Patrick Stark

    Patrick Stark

    Research Fellow

    Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 5924

    For media contact email
    or call +44(0)2890 973091.

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    Research Interests

    I have attracted external research grants to a value of over £1 million. My research interests are focussed in three areas:

    Educational programme design and evaluation – My recent research in education has involved an evidence based approach to the design and evaluation of educational programmes. Most recently I have worked on pilot studies and programme design projects to improve both academic and social factors in children. I am currently project manager and CI on the SMART Spaces Science Revision Programme which is being evaluated through a cluster randomised controlled trial. 

    Language and literacy development – I have conducted research which has explored language and literacy development in childhood from numerous perspectives. My doctoral work examined the role of speech perception in the phonological awareness of poor readers using both developmental psychology and neuroscience methods, and more recently I have worked on a randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a school-based intervention to target speech, language and communication development. Recently, I am trial manager and CI on the Reciprocal Reading evaluation study - an RCT which is evaluating a reading comprehension programme.

    Neuroscience, psychology and education- A common thread through my research is exploring how we can apply the findings of neuroscience and psychology research in the classroom. Having conducted neuroscience and psychology research myself during my PhD, I have recently been examining how we can apply research in these areas to educational programmes which target areas such as language development and science attainment in schools.


    Current Projects and Recently Completed Projects:

    Talk of the Town RCT (Completed October 2015). Funder: EEF.

    Dead Cool RCT (Completed 2015). Funder: Public Health Agency.

    NewsWise Pilot trial Study (Completed June 2016). Funder: Primary Science Teaching Trust.

    Spaced Learning - Feasibility and Optimisation Study (Completed January 2017). Funder: EEF.

    Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) Science Learning Project (Completed June 2017). Funder: Big Lottery Fund.

    Positive Action Pilot Study(Co-Investigator and Co-Project Manager - Completed January 2018). Funder: EEF. 

    Reciprocal Reading RCT (Co-Investigator & Trial Manager - August 2016 - present). Funder: EEF.

    Cluster RCT of SMART Spaces (Co-Investigator & Project Manager - January 2018 - present). Funder: EEF.


    This year I am lecturing in the Education for Transformation International Summer School (2018).

    I am currently a research supervisor for MSc students on the MSc Educational Leadership and MSc Autism Spectrum Disorders programmes.


    I am currently Trial Manager and co-investigator (CI) on the Reciprocal Reading evaluation. This project is an RCT evaluation of a reading comprehension programme. I am also currently Project Manager and CI on the Cluster RCT of SMART Spaces. I am managing the delivery of the SMART Spaces Science Revision programme during its evaluation. I am also managing the delivery of a pilot version of the SMART Spaces Science teaching programme during its implementation study.

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