The CERES team bring together a diverse range of research expertise and have secured funding for a multitude of projects. Our research involves children and young people, practitioners and educators from early years to higher education, and wider educational and policy stakeholders. We aim to engage decision-makers, from school to policy levels, and to provide them with valuable insights on how to implement social justice approaches and amplify voices that are often silenced. 

Our current research projects:

Cuál es la verdad? (What is the Truth?) De-constructing collective memories and imagining alternative futures with young people in Chocó through music and arts (2019-20) 

Funder: GCRF AHRC Changing the Story Large Grant.  (£94,000)

PI: Dr Marlies Kustatscher.

Co-Is: Dr Edwar Alexis Calderon (Universidad Claretiana), Prof Kay Tisdall, Tony Evanko and Carolina Aristizabal (Fundación Casa Tres Patios), Juan Manuel Gomez (Mr Klaje Collective).

This project focuses on Quibdó, the capital of Chocó in the Colombian Pacific: a remote area disproportionately affected by armed conflict and home to mainly Afro-colombian and indigenous populations who face a complex legacy of intersectional inequalities.  Our project responds to priorities identified by young people: tensions within and between neighbourhoods (barrios), violence and armed gangs, feelings of fear and distrust, through a co-produced music-and arts-based approach: with our CSO partners Fundación Casa Tres Patios and Mr Klaje Collective,  support 15-20 young co-researchers from three Quibdó barrios to facilitate workshops with other young people to critically deconstruct collective memories. This is achieved through a series of rotating workshops and performances that involve creating musical instruments from recycled materials, co-producing music about alternative futures, territorial mapping and sculpturing.  

Project website:

Safe, Inclusive, Participative Pedagogy: Improving Early Childhood Education in Fragile Contexts (2020-2024)

Funder: ESRC GCRF (£1.8 million)

PI: Professor Kay Tisdall

Co-Is: Dr Kristina Konstantoni, Dr Marlies Kustatscher, Professor John Ravenscroft, Dr Deborah Fry, Dr Lynn McNair, Clement Dlamini (University of Swaziland), Christina McMellon, Professor Irene Rizzini (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro), Dr Rabab Tamish (Bethlehem University), Dr Fortunate Sindisiwe Shabalala (University of Swaziland), Lizette Berry (University of Cape Town).

This project brings together partners in Brazil, Eswatini, South Africa, and Palestine, and will identify and develop safe, inclusive participative pedagogy that is implementable in fragile contexts and sustainable for governments, communities and families.

Project website:

Other recently secured funding and research activity:


Jite Eferakorho was awarded an ERASMUS Grant to visit the University of Connecticut in May 2020.  The award has been rescheduled for 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic. The objective is to develop a critical multicultural literacy (CML) pedagogy in language education. CML approach challenges the dominant monolingual and native speaker ideology. It problematizes extant language policy discourses that privilege monoglossic language ideologies. This project is part of Jite’s overarching teaching-research philosophy which raises awareness of cultural sensitivity and uses the cultural and linguistic knowledge of students as a conduit for learning. This outcome aligns with my critical pedagogical goal: to prepare language teachers to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse, pluralistic, and global society.   

Labake Fakunle is part of a Rapid transition to online  COVID-19’ research grant ($5,000), funded byUniversitas 21. The project involves teams in 7 universities (University of Queensland (Lead institution), University of Edinburgh, University of Connecticut, University of Hong Kong, University of Auckland, University of Johannesburg, Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Chile). 

Yvonne Foley is an advisor on the ADiBE Project: CLIL for All: Attention for Diversity in Bilingual Education Project (2019-2021) (Do Coyle is Co-I in Moray House), which brings together brings together key figures with ample experience in the field of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) from six countries (Spain, Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, and the UK) and is funded by Erasmus+. 

Kristina Konstantoni and colleagues have been awarded £43,300 from the UK Froebel Trust, £5,000 from the Knowledge exchange and Impact fund at CAHSS, and £5,000 from Edinburgh Future Institute for their work on socially just public spaces for young children. The projects involve NGOs in Scotland and Greece (for example, the Network for Children’s Rights) and ask the question: How can business and public play spaces and cafes be reimagined and reclaimed as socially just rights-reinforcing spaces for children? 

Marlies Kustatscher and the BA Childhood Practice team have been awarded a Small PTAS Grant (Widening Participation) from the University for a project on Mentoring for success: Co-producing a meaningful workplace mentoring scheme with students and employers (2020-2021). 

Kristina and Marlies are also involved in the UK Froebel Trust Hub and Spoke large grant (£450,000), led by Lynn McNair.

Jingyi Li has secured a Seedcorn Funding Research Grant to study The educational impact of Model UN Conferences in Scottish Schools. 

Jingyi Li has also received a competitive Student Experience Grant (£2,204) for a project on Community engagement activities for enhancing PGT students’ experience, which involves three MSc Education student as co-applicants. The project allowed PGT students to put a formative assessment (a cross-curricular learning programme) into practice and offer learning opportunities for 40 BAME children and their parents by developing and delivering a summer multilingual STEM programme in Edinburgh. The project also explored the impact of community engagement activities on PGT students’ experience and employability.   

Fiona O’HanlonDo Coyle and Thomas Chaurin have been awarded £35,000 by Edinburgh, Fife and East Lothian Councils for a project on Developing excellence in 1+2 languages: working together for success.  In addition, Fiona and colleagues have also secured £7,560 through a CAHSS Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grant for Developing Excellence in 1+2 languages: working together to create a self-assessment tool for schools.  2019-2020. This tool aims to support effective language pedagogy both for multilingual learners (from a range of home language backgrounds) and for pupils learning modern languages in the school context.