TASO is seeking expressions of interest from higher education providers (HEPs) to run research projects designed to establish effective approaches to addressing continuation and attainment gaps for BAME students.

We are seeking providers to submit proposals to evaluate promising approaches within their own institution. The project will take place with two or three providers between July 2020 and November 2021.

Partner HEPs can apply for a grant of up to £60,000 to enable them to engage a research assistant to run this project, as well as to cover expenses incurred by the HEP for the purpose of the evaluation.

Participation will involve the following:

  • Designing and running the research project in your institution.
  • Project workshops to map out commonalities and differences between the practice at different providers in the project and to develop common evaluation and measurement frameworks.
  • Implementation of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to test some aspect of your provision where appropriate (consistent with a protocol provided by TASO) and working with an independent evaluator appointed by TASO to facilitate this evaluation.
  • Facilitating the collection and provision of data required for the evaluation, covered by appropriate data sharing arrangements.
  • The opportunity to work closely with the TASO team and develop your institution’s overall knowledge of evaluation techniques.
  • Participation in research update meetings with TASO and the Theme Working Group.
  • Producing interim and final reports on the project and its findings.

The deadline for applications is Friday 24 April 2020.

We are currently planning for these projects to begin at the start of the next academic year in September 2020. However, in light of COVID-19, we will closely monitor the circumstances and may amend project timelines if necessary.

If you have any questions, please review the below FAQs before emailing: info@taso-he.org.


Can I apply to evaluate projects focused on widening participation for BAME students?

This funding round is focussed on continuation/attainment gaps. We will only consider projects which have a clear focus on supporting students after they have entered HE.

Can I apply to evaluate projects focused on closing continuation/attainment gaps for all students, rather than BAME students in particular?

We know that in some cases approaches to addressing continuation/attainment gaps will apply to a broad population of students, not just BAME students. However, we will prioritise projects which can be clearly linked to addressing gaps for BAME students.

Can I use the funding to implement an approach to address continuation/attainment gaps for BAME students?

The grant can be used for the purpose of evaluation, not for funding the implementation of practice/interventions/approaches itself. In your application you will be asked to provide a budget which shows how the grant will be used to hire a research assistant to lead the work in your institution and to cover expenses that are clearly related to evaluation.

Can I apply to evaluate a new project in my institution?

We will prioritise projects which show promise of positive results (e.g. through existing monitoring and evaluation). If your project is new, you will need to make a case for why you think it will be effective (e.g. by drawing on findings from other projects or from research).

In your application you will be asked to outline:

  • The evidence that leads you to believe this practice/intervention/approach shows promise of being effective.
  • The methodologies you propose to use.
  • How you think this research project will benefit the HE sector.

Can I apply to evaluate more than one project in my institution?

Yes, it is possible to include more than one type of practice/intervention/approach in your application.

The project starts in June 2020 but we won’t be able to participate until a later date. Should we still apply?

Yes, while the project can start as early as June 2020, the bulk of activity is expected to take place in the 2020/21 academic year with final reporting by November 2021. With disruption caused by COVID-19 we understand that providers may face delays recruiting staff and we will take this into account when reviewing applications. Please state an estimated start date clearly in your application.