Research at DfE

Find DfE research publications and invitations to tender for new research projects.

Our social research aims to provide high-quality evidence to inform policy development and delivery.

Fieldwork for international survey of adult skills 2023

We are conducting fieldwork for the 2023 international survey of adult skills.

The study aims to find out about the activities that adults do in their daily lives and to learn about their experiences of education and work. Having an overview of skills in England will help us to identify upcoming challenges and support people to improve their skills to deal with the challenges of the future in life and work.

Kantar Public and NatCen are carrying out research between September 2022 and May 2023. They are working with the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), on behalf of DfE.

It is important that the survey represents everyone in the country, so we need to talk to people from all different types of background and ages. The survey is also being conducted in over 30 countries across the world which means the government will be able to compare England with these other countries.

If you have questions, email

The previous report, adult skills international survey 2012, is available.

Areas of research interest

DfE’s areas of research interest sets out the topics we would like to engage external researchers with. We expect to release further areas of research prompted by the challenges posed by coronavirus (COVID-19) shortly.

DfE data for research

Read our guidance on accessing DfE data extracts from the National Pupil Database (NPD), School Workforce, Individualised Learner Record and Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Research projects

Routes to market for social and economic research

All new projects are being procured via 2 Crown Commercial Service dynamic purchasing systems:

  • Low Value Purchase System - provides public sector buyers with a new route to market for their below threshold common goods and services (under £120,000)
  • Research and Insights Marketplace - enables central government and the wider public sector to commission social, market and economic research expertise and services

If you want to be invited to tender for research commissioned by DfE, you should register as a supplier on both systems.

Registration is free and there is no limit to the number of suppliers who can join.

Jaggaer: the DfE e-tendering portal

Jaggaer is an e-tendering system used by DfE and its executive agencies. It is a password-protected online service.

As a potential supplier, you should register with Jaggaer so that you can:

  • view opportunities to tender
  • submit tender responses

For help with registration, use the support links on the Jaggaer portal.


Use the style guide and template to write your research publications.

You can find our research reports published since May 2010 in GOV.UK’s publications section.

Research published before May 2010 is available from the UK Government Web Archive.

Quality assurance framework

The framework sets out a standardised approach to quality assurance to ensure that analysis is:

  • fit for purpose
  • reliable
  • accurate
  • transparent
  • accountable

Read the DfE quality assurance framework for analysis (PDF, 688 KB, 49 pages).