Welcome to The Brilliant Club
The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. We do this by mobilising the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools.
The simple, scalable and sustainable way The Brilliant Club works to achieve our mission is by recruiting, training and placing PhD researchers to work in state schools. We run two core programmes: The Scholars Programme and Researchers in Schools.
The Scholars Programme employs doctoral and post-doctoral researchers on a part-time basis to deliver programmes of academic enrichment to small groups of pupils. Through a combination of university trips, in-school tutorials and online resources, we support pupils aged 10-18 to develop the knowledge, skills and ambition needed to progress to highly-selective universities.
The Researchers in Schools Programme offers a bespoke route for PhD graduates to enter the teaching profession as full-time classroom teachers. Working in partnership with other providers, we offer a programme of initial teacher training and on-going professional development that equips participants to utilise their academic expertise to the benefit of pupils, schools and universities. Read more about Researchers in Schools here.
What The Brilliant Club Can Offer You
Why We Do What We Do
Children who are eligible for free school meals are significantly less likely to progress to university than their wealthier peers. This problem is particularly acute when looking at progression to highly-selective universities: 1 in 2 privately educated children will succeed in securing a place, compared to 1 in 50 pupils eligible for free school meals. The Brilliant Club believes that addressing this problem is both an economic imperative and a matter of social justice.
Children who are privately educated
48% gain a place at a highly-selective university
Children who are state school educated
18% gain a place at a highly-selective university
Children eligible for free school meals
2% gain a place at a highly-selective university
“Widening university access, valuing the importance of subject knowledge, and research-based teaching are three areas where teachers with PhDs can have an enormous impact."
Rt Hn Nick Gibb MP
Minister of State for School Standards
“The Brilliant Club has helped develop in our students a desire to graduate from a top university. It has acted as the beginning of their journey to this success and has made our young people believe it is possible.”
Principal, Oasis Academy South Bank
“The Brilliant Club does a simple but profoundly important thing. It enables some of our best young researchers to apply their skills in schools. Nothing does more to encourage teenagers to go on to university than seeing dynamic university researchers and teachers in action. The Brilliant Club makes that possible.”
Former Minister of State for Education
“You should offer The Brilliant Club to as many people as you can – it can really change someone’s outlook on life.”
Former Scholars Programme Pupil
“The Brilliant Club is an excellent programme that has the potential to transform the UK education system. I have enjoyed my experience tutoring and I am proud to be associated with such a worthwhile cause.”
Dr Babak Somekh
PhD Tutor, University of Oxford
“I love being a teacher because it allows me to inspire young adults and pass on my passion for science to them.”
Dr Riccardo Porcari
Researchers in Schools Participant, Challney School for Boys
The Brilliant Club works with more than 400 schools and colleges across all regions of England and Wales. In 2015/16, we worked in partnership with schools, universities and other supporters to employ 600 PhD researchers to reach 8,500 pupils.
We are extremely grateful to our partner organisations and supporters
We are also grateful to our university partners across the UK for their continued support
We are grateful for the recognition our work has received from a number of awards and supporters.
We have a rolling application process for PhD researchers and hold regular information events at our partner universities. We also hold regular webinars for researchers; register your interest in attending one of these here.