ERC Best Paper Award

After the Emerging Researchers' Conference, ERC presenters are invited to hand in full papers, which undergo a double-blind peer review process by a committee.

A paper can be submitted by more than one person (to a maximum of 3), but the first/leading author must be an emerging researcher and must have presented their paper at the Emerging Researchers' Conference.

Therefore all first authors 

  • must be currently enrolled in a PhD programme or
  • must have finished their PhD not longer than 5 years ago and must be in the early stage of their careers (no professors).

The award-winning author is invited to the following year’s conference (free entrance to ERC and ECER), will receive a 550,- € travel budget and their paper is also sent onward for further peer review and consideration for publication in either of  the Emerging Researchers’ Group’s partner publications: EERJ (European Educational Research Journal) and Studia Paedagogica. The winner will also be asked to write a post on a topic of their choice and their experience of the best paper process and/or any other ERG/ERC experiences for the EERA blog.

Additionally, relevant authors will be invited to submit their paper to the ‘European Educational Research Journal’ (EERJ), an international peer-reviewed journal devoted to Europeanisation in educational research and also the official journal of EERA. Authors of other suitable papers will be invited to submit to the journal ‘Studia Paedagogica’ for review. These authors will also be asked to write a post for the EERA blog.

Please note:

  • A paper that has already been submitted for review and/or accepted for publication elsewhere is not eligible to be entered into the ERC Best Paper Competition.
  • The competition is targeted at emerging researchers. However, it is recognised that PhD students sometimes co-author with their supervisors. As long as the main author(s) is/are an emerging researcher, the papers can be submitted for the competition. In the case of such a paper being selected as the winner, the Award would only be offered to the emerging researcher, who should also be the first author of the paper.

We would like to warmly thank Maxqda / Verbi Software for supporting the Best Paper Award.

Best Paper Award 2020
Pontus Bäckström’s paper “The Mechanisms of Peer-Effects in Education: A Frame-factor Analysis of Instruction” investigates how peer effects in education arises. Even though there has been an extensive research into peer effects in education, less research has focused on the modus operandi behind them.
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Best Paper Award 2019
Sofia Eleftheriadou’s paper “Conceptualisation and measurement of collaborative problem solving: a systematic review of the literature” presents results of a systematic review of the literature on collaborative problem solving (CPS) in education published in research journals over the past two decades.
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Best Paper Award 2018
Sara Franch’s paper “Global Citizenship Education: a new ‘moral pedagogy’ for the 21st century?” focuses on the emergence of Global Citizenship Education (GCE) in the educational discourse of a province in northern Italy and outlines how policy-makers and teachers construct GCE as a pedagogical framework for schooling in the 21st century.
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Best Paper Award 2017
Abdoulaye Faye's paper “How Do Teachers React to Organizational Change in Education” has taken advantage of the context of the 2016 Secondary School reform in France to consider the agents' experiences when they have to deal with major organizational changes.
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Best Paper Award 2016
Manuela Mendoza´s paper "To mix or not to mix: Exploring the dispositions to otherness in schools" reflects on the ways social diversity in a school may shape particular subjective dispositions to otherness on students and parents.
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Best Paper Award 2015
Panagiota Gkofa’s paper ‘Greek Roma’s Educational Pathways: Mapping Factors Leading to Success’ is based on a qualitative study which examines how twenty Greek Roma who have entered higher education account for their educational success.
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Best Paper Award 2014
Iryna Kushnir’s paper ‘The Role of the Bologna Process in Defining Europe’ is based on critical review of literature about Europe and its recent higher education reforms, as well as on the analysis of the international Bologna Process documents since 1998.
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Best Paper Award 2013
Cora Lingling Xu’s paper ‘Identity and Cross-border Student Mobility: The Mainland China-Hong Kong Experience and Its Inverse-directional Parallel European Implications’ is based on a multiple case study of the identity constructions of tertiary-level border-crossing students from mainland China studying in Hong Kong universities.
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Best Paper Award 2012
Triin’s paper “School choice policy – seeking to balance educational efficiency and equity: A comparative analysis of 20 European countries” is based on fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis to investigate the impact of several institutional conditions of European school systems on educational success.
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Best Paper Award 2011
Anneli Schwartz´s paper is based on an ethnographic investigation of schooling in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial area of multi-dimensional poverty. It analyses the use of an individuating pedagogy that is designed and intended to improve the performances and behaviour of pupils in a school and the subjective responses of the pupils to this pedagogy.
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Best Paper Award 2010
Fighting off stiff competition, Daniel Fischer has been chosen as the winner of the ECER 2010 Best Paper Award for his paper 'Educational Organisations as "Cultures of Consumption"'. Radhika Gorur and Andrea Bernhard were selected as runners-up in the competition.
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Best Paper Award 2009
The 2009 Best Paper Award was given to Konstanze Spohrer from University of Strathclyde, Educational and Professional Studies, Glasgow for the paper titled: Deconstructing “Aspiration”: UK policy debates and European policy trends"
The 2009 Paper Award received about 30 submissions. 50% of participants followed the invitation to re-submit their initial papers based on the feedback they received from the reviewers.
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The 2008 Best Paper Competition saw a new record in participation. More than 30 promising papers were handed in. Katrin Kaufmann and Halit Öztürk were awarded with the Best Paper Award 2008. Their paper focussed on “Migration background and participation in continuing education in Germany”
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Best Paper Award 2007
Nasser Mansour, a research fellow who recently completed his PhD from the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of Exeter has been awarded the European Educational Research Association (EERA) Best Paper Award for Postgraduate and Young Researchers.
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Amanda Cook-Jones paper on "The Changing Role of the Teaching Assistant in the Primary School Sector" has been selected as the best paper in the Best Paper Award 2006.
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Best Paper Award 2021

Submission deadline 20 Nov 2021
Formative feedback given 10 Feb 2022
Re-Submission deadline 10 March 2022
Winner announced early May 2022

First-hand Insights

Learn what Sofia Eleftheriadou, winner of the Best Paper Award 2019, found useful about the Emerging Researcher's Conference and the Best Paper Award on the EERA Blog.

Sponsor Best Paper Award

Previous Best Paper winners were asked to provide a testimonial to inspire current emerging researchers.
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Celebrating and rewarding the outstanding contributions of emerging researchers' rich and diverse publications.
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