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The ESERA Summer School 2022 will be held in the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands from August 29 to September 3, hosted by the Freudenthal Institute at the University of Utrecht. We assume that the Covid-19 Pandemic has abated by that time, so that we will be able to organise an in-person event. If any staff members or PhD students are unable to attend due to their local covid travel restrictions during the Summer School, we are planning for a hybrid event. In that case, the plenary lectures and workshops will be streamed and some of the mentor groups will be done virtually – while participation in the poster sessions and social activities, of course, will be adjusted to the possibilities of the virtual platform. And if most of us have travel restrictions, we will have a fully virtual event based on our accumulated experience from the past two virtual summer schools. Based on feedback from these past two summer schools, we are confident that whatever format the ESERA Summer School 2022 takes, it will serve student needs for progress with their Science Education PhD.

We invite PhD students working in the field of science education research to submit their applications for the Summer School by January 31, 2022: see the Student Application Section below. A maximum of 49 PhD students will be selected, based on a review of their synopses, and taking into account a diversity of countries and fields of interest. Participants are expected to be(come) members of ESERA if they are selected for attendance at the Summer School, and should not be too near to the beginning or end of their PhD study to be able to benefit from consideration of their future work as well as to discuss any preliminary findings.

We also invite ESERA faculty members who want to participate in the Summer School as mentors, plenary presenters, workshop leaders and/or poster reviewers to submit their applications by January 15, 2022: see the Staff Application Section below. A maximum of 14 faculty members will be selected, based on their envisioned role during the Summer School.

All meeting rooms will be situated in the Buys Ballot building at the Science Park of the University of Utrecht.

Students will be hosted at the Stayokay Hostel Bunnik in 4-, 6- and 8-person dormitory-type rooms with bathroom. Single and double rooms will not be available at the hostel. It has to be noted that the accommodation at the hostel is rather sober, and requires bringing your own towel(s). The overnight stay in 4- to 8-person rooms can be seen as a good opportunity for getting-to-know each other and for networking. And to futher facilitate such interaction: the hostel’s bar will be open until 12 midnight.

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Stayokay Hostel Bunnik: An impression of its buildings, and the rooms for the students’ overnight stay.

Staff members will be hosted in single rooms at the Postillion Hotel Bunnik, as single rooms are not available at the hostel. There is a limited number of single and double rooms available for students at the Postillion Hotel Bunnik, but there is a price tag attached to that: see the Participation Fee Section below.

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Time Schedule
The provisional Time Schedule of the Summer School includes eight mentor group meetings, three rounds of three workshops, two poster sessions, and four plenary lectures. Travel to and from the Summer School has to be scheduled on Monday and Saturday, respectively. It is expected that everyone will attend the full Summer School.

The 49 selected PhD students will be divided into seven groups. Each group will consist of seven PhD students and two experienced science education researchers acting as mentors. It is expected that each mentor group will have one or two virtual meetings in the weeks before the start of the Summer School with the aim of clarifying the working method during the mentor group meetings, getting to know each other and acquiring an overview of the research that will be presented and discussed in the mentor group. During each mentor group meeting at the Summer School one of the PhD students will present his/her research to the group in about half an hour, followed by a structured whole group discussion of the strengths and weakness-es of the research presented.

Each PhD student is also expected to present his/her research by means of a poster. During the poster sessions everyone discusses his/her work with all interested Summer School partici-pants. Moreover, everyone will also get written feedback on his/her poster from a science education researcher.

In addition, the Summer School offers a number of plenary lectures and workshops, provided by experienced science education researchers.

Transfers between the hostel, the hotel and the university will be by individual rental bike, with transfer times of approximately 15 minutes: see the Map of the Area below for an idea of the transfer routes and distances. All transfer routes consist of roads with low traffic intensity or cycle paths. If necessary, a bike-riding clinic can be organised on Monday after arrival at the hostel. It has to be noted that transport by car or passenger van will be hard, although, if necessary, not impossible to organise. Of course, it is also possible to choose to walk. However, the transfers by bike can be seen as a typically ‘Dutch challenge’. All participants should have rain gear with them to keep dry, and a small handy backpack for transporting belongings while cycling or walking.

The Summer School venue can be reached by international trains to Utrecht Central Station, followed by a regional bus trip of approximately 20 minutes and some additional walking. If traveling by plane, there are local trains from Schiphol Airport to Utrecht. See Travel Information (this link will become operational by April 1, 2022). Of course, travelling by car is also a possibility, and carpooling with other participants could be a good way to start Summer School networking.

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Map of the area: transfer routes and distances.

Participation Fee
The student participation fee will be € 400 for physical presence, including overnight stay from Monday until Saturday, breakfast, coffee/tea breaks, lunch, dinner, rental bike and social events. Any additional overnight stay in the hostel will cost about € 30. There is a limited number of single and double rooms available for students at the Postillion Hotel Bunnik. This, however, will increase the student participation fee by € 285 (for a single room) or € 140 (for a double room), adding up to a total participation fee of € 710 or € 565, respectively. 

The participation fee mentioned above relates to an in-person Summer School. In the case of a hybrid or fully virtual Summer School, there will of course be an appropriate adjustment of this participation fee, estimated at half the fee for physical presence (approximately € 200).

The staff participation fee will be covered by the ESERA Board, as well as travelling expenses up to a maximum of € 500. There will be up-to three scholarships available for those in need of financial support if, for example, the student participation fee and travel expenses will not be reimbursed by the participant’s institute.

Student Application
PhD students are invited to apply as a participant at the Summer School by providing the Local Organising Committee with their personal information and a synopsis of their PhD project through the Summerschool Application Form 2022 of the ESERA Submission & Review System (click on image below; submission closed). The deadline for submission of student applications (including the synopsis) is January 31, 2022.


 Please note that uploading the synopsis is an obligatory item in the application form, so it will be necessary to have the synopsis ready before applying as a participant at the Summer School.

The quality of the synopses will be assessed by two reviewers working independently. These reviewers will be experienced science education researchers from within the ESERA community.

Prior to writing the synopsis, look carefully at the Synopsis Guidelines. These guidelines provide some information about the required content and the format of the synopsis. While writing the synopsis, bear in mind that the submitted synopsis will be reviewed on the following criteria:

  • Clarity of research questions and research design;
  • Appropriate use of a theoretical framework;
  • Presentation of some early data and initial suggestions about data analysis;
  • Coherence and clarity of the synopsis as a piece of academic writing;
  • Attention to conventions of academic writing within the synopsis (e.g. appropriate referencing).

The applications will further be reviewed on whether the PhD project is at an appropriate stage (not too near the beginning or the end), such that the opportunities for discussion at the Summer School can contribute usefully to the students’ work. Consideration will also be given to ensuring that a diversity of countries and fields of interest are represented at the Summer School.

Staff Application
Staff members are invited to apply as a mentor at the Summer School by providing the Local Organising Committee with their personal information through the Staff Application Form. The deadline for submission of staff applications is January 15, 2022.

When filling in the application form, please note that most staff members are expected to combine several roles in the Summer School. So, most mentors will also give a plenary lecture, lead a workshop or review posters. The application form offers the possibility of uploading a summary of a potential plenary lecture and/or workshop.

All staff applicants for the Summer School are assumed to be willing to act as reviewers for the student synopses.

The selection of PhD students for the Summer School will be finalised by the end of March 2022, after completion of the reviews of the synopses. By then, all student applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected for participation in the Summer School. After acceptance, participants will receive the results of the reviews of their synopses for revision purposes – if necessary or desired. They will then also be asked to pay the Student Participation Fee. If they unexpectedly have to cancel participation after payment, a refund is possible in case of cancellation before July 1, 2022. However, this deadline will be applied as flexibly as possible, depending on, for example, changing covid travel restrictions.
When participating, all should make sure that they are sufficiently insured against medical expenses and accidents, and against theft of their possessions. The Summer School organizers are not liable for this type of cost.

The selection of ESERA staff members for the Summer School will be finalised by the end of February 2022. By then, all staff applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected as staff members, and if so what their roles during the Summer School will be.

Book of Synopses
About two months before the start of the Summer School the final time schedule, the composition of the groups and the synopses of all contributions (including the summaries of the plenary lectures and workshops) will be published in a Book of Synopses (this link will become operational by July 1, 2022). There will be no printed version of this book.

Local Organising Committee
The Local Organising Committee consists of Koos Kortland, Kim Blankendaal, Michiel van Harskamp and Esther de Waard, assisted by Wilma van Eijsden (administration) and Ad Mooldijk (website).

Koos Kortland is Assistant Professor Em at the Freudenthal Institute. Before his retirement he has been working there in the areas of science education research, curriculum development, physics teacher education and outreach projects. Moreover, he served for twelve years as treasurer in the ESERA Executive Board, co-organised the ESERA Conference 2003, and participated in a number of ESERA Summer Schools as mentor, lecturer and workshop leader.

Kim Blankendaal, Michiel van Harskamp and Esther de Waard are PhD students at the Freudenthal Institute in physics, biology and chemistry education research, respectively. Michiel and Esther have participated in earlier ESERA Summer Schools.

Wilma van Eijsden is Secretary and Ad Mooldijk is Science Teacher Educator Em at the Freudenthal Institute.

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From left to right: Koos Kortland, Kim Blankendaal, Michiel van Harskamp, Esther de Waard, Wilma van Eijsden, and Ad Mooldijk.

Please address any questions you may have about the Summer School to the Local Organising Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On behalf of the Local Organising Committee,
Koos Kortland, Chair

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