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Affiliated Schools Research Program


The Affiliated Schools Program is a partnership between the University of Canberra (UC) and the ACT Government underpinned by a shared vision for Innovation, Research and Teacher Professional Development.

Aims and Scope

The Affiliated Schools Research Program:

  • Fosters research towards system and school improvement through the development and evaluation of evidence‐based enhancements to student learning and well‐being, teaching practice and educational policy
  • Is aligned to the ACT Government Future of Education strategy.

Projects will:

  • Leverage the strengths and address the unique needs of ACT Government schools
  • Address the strategic priorities of the ACT Government
  • Involve collaborations between UC Faculty of Education academic staff, ACT Government School teachers and school leaders, and other staff within the ACT Education Directorate
  • Demonstrate alignment with broader Directorate programs and initiatives
  • Maximise opportunities for external funding (e.g. Australian Research Council Linkage Grants)
  • Include dissemination strategies that ensure impact across the whole system.

Projects might:

  • Range from school‐based action-research and pilot projects to large‐scale multi-school initiatives
  • Be self-contained or part of a larger existing research program
  • Be staged, with separate funding provided as the project grows from an initial pilot to a larger system wide initiative
  • Build on existing partnerships between teachers and UC academic staff
  • Be led by teachers or school leaders, emerging from school and cluster-identified needs, potentially aligned with teachers’ formal study or emerging from the Teacher as Researcher program, supported through collaboration, mentorship and/or professional learning involving UC academics
  • Be led by UC academics building on their prior research within identified priority themes, with teachers as partners and collaborators in the research.

Support from Principals of all schools where initiatives are implemented or data collection undertaken is essential.

Research themes and priority topics

Research proposals can be considered if they align with the broader themes within the Future of Education strategy.

Priority topics are regularly decided. The following priority themes and topics were agreed in 2022:

    Major Theme 1: Student Centred Learning

  • Cultural Integrity
  • Personalised Learning
  • Student Voice
  • Diversity and Equity
  • Major Theme 2: Teachers and Communities

  • Early Childhood Partnerships
  • Work Life of Teachers and Principals
  • Major Theme 3: Future School System

  • New Model for Schools
  • Effectiveness of Theories of Change
  • 50-year Anniversary of ACT Education

In order to allow for additional priority topics to be added over the life of the program and to maintain alignment with Ministerial and Directorate priorities, topics are reviewed and approved at six monthly intervals by the Affiliated Schools Steering Committee.

The Affiliated School Program leadership aim to ensure that at least one project is funded for each priority topic. Proposals for research focussing on other topics within the major themes will also be eligible for funding but will require stronger arguments about their importance. All other things being equal a higher funding priority will be assigned for research aligned with the priority topics.


Project leaders must be either continuing or contract academic staff of UC Faculty of Education or continuing or contract Education Directorate staff members. If the project leader is a contract rather than continuing staff member this should be factored into arguments about the long term impact and sustainability of the initiative.

Other team members may be continuing, contract or sessional UC Faculty of Education academic or professional staff members, or continuing, contract or casual Education Directorate staff members.

Affiliated researchers from other UC Faculties or other Universities may be named on the grant, but funds from the scheme cannot be expended within other Universities.

The project leader may not lead more than one active research grant at a time from the Affiliated Schools Research program. But the project leader can participate in other UC Faculty of Education academic’s affiliated schools research project as a co-investigator while she/he holds one active research project as a leader.


The ASRP aims to provide funding of $2 million over four years (2020 to 2024) for collaborative research projects involving UC Faculty of Education researchers and Affiliated Schools (AS) teachers and school leaders to meet Education Directorate needs aligned to the Future of Education Strategy. There are three categories of projects for which funding can be requested:

  • Small projects: pilot or seed funded projects, or single school action-research projects, undertaken in under 12 months, for which funding up to $20,000 can be requested;
  • Medium projects: projects which involve a major school-wide initiative at a single school or initiatives across a number of schools, undertaken in under 18 months, for which funding up to $100,000 can be requested; and
  • Large projects: projects or programs with system wide impact, normally which build on an earlier Small or Medium project or a large body of prior research, undertaken in under 3 years, for which funding up to $300,000 can be requested.

For more detailed guidelines about the project proposal, click here.