Frequently asked questions

If I register, am I committed to the full application?

No. By registering, you are not committed to applying and there is no deadline to complete an application form. Once registered, you will be given access to the secure site which will hold your application. You can download your welcome pack on the secure site, which will help you complete your application. You can register here.

Will the application take a lot of time to complete?

This is up to you! The criteria in the application are very thorough in that they ask questions that cover the full range of research engagement. The questions do not, however, ask for a lot of written work – they ask for evidence – and it is your choice how you present this evidence. It could be video diaries, meeting minutes, presentations and plans. If you would like support in your Research Mark application, please call our helpline team on 01753 637007.

Do I have to answer every question?

Yes. There are eight questions covering eight criteria subjects. You must answer each one. There is more information here.

Why does the NFER research associate visit my school or college?

The visit gives the research associate the opportunity to witness the research in action and to see the impact and results from it. They need to see that the research is embedded across the school or college and fully supported by the leadership. They need to talk to staff, leaders and pupils. An agenda will be agreed in advance. This consultancy approach will highlight areas you have done well in and give guidance on what you can do to improve.

Who are the NFER research associates?

The NFER research associates have been recruited through recommendation based on their experience in research engagement in schools or colleges. They are all fully trained on the process and all their reports are moderated centrally by NFER.

What happens if we don’t meet the criteria?

The NFER research associate will be looking to identify what stage of research engagement (emerging, established or extended) you are at. If they feel you have not yet reached the 'emerging' stage, NFER can give you support and recommendations on how to achieve this. The NFER Research Mark will not be awarded, but alternative routes will be recommended to help with research engagement. In this circumstance, you will not be charged. NFER will recommend a timescale to make improvements before applying again.

How long does the mark last for?

The NFER Research Mark is valid for 3 three years. After three years, you will be contacted by NFER with renewal details.

How much does it cost to renew?

In our experience, a lot can change over three years in research terms, so the renewal process will be the full price which includes the visit and the assessor report.

Please see the Terms and Conditions for further information on the NFER Research Mark.

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