Education and outreach

Improving Gender Balance research trial

Work with us to increase the proportion of girls choosing to progress to A-level physics.

Improving Gender Balance is a national research trial, funded by the Department for Education and led by the Institute of Physics. It will be independently evaluated by UCL Institute of Education.

For more than 30 years, only a fifth of those taking A-level physics have been girls. We have a goal to redress this gender imbalance and have researched this area for many years.

Read the reports we have published on addressing gender imbalance

A previous pilot project in six schools saw the number of girls taking A-level physics more than treble over two years. Improving Gender Balance builds on the findings from this project, to roll out this intervention to schools in England. 

We’re inviting selected secondary schools to take part in this research, which will take the form of a randomised control trial. 

Join us to:

  • increase girls' progression to A-level physics
  • create better awareness of the importance of understanding and recognising gender stereotyping as limiting the choices of both boys and girls
  • promote inclusive teaching

Register your interest

Taking part

Schools will take part in a randomised controlled trial to test the impact of a programme of interventions. This will consist of:

  • facilitated activities and events for pupils
  • support and continuing professional development for teachers
  • development of a whole school strategy to combat gender stereotyping

A dedicated IOP coach will be provided.

What’s involved?

This research project is a randomised controlled trial; as a result, only half of the schools participating in the project will receive the intervention. 

Who can apply?

  • State-funded co-ed secondary schools where there is a gap between the proportion of boys progressing to A-level physics and the proportion of girls
  • State-funded all-girls schools with a low number of girls progressing to A-level physics
  • Current SPN lead schools are not eligible for this programme.

Next steps

Register your interest

Contact us

You can find out more about the project in our frequently asked questions. If you have any questions about this project or want to speak to a member of the team, please email

Data Protection

Improving Gender Balance is a programme delivered by the Institute of Physics (IOP). Your contact details, and any other information you submit, will only be used by IOP to administer this programme. IOP shall make contact with you by email or telephone to discuss your interest, to invite you to view a webinar on the programme and to invite you to join the next stage of the programme if relevant. If you wish to leave the programme, please email us at

Your privacy

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