The University of Stirling has for a full-time PhD studentship that will involve evaluating and researching aspects of a school-based citizen science and environmental education project: Polli:Nation – Citizen Science and Environmental Education in the School Grounds .
This involves schools in recording, conserving habitat for, and restoring the abundance and diversity of, pollinating insect species in the UK and is led by Learning Through Landscapes. It's paid for with £1.4 M from the Heritage Lottery Fund, an outfit that everybody now seems to depend on. Partners include Buglife, Butterfly Conservation, the Field Studies Council, and the OPAL (citizen science) network, working with The Conservations Volunteers and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
The deadline in the end of the month. This is what they say about the evaluation vs. research issue:
The core of the work will involve the researcher in discerning the salient features of the Polli:Nation approach. What are the effects of this approach to school-based citizen science and environmental education on pupil experience and learning? They will seek to understand the processes that support and influence how pupils gain knowledge, skills and understanding of citizen science, habitat restoration, and conservation of biodiversity through this more expanded form of curriculum making co-produced with school and non-school partners, human, and more-than-human agencies. They study will inform wider debates on what might count as effective education for sustainability. For the purposes of the HLF evaluation which sits within the study, the researcher will also draw upon Polli:Nation’s analysis of survey data sources for evidence of community and organization-level supports for pupil learning and their preparedness to take action (for example, changes and development of teacher’s practice, school policy and curricular development, changes in school use of grounds, school-community links).
Given the supervisor (Greg Mannion), the student will be in very good hands. Meanwhile, it's interesting to note the 'environmental education' badging to it, despite the EfS terminology, above. A straw in the wind, perhaps.