StudentShapers is an opportunity to...

  • Engage more deeply in an area of our education
  • Improve the student experience
  • Work closely in a co-creative environment across the staff/student community
Staff-Student partnership in Learning and Teaching - building our learning community

StudentShapers is a programme developed between Imperial College and Imperial College Union to support partnership between staff and students. StudentShapers supports projects in educational development and educational research with the programme open to the entire Imperial College staff and student body.

I’m excited to see what can happen when we bring together the expertise from both our students and our staff in true partnership."

Simone Buitendijk

Vice-Provost, Education

The StudentShapers programme will provide financial support to students to facilitate them taking part in partnership activities.  The StudentShapers programme provides a framework for staff and students to ensure projects have as high an impact as possible, achieve high quality outcomes and adopt the guiding principles of partnership. 

Guiding Principles of Partnership

  • A partnership approach should equally value the expertise of staff and students; this includes a recognition of students contributing an expertise of being learners and of staff being teachers, administrators or managers as appropriate. This expertise should be recognised alongside subject specific knowledge and expertise.​
  • Partnerships should present equal opportunity for all students and adopt an inclusive approach; once the nature of the expertise required for a project is identified, the opportunity for partnership should be made equally available for all who are eligible.​
  • Both staff and students are able to benefit from the partnership – this does not mean the benefits are the same for staff and student partners, but the benefits should be similar in scale.
  • Partnerships should achieve an appropriate distribution of power; staff and students should make the effort to familiarise themselves with one another’s approach in order to foster a culture in which partners are equally able to critique and challenge practices and approaches, and are able to suggest novel or innovative ways of working. 

StudentShapers and the Academic Representation Network

ARN Vs SSThe StudentShapers programme is designed to complement the Imperial College Union Academic Rep network.  The primary role of Academic Reps is that of consultation and feedback. Opportunities are provided at a range of levels for students to express and represent the opinions, perspectives, ideas and concerns of their fellow students.

Students involved in StudentShapers projects are supported to undertake a collaborative partnership with a staff member at much greater levels of time commitment.  StudentShapers projects involve joint ownership and decision making over both the process and outcome during an educational development or educational research project. This is embodied in the Guiding Principles of Partnership.  When planning a StudentShapers project it should be considered what background and rationale for the project the Academic Representation Network could provide in support. 

Any questions around academic representation in the context of StudentShapers can be directed to either or Imperial College Union Deputy President (Education)

 Scheme Framework

scheme framework

StudentShapers should adopt one of two themes and within each theme there are various project streams.

 Curriculum Development and pedagogic enhancement and innovation

Curriculum Development projects, for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students over the summer vacation.  Translation of research in to teaching projects, for postgraduate research students at any time of the year

Learning and Teaching Scholarship and research

Educational research and investigation projects, for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students over the summer vacation.

Additional projects which can be undertaken on an ad-hoc basis can be proposed; these would fall outside of the timeframes of the other project streams or cover multiple areas of activity.

Further details of all the projects streams, plus information on how to make project proposals can be found on the ‘how to get involved’ page, including current projects in progress.