International Perspectives on School Leadership Preparation and Development


A BELMAS-UCEA Collaborative Research Project

Call for Expressions of Interest

The project

In 2010 the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) and the British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society (BELMAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which committed the two organisations to work together more closely and to identify opportunities for engaging members in collaborative international work. The project outlined below is a direct consequence of the MoU.

BELMAS and UCEA have both agreed to support a collaborative research project that focuses on a significant issue of interest to members in both organisations, and that explores this issue from an international perspective.  A key aim of the project is to make a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of educational leadership and administration. The focus of the project has been identified following extensive member discussions at UCEA and BELMAS conferences (in 2009 and 2010 respectively), combined with a survey of all members in both organisations in September/October 2010.  From this survey of members the following provisional title is presented: International Perspectives on School Leadership Preparation and Development

The intention is to facilitate an international comparative study of how those involved in school leadership are supported in their preparation and development as leaders.  This may include how leadership development is supported through both formal and informal networks, succession planning, teacher leadership, as well as exploring the policy context which seeks to shape leadership preparation and development in different national settings.  At this stage no further detail is provided, as it is important that those involved in the project have the opportunity to sharpen its focus and determine its design.

Further project details are available at

Why become involved?

  • An opportunity to participate in a substantial research project likely to contribute to furthering knowledge in an important area of the educational leadership field.
  • An opportunity to work internationally across a broad range of countries.
  • An opportunity to build an international network of colleagues, conducting research collaboratively and generating associated outputs such as publications and conference papers.

Application process and project details

BELMAS and UCEA are committed to supporting the project for three years, allowing time for a project group to be convened, to agree on a project design, to collect and analyse data and to begin to generate and disseminate findings.  Given the flexible nature of the project, participants will decide if they wish to extend their involvement beyond this timeframe, and in what form.

The project will be overseen by Bruce Barnett (Associate Director of International Affairs, UCEA) and Howard Stevenson (Co-Research Coordinator, National Council, BELMAS).  Bruce and Howard will take a role in establishing the project, providing initial coordination and reporting progress to their respective bodies.

Anyone wishing to participate in the project needs to make a formal submission addressing the issues identified in this call for Expressions of Interest. Submissions will be reviewed by a group drawn from representatives from UCEA and BELMAS. The review group will then contact those who have submitted to clarify the nature of their involvement.

Applications can be from individuals or groups of people. Where a group submission is made a group co-ordinator should be identified as a point of contact.  Within the USA participants should be based within UCEA member institutions (where a group submission is presented, the group co-ordinator should be based within a UCEA institution); outside of the USA priority will be given to members of BELMAS and its linked organisations.

Note – the project is conceived very flexibly, allowing it to develop to reflect the interests of participants. This flexibility includes various modes of participation and engagement in the project.  It is envisaged that people may participate in a wide range of different ways, such as conducting research, serving as a project consultant, or supporting networks of colleagues across projects.  If you have specific ideas about your potential involvement in the project, please outline these in the Expression of Interest.

Support for the project

This is NOT a funded research project.  It is not possible to fund project members for their time on the project, and there can be no guarantee of covering expenses.  Those interested in participating in the project need to be aware of this.  However, UCEA and BELMAS are committed to supporting the project in several important ways:

  • Leadership support – through the UCEA Associate Director of International Affairs and the BELMAS Co-Research Co-ordinator.
  • Networking and collaboration support – given the international nature of the project, BELMAS and UCEA will provide resourcing to support communication, such as the hosting of discussion forums and blogs.
  • Dissemination support – both organisations are committed to making space available at their respective conferences for the project group to meet and report work in progress.  UCEA and BELMAS journals will also be available as outlets for project dissemination.
  • Financial support – some limited financial support will be available.  This may be used to contribute to costs of equipment, data collection and travel.  Applications for financial support can be made once the project is established and the resource implications become clearer.

Submission process and deadline

Expressions of interest should be addressed to Bruce Barnett at or Howard Stevenson at by 31st January 2011 (please include ‘Expression of Interest’ in the email title).  Informal enquiries or points of clarification can also be addressed to Bruce or Howard at any time.

Expressions of interest should be a maximum 1000 words and address these issues:

  • Reasons for interest in the project – International Perspectives on School Leadership Preparation and Development
  • Thoughts on project design
  • Role you envision in the project (e.g., researcher, consultant, cross-project networking)
  • Evidence of previous work in relevant areas dealing with school leadership preparation and development, especially from an international perspective
  • Evidence of ability to access potential data sources (e.g., contacts with potential case-studies, links to relevant organisations)
  • Full contact details for all those named in the submission, which may be accompanied by a short Curriculum Vitae for each individual (these details not included in the 1000 words)