Froebel Trust PhD bursaries support students undertaking research with a Froebelian focus relating to young children’s learning.

The Froebel Trust is currently supporting PhD students with bursaries at University of Cambridge, University of Roehampton, Institute of Education (UCL), Canterbury Christ Church University and University of Edinburgh.

Autumn 2020 update: This grant fund is currently closed.

We recognise that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing unprecedented disruption and significant challenges for potential applicants to our funding schemes. Therefore we have temporarily cancelled the call for bursary applications. A renewed call will be issued at a later date with notifications published via our mailing list and social media channels. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please subscribe to our mailing list or you can email us at:


How to apply

The Froebel Trust provides PhD bursaries to support students undertaking research with a Froebelian focus relating to young children’s learning at home and in other contexts and/ or education, training, pedagogy, policy and practice for early childhood education and care.

Bursaries enable outstanding students to pursue a PhD at a university or a similar research institution in the UK.

Applicants must demonstrate that one or more of their proposed supervisors has prior knowledge of the literature and/ or practice based on Froebelian philosophy and principles.

If you are interested in applying for a bursary you may find it helpful to consult our suggested reading list, explore our research library and have a look at our latest Froebel Trust Annual Review. You will then need to complete an online application form (currently closed).

Each of our grants and bursary schemes has different criteria, but the overarching theme that runs through all the work we support, is that it builds upon and contributes to knowledge and understanding of Froebelian philosophy, principles and approaches.

We welcome applications from educational institutions and individuals who share our goal of increasing and advancing knowledge and debate about Froebelian principles and their application in the teaching, learning and development of children from birth to 8 years.

The Froebel Trust does not privilege particular methodologies or disciplines.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact us at

Recent successful PhD bursary applications

An Exploration of the Influence of Young Children on Adults within Natural Environments
Froebel Trust PhD bursary awarded to Tansy Watts, Canterbury Christ Church University

Bringing Children’s Voices to the fore of Education for Sustainability in the Early Years
Froebel Trust PhD bursary awarded to Luke Addison, University of Edinburgh, to examine what sustainability can look like in the early years and to explore young children's experiences of nature and the environment.

Role model, Authoritarian and Humourist: Male Primary School Teachers’ identity construction. A symbolic interactionist and discourse analysis approach.
Froebel Trust PhD bursary awarded to Louie Worth, University of Cambridge, to research the challenges that male primary school teachers face in constructing a professional identity due to the competing expectations of others in and outside of the work place.

Comparisons of Infant Communication Patterns used in different Day Nursery Environments
Froebel Trust PhD bursary awarded to Caroline Guard, University of Roehampton, to explore how infants convey their voice/s in nursery.

Key information/ downloads for applicants

Froebel Trust PhD bursary terms and conditions (from Jan 2020)

Froebel Trust standard Grant Offer and Terms and Conditions (introduced in Dec 2019)

Froebel Trust Statement on Expectations of Ethical Practice in Research

The referencing style to be used by grant holders in their reports

Information about PhD bursary activity grants : Attending conferences, study visits and presenting papers in the UK and internationally are all critical to the development of our PhD bursary holders, but the Froebel Trust is aware that they can present a financial challenge. A small fund has been introduced to support such development.
Application form to request a PhD bursary activity grant

About making changes to your grant

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All the latest Froebel Trust funded PhD dissertations and research reports are available to download for free.

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