Young boy writing on whiteboard mathematic equations

Ensuring sustainability of teacher workforce in England: Identifying the antecedents of early career Mathematics teachers’ attrition and developing strategies to improve their retention

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details:  Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 24)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 27 May 2024

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2024

To find out more about the project, please contact Mehmet Karakus.

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The Trailblazer PhD studentships have been devised and developed by leading early-career researchers at Coventry University.


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship as part of the university’s Trailblazer PhD program. The successful candidate will be part of a thriving research community in the Research Centre for Global Learning, a research centre that aims to inform and transform global education.

Project details

The PhD will focus on investigating early career mathematics teachers’ reasons for leaving the profession and developing strategies to improve their retention in England. In this research, a mixed-method and multistakeholder approach will be adopted to ask multiple stakeholders (mathematics teachers, their mentors, educational leaders, union representatives and policymakers) about the reasons for attrition and possible solution strategies for improved retention.

Synthesising the qualitative and quantitative findings, the researcher will develop a model/framework of teacher attrition/retention. The final synthesised model and the scale developed at the quantitative phase can be utilised for teachers of subjects other than mathematics because of the similarities in some individual and contextual antecedents of attrition and relevant strategies to improve retention. The findings of this research will help policymakers and practitioners improve teacher performance and teaching quality by eliminating the underlying negative attitudes, which will eventually improve student outcomes. The results will also provide input for teacher education/training professionals in terms of developing appropriate teacher preparation and development criteria.


Tuition fees and bursary (£18,622 p/a).


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English.  The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Mehmet Karakus.

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus up-to 2000-word supporting statement showing how your applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

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