Grad research

Graduate research students interested in pursuing a staff-student based project will need to take some additional information in to account before proceeding.  

Click to submit PhD Supervisor support form

Graduate School's Students as Partners scheme

Nine Student Programme Partner (SPP) opportunities are available (one for each of the doctoral programme areas and one for the Master’s programme).

The deadline for applications is normally in early/mid June of each year.

Further information.  

Through the Learning and Teaching Strategy, the College aims to deliver a world class research based education, in line with our position as global leader in STEM research. Acknowledging the fact that scientific endeavour is fast moving, StudentShapers projects provide an opportunity for PhD students to contribute to the translation of new research and their experiences of Higher Education into our taught curricula.  For PhD students aspiring towards an academic career path, engaging in a StudentShapers project also provides a professional development opportunity to become involved in educational development work beyond normal Graduate Teaching Assistant opportunities.   


Any PhD student who has already undergone (or is in a position to undergo) GTA training, is welcomed to express interest in opportunities.  PhD students should also consider attending the Graduate School’s professional development programme in teaching as appropriate for the project.  It would be likely that the project would be  with your Research Supervisor and they would be your main staff partner for the project, or another teaching academic in your research area.  The Staff partner would typically be the lead on the delivery of the area of the curriculum to which the project contributes.  

Additional GTA work should not be undertaken during the project, so an extension of programme deadlines would not be given for project participants. 

PhD students engaging in a project would be supported with an additional bursary of £230pw. It would normally be expected that around 2 days a week is then spent on educational development work during the duration of the project (between 4-8 weeks in length); however different models of work would be considered if it were convivial to the project, extrapolating from this model in terms of timescales and intensity of engagement. T4 visa holders therefore remain eligible on this suggested model of participation.  Additional GTA work would not normally be expected to be undertaken during this time, and the project should deliver long-lasting educational development linked to the individuals’ research area into the curriculum.  Consumables are not normally included within the bursaries StudentShapers provides.  

PhD students will also need to request that their supervisor submits a statement in support of their project engageament prior to beginning on a project via the link above. Any bursary forms for PhD students without a supporting supervisor statement will be not be accepted.

What are the Benefits?

For research students:

  • An opportunity to engage with teaching and education at Imperial beyond the opportunities of GTA work
  • A way of considering how your discipline expertise can have value to the taught curricula at Imperial
  • A professional development opportunity to expand your experience and gain an insight into educational activities for academics
  • An opportunity to develop your knowledge and understanding of educational practice
  • An opportunity to partner with your supervisor or staff member in a non-research capacity
  • Additional evidence to support an application for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, through the Imperial STAR framework

Featured projects