AQA funds Oxford fellowship for medal-winning researcher

Wednesday 22 Mar 2017

Education charity and exam board AQA is funding a research fellowship for Dr Josh McGrane at the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA).

Dr McGrane completed his medal-winning PhD in Quantitative Psychology and BA (Hons I) in Psychology at the University of Sydney. He’ll focus on the assessment of non-cognitive skills, such as motivation, perseverance and attitudes, as well as exploring some key assumptions of educational assessment during his research fellowship.

He’ll be involved in a number of projects, including Assessment for Learning in Africa (AFLA). AFLA develop classroom materials for primary school numeracy to improve teachers’ skills and understanding of how numeracy can be more effectively communicated to their young learners. Their ultimate aim is to put appropriate assessment strategies in place to help children improve their test results.

Before his research fellowship, Dr McGrane worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Australia, and as a psychometrician for the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation in the New South Wales Department of Education. This let him gain extensive experience across academic and government educational contexts, including psychometric validation, innovation of state and national-level educational assessments.

Alex Scharaschkin, AQA’s Director of Research, said:

“As a charity, AQA’s focus is always on what benefits education. We are delighted to support Dr McGrane’s work, which will make a significant contribution to our knowledge of some fundamental aspects of assessment.”

Speaking about AQA's funding, Dr McGrane said:

“The AQA funded fellowship provides me with an amazing opportunity to continue my psychometric research whilst surrounded by some of the best educational researchers in the world as colleagues and mentors. In particular, it allows me the freedom to pursue research, supervision and teaching that challenges orthodoxies in educational assessment to bring about greater critical reflection in the field.”