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The majority of our work is organised on a project basis. Projects may be proposed by individuals or groups of academics and academic-related staff whose work is related to the curriculum. We also welcome cross-school project teams. All projects are expected to have clear outputs and strategically relevant effects. Where approved, projects are managed from within eSTEeM with individual academics taking responsibility for project delivery. Please see the Projects section for further details on current and completed eSTEeM projects.

Word cloud of eSTEeM project titles
Word cloud of eSTEeM project titles

From proposals to projects

eSTEeM consults with its Coordination Group, which features colleagues from each of the STEM Schools, to establish scholarship priority areas. Project calls are circulated twice a year (usually January and July) inviting expressions of interest or fully worked up proposals. Proposals are carefully scrutinised by the Coordination Group to ensure the project meets strategic requirements, will have tangible deliverables and are achievable in the time scale and with reasonable resources.

Once projects are formally approved, eSTEeM provides an induction, access to a mentoring scheme and on-going support to project leaders in the planning, identifying of research methodology, and evaluation of their projects. In addition, eSTEeM will help project leaders to think about how to implement their outcomes more widely in modules and policy across the OU, and disseminate to colleagues both internally and externally.

On completion, the project team will be expected to provide a final report and to widely disseminate the findings of their projects. Often the outputs from the project will feedback into module design and teaching practice further illustrating the impact of evidence-based research. Project leaders are also be encouraged to consider publication opportunities and may seek to gain recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. A completed eSTEeM project can be helpful to support a claim for professional recognition against the UK Professional Standards Framework via Applaud.