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Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning


Role: staff partner

The staff partner's responsibility for certain aspects of the project should be negotiated and agreed with the student partner(s). Partnership working means shared expectations and understandings, rather than dictation. The project will also determine the workload and the role the staff member should play in the development and action on the project. Broadly speaking the role will entail:

  • Helping to guide the student to navigate systems and plan the project
  • Providing or negotiating the project's focus - feasibility in mind
  • Providing advice on effective strategies for project completion
  • Supporting the dissemination of results (co-authoring reports, papers, presentations)
  • Being available to answer questions and provide support

Being a staff partner means giving some of your valuable time in an effort to work with a student(s) to compete the project. How much involvement you will have will depend on the project and the student(s) you are working with, so bear these circumstances in mind when designing the project brief.


Role: student partner

The nature of this role will depend on the project being undertaken, but broadly the role of a student partner might include any number of the following activities:

  • Project management
  • Arranging meetings with staff partner
  • Data collection, research and evaluation (see CHESREC for ethical approval of education-focused research projects)
  • Data analysis
  • Writing reports
  • Giving presentations on the project
  • Attending relevant training and workshops to support their role

These roles, where possible and appropriate, should be shared out, supported or undertaken together. It is important to consider the workload of the student partner so as not to overburden them with deadlines that compete with their studies. This might mean the project requires more students or that the project's scope should be adjusted accordingly.


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