological approaches to education and educational research, spatial literacies and identities, initial teacher education, and pupils learning English as an Additional Language (EAL). Additionally, he worked as a Research Assistant on the University of Edinburgh team for the SCDE Scottish Government Attainment Challenge project, which concluded in 2021.

Currently, Jonathan is working as an RA on the Sensory Explorations in School Environments (SENSE) project and the Horizon Europe Roadmap to STEAM Education project. He recently worked on the Hybrid Pioneers Initiative, and the Intercultural Approaches to Student Education project. He also provides RA support to the Teacher Education, Curriculum and Pedagogy (TECP) Thematic Hub, and is a core member of the Race and Inclusivity in Global Education Network (RIGEN). 

Jonathan is undertaking a PhD by Research Publication at the University of Edinburgh, with supervisor Dr Heidi Smith.

Project activity

2023-2025. Research Assistant. Developing a STEAM Roadmap for Science Education. Horizon Europe. Value: €1.660.625 (Co-I: Dr Laura Colucci-Gray). 

2021-2024. Research Assistant. Sensory Explorations of Nature in School Environments (SENSE). EPSRC. Value: £1.000.000 (PI: Prof. Advaith Siddhartan, Co-I: Dr Laura Colucci-Gray, Professor Andrew Manches). 

2022-2023. Research Assistant. Intercultural Approaches to Student Education. Challenge Investment Project. Value: £10,000. (PI: Dr Yvonne Foley).

2021-2023. Research Assistant. Hybrid Pioneers. PTAS. Value: £16,879. (PI: Professor Do Coyle).

2021. Research Assistant. Inspiring Spaces, Inspiring Learning. University of Edinburgh Regional Skills Programme. Value: £10.000. (PI: Professor Do Coyle). Report available here: 

2021. Research Assistant. STEAM Gardens for employability and well-being. University of Edinburgh Regional Skills Programme. Value: £10.000. (PI: Dr Laura Colucci-Gray) Report available here:

2019-2021. Research Assistant. Food Activism in the Schoolyard. Project funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute.  Value: £18.000.

2018-2021. Research Assistant. SCDE Scottish Attainment Challenge. Scottish Government. Value: £.50.000. Final report available here:

2016-2018. Research Assistant. Initial Teacher Education and English as an Additional Language. Funded by The Bell Foundation and Unbound Philanthropy. Value: £120,000. (PI: Dr Yvonne Foley).

For further information, see my Edinburgh Research Explorer profile: 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Hancock, J. and Hancock, A. (2024). School Leaders as Projective Agents: online spaces for heritage languages during Covid-19. Current Issues in Language Planning.

Hancock, J., Al-Bishawi, R., and Coyle, D. (2023). Ownership and agency through learner-led design of shared learning spaces: a multi-case study approach. Cambridge Journal of Education.

Hancock, J., Gray, D., and Colucci-Gray, L. (2023). A view from the garden: Interrupting the politics of attainment and reorienting education towards sustainable futures. European Educational Research Journal.

Foley, Y., Anderson, C., Hancock, J. and Conteh, J. (2022). Exploring the professional identity and agency of student teachers in multilingual classrooms. Language and Education, 36:2, 106-121.

Coyle, D., Bower, K., Foley, Y. and Hancock, J. (2021). Teachers as Designers of Learning in Diverse Bilingual Classrooms in England: An ADIBE Case Study. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 26(9): 1031-1049.

Hancock, A. and Hancock, J. (2021). On the outside, looking in: learning community languages and Scotland’s 1 + 2 Language Strategy. Current Issues in Language Planning, 22(3): 328-347.

Botterill, K. and Hancock, J. (2019). Rescaling belonging in Brexit Britain: Spatial identities and practices of Polish nationals in Scotland after the UK Referendum. Population, Space and Place, 25(1).


Book Chapters

Hancock, J. and Hancock, A. (2024). Teaching and learning community languages in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges, opportunities and innovations. In K. Cruickshank, J. Lo Bianco, and M. Wahlin (Eds.), Community and Heritage Languages Schools Transforming Education: Research, Challenges, and Teaching Practices (pp. 24-45). London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781003302704-2

Foley, Y. and Hancock, J. (Accepted/In Press). Qualitative Teacher Research. In C. A. Chappelle (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics 2nd Edition. Wiley Publishing.


Briefing Papers and Reports 

Hancock, J. with Gray, D., Colucci-Gray, L., & Donald, B. (2023). School Gardens Briefing Paper. Funded by One Seed Forward. 

Hybrid Pioneers Team. (2022). Hybrid Pioneers Interim Report. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh.

Hancock, A., Hancock, J., and Terlecka, M. (2021) The impact on teaching and learning community languages in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic. Edinburgh: CERES/University of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-1-5272-9300-7

Hancock, J., Coyle, D., and Al Bishawi, R. (2021). Inspiring Spaces, Inspiring Learning: Shared Learning Spaces. Regional Skills Pilot Project Report.

Coyle, D., Colucci-Gray, L., Al Bishawi, R., and Hancock, J. (2021). Reconceptualising Attainment through shared learning spaces which promote achievement, health and wellbeing. Scottish Government and SCDE Attainment Challenge Project Research Report.

Colucci-Gray, L., Gray, D. S., and Hancock, J. (2020). Developing pupil-led garden spaces in primary schools in Scotland. Scottish Government and SCDE Scottish Attainment Challenge project briefing.

Foley, Y., Anderson, C., Conteh, J., and Hancock, J. (2018). Initial Teacher Education and English as an Additional Language. Edinburgh: Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland.  

Arshad, R., Moskal, M., and Hancock, J. (2016). Racial Equality and Scottish School Education: Ensuring today’s young people are tomorrow’s confident citizens. CERES, University of Edinburgh / University of Glasgow joint briefing paper.

Conference Papers and Presentations

Hancock, J., Manches, A., Colucci-Gray, L. (2024). Touch in Learning: An embodied approach to understanding and evaluating the role of touch in science education. First International Conference on Embodied Education, Copenhagen, Denmark, 16th May 2024.

Hancock, J., Colucci-Gray, L., Islam, R., Sharma, N., Manches, A., Bowes, L., Lakeman-Fraser, P., Moizer, S., Newman, J., Reuger, S., Siddharthan, A. (2024). Seeing with hands and touching with eyes: recovering sensorial attention to nature in primary schools. First International Conference on Embodied Education, Copenhagen, Denmark, 16th May 2024.

Hancock, J. (2024). Exploring Learning Ecologies across Educational Environments: Relationality, reciprocity, and resilience. Interweaving Conference, University of Edinburgh, 22nd March 2024.

Hancock, J., Colucci-Gray, L., and Manches, A. (2023). Investigating sustainability education through primary school children’s natural and digital haptic touch explorations. Scottish Educational Research Association (SERA) Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, 23rd November 2023. 

Colucci-Gray, L., Hancock, J., and Manches, A. (2023). “If you really, really want to know it you have to touch it” – Researching the Role of Touch in Children’s Science Education. ESERA (European Science Education Research Association) Conference, Cappadocia, Turkey, 29th August 2023.

Coyle, D., Hancock, J., Smith, H., De Vigne, J., & Miranda, J. J. (2023). Propositions for a ‘Hybrid’ Future: Interdisciplinary Autoethnographic Research on Inclusive and Innovative Learning Spaces in Higher Education. Learning & Teaching Conference, University of Edinburgh, Online, 28th June 2023.

Coyle, D., Hancock, J., Craig, M., Smith, H., Timmons, W., & Rikic, H. (2022). One Size Does Not Fit All: Rethinking hybridity as accessible, agile, and inspirational learning and teaching spaces. Learning & Teaching Conference, University of Edinburgh, Online, 15th July 2022.

Colucci-Gray, L., Gray, D. S., Hancock, J. (2021). Closing the Gap? Reconceptualising the politics of attainment and wellbeing through garden activism. ECER Conference, Online, 7th September 2021.

Colucci-Gray, L., Cassidy, C., Gray, D. S., Darling McQuistan, K., Day, S., Donald, B., Leask, K., Hancock, J. (2021). What place for food activism with the current educational system? BERA Conference, Online, 13th September 2021.

Botterill, K. and Hancock, J. (2017). Negotiating ‘Brexit Britain’: Coping strategies of Polish nationals in Scotland after the UK Referendum on EU membership. Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, London, 1st September 2017.

Foley, Y., Anderson, C., Conteh, J. and Hancock, J. (2017). Initial Teacher Education and English as an Additional Language. Symposium: Language, Literacies and Diverse Classrooms, University of Edinburgh. 31st March 2017.