TASO is inviting Higher Education Providers (HEPs) and colleges to partner with us on a project that aims to address the difficult methodological and theoretical challenges faced by HEPs wishing to evaluate the impact of widening participation and student success activities with small cohorts. The project aims to enable HEPs that are delivering interventions with small cohorts to pilot  “small n” evaluation methodologies.

On this project we will work with partner HEPs to:

  • Produce a series of pilot evaluations with small cohorts of students to ascertain the impact of intervention
  • Evaluate the HEPs use of small-n methodologies, seeking to understand the challenges/opportunities that may occur.
  • Build a community of practice, in which all pilot partners (HEPs) come together for a series of evaluation capacity building workshops.

We are particularly interested to work with HEPs that are delivering interventions aligned to our four research themes:

  • Theme 1: Effectiveness of widening participation and outreach
  • Theme 2: Gaps in the student experience
  • Theme 3: Employment and employability
  • Theme 4: Mental health and disability

Please note, we anticipate that involvement in this project is best pitched at evaluators with some research expertise and will position HEPs to embed high-quality evidence of what works with small/targeted cohorts in Access and Participation Plan (APP) variations or future APPs.

If you would like to submit an application to become our partner, please email research@taso.org.uk expressing your interest by Friday 18 March 2022. Please use “Small-n: expression of interest” in the email subject. Once you have registered your interest you will receive an email outlining the application process.

We anticipate the project will start in May 2022.

For more information on the project and what we require please find the full invitation to tender (ITT) here.

A brief overview of each methodology and an indication of the resource required to implement it can be found here.