In 2019, EPI•STEM achieved national recognition for research impact arising from our delivery of the Professional Diploma in Mathematics for Teachers (PDMT). The Higher Education Authority awarded €350,000 in performance funding to EPI•STEM, based on a review of Research Impact Assessment Case Studies submitted by all higher education institutions in Ireland. UL submitted two case studies, with 39 submitted nationally. Only 16 were recommended for performance funding from the HEA, including EPI•STEM’s for the PDMT – the only UL case study to be funded.
The funding has been used to appoint two postdoctoral researchers in mathematics education and science education, a research assistant and an administrator, thus supporting the continuation of EPI•STEM and building on the Centre’s wealth of expertise and experience in upskilling mathematics teachers via the PDMT. This knowledge will be applied in new ways to upskill teachers: (1) by adapting existing PDMT materials to produce a high quality online CPD programme focusing on mathematical knowledge for teaching; and (2) by developing a new programme aimed at Junior Cycle Science teachers with a focus on Physics. The project also contributes to creating a sustainable future for EPI•STEM, ensuring that the Centre is resourced to address current and emerging priorities.