LKMCo: The 2013 Education Masters Dissertation Competition

28th October 2012

What is the 2013 LKMCo Dissertation Competition?
Open to any Teach First ambassador submitting an accredited Teach First Masters dissertation in 2013, the competition enables you to additionally submit your dissertation to LKMCo with the potential for winning:
  • A £250 cash prize
  • A Workshop to develop the research into a social enterprise or publishable article
  • For one winner, a further £250, available six months after judging, on submission of an impact assessment of the work’s development.
Additionally all shortlisted work will be eligible for publication in reduced format as a guest blog on and could become part of a future LKMCo publication highlighting new ideas in education.
Why are we running this competition?
Here at LKMCo we have a strong reputation for education thought and action, but we’re also aware we don’t have all the answers. Having worked as teachers we know the amount of knowledge held in the minds of people currently in the classroom and we want to help broker that knowledge.  We are also keen to ensure that research responds to the needs of schools and teachers and that it has maximum impact on young people. If you want to know more about our organisation you can read about us here!
What sort of dissertations are we looking for?
We are looking for dissertations with ideas worth sharing to people all across the education landscape. Maybe you’re developing a leadership protocol, a classroom strategy, an evaluation of an extra-curricular club, parent programme, or social enterprise, or maybe there’s something else we’re missing out on! Either way, if you think the findings of your Masters could be used to help and inform other audiences then we want to hear about it.
We know there are different requirements for each TeachFirst Masters. That’s fine, in fact we’re excited by that! Whether you’re looking at a whole-school leadership issue or getting down with micro-research a few pupils, we’d still like to hear about it.
Below are some examples of the kinds of dissertations we imagine we’ll see, but don’t let these limit your ideas:
  • Studies of pupil premium interventions and their impact on student achievement
  • Policies and practices that help school leaders make better decisions
  • Investigate a CPD practice and its effectiveness
  • Studies of partnership working with outside agencies to close the achievement gap
  • Evaluations of parent support programmes
How will we judge your entry?
We are most excited about the share-ability of your idea, but it’s also important you use an acceptable research design. We will therefore want to know how you decided on your method, and the steps you went through to carry it out. As researchers ourselves we understand that sometimes things don’t go to original plans. Don’t worry! As long as your method is fully justifiable, with a clear explanation of the reasons why you took the steps you did, then your dissertation will likely pass to our second-round shortlist.
At the second stage we will be looking for ideas useful to the learning community that we engage with via social media and at training/policy events.
Our aim is to short-list four winners and then work with you to disseminate your idea as practically and accurately as possible across our network of influence.
What about confidentiality & ethics?
We know research can often be very personal, and for this reason you might not be able to provide us with all of the details contained in your dissertation. If, for example, you have written specifically about a certain context it may be inappropriate to send over your complete reflections as this could jeopardise confidentiality. To overcome this, participants can either submit their dissertation in full OR you can submit a shorter ‘research brief’ document, that solely summarises your method, findings and conclusions, and removes personal or confidential information.
Unfortunately, if during your data collection you guaranteed research participants that no part of the research, even a summary, would be publicly released then your research is ineligible for entry.
How do you enter?

By 5pm on October 10th 2013 you must submit the following to [email protected]:

1. A copy of your dissertation or a research summary including an explanation of your methods, findings and conclusions.

2. A personal statement template.  The statement will ask you to give information about the potential consequences of your research, how you plan to lobby for change as a result of your research, and what impact you believe that change could have for young people in society today.


LKMco will be unable to provide personal feedback to all entrants

The dissertation competition will be judged by LKMco and any additional appointed judges. The judges’ decision will be final.

By submitting your dissertation and proposal you agree that LKMco has the right to publish, disseminate and promote your work and that where possible you will participate in events or promotion relating to the competition.