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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Dr Helen Cramman, PhD, MPhys, PgCAP

Assistant Professor (Research) in the School of Education
Department Representative, Durham Research Methods Centre

Contact Dr Helen Cramman


Helen is an Assistant Professor (Research) in the School of Education at Durham University. She is an active researcher with interests in: STEM education from early years through to higher education; assessment in the early years; and the evaluation of the impact of interventions and qualification changes.

Examples of Helen's recent projects include a three-year national study monitoring practical work in science in the UK funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation with a contribution from the Wellcome Trust, the development of a tool for teachers to enable the effective and fun teaching of computer science at age four, funded by Innovate UK, and an interdisciplinary project investigating troublesome concepts in first year undergraduate physics, funded by the Institute of Physics. She has also conducted research using the unique data sets from the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM) at Durham University to understand what children know and can do in the early years in maths and literacy.

Helen is also currently the Research Grants Co-ordinator for the School of Education working with the Director of Research to assist colleagues in the development of research ideas.

Recent roles Helen has held within the department and university include Interim Deputy Head of Faculty (Research Development) in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health and Research Team Lead in the Research Hub of the School of Education (RHoSE). Prior to moving to the School of Education, Helen was Research Contract Manager at CEM and part of the senior leadership team, conducting educational research and supporting the development of CEM’s assessment and monitoring systems.

Helen has also worked in various roles in the Department of Physics at Durham University including: teaching fellow, business development fellow, IoP Industrial Group Project Coordinator and research associate. Prior to these roles she also completed her PhD in Condensed Matter Physics in the Physics Department at Durham.

Research Groups

Research Projects

  • EasyPeasy Evaluation
  • Evaluation of the Impact of the Creativity Commission Report
  • First Encounters With Quantum Computing: Can Games Teach Quantum Reasoning?
  • Improving the breadth of science practical work undertaken in schools
  • Monitoring Practical Science in Schools and Colleges
  • Northern Power: Making Engineering and Physical Sciences Research a Domain for All in the North of England
  • PACT Evaluation
  • Teen Sleep Pilot Evaluation

Research Interests

  • Understanding and improving teaching and learning in STEM education from the early years to higher education
  • Development of number skills in the early years
  • Educational assessment
  • Education Evaluation

Selected Publications

Edited Sources, Research Data Sets, and Databases

Journal Article


Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2020: First encounters with quantum computing: can games teach quantum reasoning? (£10887.12 from BBSRC-ARC)
  • 2019: Evaluation of the impact of the Creativity Commission report (£18454.00 from )
  • 2019: Improving the breadth of science practical work undertaken in schools
  • 2019: To improve the breadth of science practical work undertaken in schools (£11520.00 from ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN))
  • 2018: Northern Power: Making Engineering and Physical Sciences Research a Domain for All in the North of England (£100812.48 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2018: PACT Evaluation (£200777.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2017: EasyPeasy Evaluation (£350120.00 from Education Endowment Foundation)
  • 2015: Troublesome Concepts in First Year Physics (£2351.00 from Institute of Physics)
  • 2014: First Steps in Computer Science (£31196.00 from Technology Strategy Board)
  • 2014: Gatsby Monitoring Practical Science (£175998.00 from Gatsby Charitable Foundation)