Student Application Guidance

ESERA Summer School 2020: Oxford, UK (June 28th – July 4th)

Deadline for submission of student applications December 18th 2019
Confirmation of acceptance to students January 31st 2020
Deadline for submission of revised Synopses   February 15th 2020 March 31st 2020
Deadline for registration for the summer school  

February 28th 2020 March 31st 2020

Await communication

Summer school  June 28th – July 4th 2020


Dear PhD student,

The organising committee is inviting applications for the upcoming ESERA summer school from PhD students working in the field of science education research. 

It is expected that any PhD student whose application is accepted will apply to become a member of ESERA if they are not already one. 

Before creating an account on the system it is useful to have the following information ready :

  1. Your biographical details (First Name, Last Name, Email, Country, Organisation (or institution where you are researching). 
  2. The title of your synopsis.
  3. An abstract (not more than 150 words)
  4. 3 key words for your synopsis.
  5. Topic that your research relates to (you can choose from a list)
  6. Your supervisor's name and details
  7. The topic/description of your PhD
  8. Start date of your PhD
  9. Estimated completion of your PhD
  10. Your 2,500 word synopsis in PDF format.

To upload your synopsis you first need to create an account through the EasyChair link from the Apply/Login menu.

* Note: The EasyChair website structure has some ‘fixed’ words that we can not change: when the system refers to a ‘conference’ it means the ESERA 2020 summer school.

Setting up an EasyChair Account

Student applicants should first create an account through the following link:

If you want additional support on setting up an account, click here





Beginning your application on EasyChair

Once your account is set-up and you are logged in to EasyChair, return to the same link, click ‘enter as an author’ and create a new submission.

easychair enterasauthor

You will then be presented with an application form that looks as follows:

At the end of the application form, you will be asked to upload a synopsis.

screenshot 20191216 080900

Detailed Information About Your Study: Your Synopsis

Your synopsis is where you will provide much more detail about your study.
This is the part of your application that will be carefully assessed. Please see the assessment criteria below.

This part of your application will be copied and pasted into the Book of Synopses if you are successful in your application to join the summer school.

Your synopsis needs to include :

  1. An abstract (max. 150 words)
  2. The main text (in a typical synopsis) should include the following elements:
  • an outline of the focus of your study (e.g. the topic it deals with, the problem or issue being addressed, clarification (if necessary) of the meaning of any key terms used in the study, the educational context of the study);
  • a short review of relevant literature;
  • a clear statement of the research questions the study is aiming to answer;
  • outline of the research design, methodology and methods;
  • an indication of the nature and extent of data you have collected so far;
  • discussion of analysis undertaken so far (if applicable);
  • preliminary findings so far (if available)

Please use sub-headings based on the bullet points above to indicate the main sections of your Synopsis.


Additional information about your application

Format of Synopsis

Please follow these formatting guidelines when preparing your Synopsis:

Top, bottom, left and right margins set at 3 cm. Typeface Times New Roman, 12 point, 1.5 line spacing throughout.

Begin the Synopsis with the Title (in bold). After a single line space give your name, institution and the name of your supervisor. The main text of your Synopsis should then follow, with sections headings (in bold) as appropriate.

The Synopsis should be no more than 2500 words, including references.


Selection criteria

The maximum number of students attending the 2020 Oxford Summer School will be 49. Past experience suggests that it is likely that more than this number of students will apply. Should this be the case, the following criteria will be used to select successful applications.

  • Students should not be too near the beginning or end of their PhD work;
  • Whether the PhD project is at an appropriate stage, such that the opportunities for discussion at the summer school can contribute usefully to the students’ work;
  • Clarity of research design and questions;
  • Presentation of some data and initial suggestions about data analysis;
  • The appropriate use of a theoretical framework;
  • The coherence and clarity of the Synopsis as a piece of academic writing.
  • Attention to conventions of academic writing within the Synopsis (e.g. appropriate referencing).
  • Consideration will also be given to ensuring that a diversity of countries is represented at the summer school.

The quality of each student application will be assessed by two reviewers working independently. These reviewers will be experienced science education researchers from within the ESERA community.

Note: ESERA Summer School 2020 participants will be given the opportunity to take part in the ESERA Summer School poster session during the ESERA 2021 Conference in Portugal, without additional review of their proposal.


Saving a copy of your application

Please include your surname in the title of the files uploaded into the ESERA Summer School 2019 platform (surname.docx).

The deadline for receipt of applications is December 18th 2019.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at


Publication of Synopses

The synopses of those students attending the summer school will be available as an e-book at the summer school and on the website. When students are informed that their application has been accepted, they will need to amend their Synopsis according to the reviewers' suggestions, ahead of publication.



Deadline for submission of student applications December 18th 2019
Confirmation of acceptance to students January 31st 2020
Deadline for submission of revised Synopses   February 15th 2020
Deadline for registration for the summer school   February 28th 2020
Summer school  June 28th – July 4th 2020


Estimated Fees

Fee is estimated about 330 including:

  • Overnight accommodation in shared double rooms with en-suite bathroom (private toilet/shower)
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and coffee/tea snacks during the summer school
  • Welcome reception
  • Formal conference 3-course dinner in College Halls
  • Social program
  • All Summer School documentation

School of Education, University of Oxford and Oxford Brookes University


Local Organising committee (LOC)

Deb McGregor, Ann Childs, Sibel Erduran, Judith Hillier, Nicoleta Gaciu, Liam Guilfoyle, Alison Cullinane, Sarah Frodsham and Polly Bell


We look forward to receiving your application!