Photo of the Teaching innovation awards trophies

Applications open November 14th

Applications close January 3rd 2023

Our community celebrates and shares outstanding teaching practices. The LearnSci Teaching Innovation Awards support innovation that positively impacts on teaching quality and enhances student learning.

Hear from our previous applicants

Dr. Phil Craven
University of Birmingham
Dr. Alison Hill and Dr. Nicholas Harmer
University of Exeter
Dr. Neil Williams
Kingston University

How it works

Applicants are asked to demonstrate how they have led innovation in teaching and learning in their institution. Winners will be chosen by an expert scientific educational panel.

Meet the judges

Possible ways you may have innovated teaching and learning

  • Solving a problem by improving tools and methods
  • Improving teaching materials and practices
  • Developing new digital learning resources

We are looking for an emphasis in one or more of the areas below

These areas are not categories as such, we are not looking to choose a winner from each. Rather they are areas where we are interested to see how you are teaching innovatively - and your practice may even bridge two of these areas.

For our current partners

  • Employability and skills

    Use of LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets to support skill development of students, aiding employability prospects.

    Our resources allow students to practise the key skills that are highly sought after by employers in the science industry and therefore increase their employability. Maybe you've used our Cloning LabSim this year to help your students learn how to design and plan experiments, or maybe it's our Beer-Lambert Smart Worksheet that has helped your students develop their data analysis skills. Whichever of our bioscience or chemistry resources you've used, we'd love to hear about how they've helped students develop key skills ready for joining the workplace.

    Show example
  • Creative innovation

    Creative innovation using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets in teaching.

    Combining the use of LabSims, Smart Worksheets and mixed reality via a Microsoft HoloLens2 headset, practical chemistry delivery at Queen Mary University of London was innovated. In their winning 2021 entry, Dr. Lesley Howell and colleagues shared their novel approach to supporting practical skill development. They demonstrated how the combination of these technologies supported online delivery, and subsequently the development of student co-created instructional guides to these technologies, to act as pre-laboratory activities.

    Show example
  • Department-wide impact

    Innovation in teaching and learning across a whole department, using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets.

    The Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Glasgow Caledonian University, rolled out LabSims and Smart Worksheet resources to the whole department across undergraduate and masters level teaching. Dr. Catherine Wright and her colleagues' 2021 entry demonstrated how this was achieved, and the positive impact it had on student confidence.

    Show example
  • Evidence of impact

    High quality analysis of the impact of an implemented teaching and learning practice using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets.

    The results of a 2 year study into the impact of use of LabSims at the University of Sydney and University of Leicester was shared in a 2021 entry. Thematic analysis of student responses within questionnaires and interviews was carried out. Results showed the ease of utilising the resources, students' correct visualisation of real-world equipment and techniques, and the lowering of in-class anxiety. This outstanding research by Dr. Stephen George-Williams, Dr. Richard Blackburn and colleagues resulted in publication in the Journal of Chemical Education.

    Show example
  • Progress

    Impressive development of a previous Teaching Innovation Awards applicant project.

    At the Royal Holloway University of London, the progression from initial implementation to deep integration of digital tools into courses was demonstrated in Teaching Innovation Award applications in 2020 and 2021. Dr. Jenny Murdoch showcased how their partnership with LearnSci and the usage of LabSims and Smart Worksheets, within the Department of Biological Sciences, has developed since 2018, resulting in improvements in student satisfaction, staff marking loads, and NSS scores.

    Show example

All other applicants

  • Wider innovation in science education

    Innovative use of digital tools to aid science teaching at university or post-16 level. Not including LearnSci resources.

    In their winning 2021 entry, the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory at the University of Birmingham showcased their lab-casting model. Whilst originally developed to provide a lab experience during a time of online learning, it has since enhanced student experience of in-person labs. Edd Kyi and colleagues demonstrated its multi-departmental applications, including accessible demonstrations and live technician to student feedback between fume cupboards.

    Show example

Get inspired

We are looking for an emphasis in one or more of the areas below. These are not categories as such; we are not looking to choose a winner from each. Rather they are areas where we are interested to see how you are teaching innovatively - and your practice may even bridge two of these areas.

Wider innovation in science education

Open to non partners

Innovative use of digital tools to aid science teaching at university or post-16 level. Not including LearnSci resources.

Progress

Open to previous awards applicants

Impressive development of a previous Teaching Innovation Awards applicant project.

Creative innovation

Open to current partners

Creative innovation using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets in teaching.

Evidence of impact

Open to current partners

High quality analysis of the impact of an implemented teaching and learning practice using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets.

Department-wide impact

Open to current partners

Innovation in teaching and learning across a whole department, using LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets.

Employability and skills

Open to current partners

Use of LabSims and/or Smart Worksheets to support skill development of students, aiding employability prospects.

What you'll get

Be featured within our community

Details of each innovation project made by applicants will be showcased on the LearnSci website to enable sharing of good practice within our community.

Cash prize for educational purposes

Winners will receive a £200 cash prize to be used for an educational purpose of their choice.

Handcrafted trophy

Winners also receive a handcrafted trophy by the Bristol-based glass blowing experts, Bristol Blue Glass.

Applications
are now open!

Apply now

If you have led innovation in your institution, possibly in one or more of the areas we've outlined above, then we'd love to hear from you.

Applications close midday (GMT) on January 3rd 2023

Register your interest

If you would like to be contacted about
application timeframes and details of future Teaching Innovation Awards, please submit your details here.

We’ll let you know all the details as soon as they are released.

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Stay up to date

If you would like to be contacted about this year and future Teaching Innovation Awards, please submit your details here.

We’ll let you know all the details as soon as they are released.

Thank you! Your submission has been received and we'll be in touch.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

By submitting this form you agree to our terms and privacy policy. You can, of course, unsubscribe or request deletion of personal data at any time by contacting us.

The judging panel

Dr. Dino Spagnoli

Dr. Dino Spagnoli

Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia, School of Molecular Sciences

Prof. Nicola King

Prof. Nicola King

Associate Dean for Education in the College for Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences and Director of Studies for the Natural Sciences programme at the University of Exeter

Dr. Juliet Stoltenkamp

Dr. Juliet Stoltenkamp

Director of the Centre For Innovative Education & Communication Technologies (CIECT), University of the Western Cape

Prof. Dudley Shallcross

Prof. Dudley Shallcross

Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Bristol and President of the Education Division of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Dr. Dee Scadden

Dr. Dee Scadden

Director of Teaching and Digital Learning, Dept of Biochemistry, and Director of Technology-enabled Learning, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cambridge

Prof. Leanne Williams

Prof. Leanne Williams

Professor at the University of Warwick School of Life Sciences

Dr. Andrew Allsebrook

Dr. Andrew Allsebrook

Lead Demonstrator at the University of Queensland School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Frequently asked questions

Are the awards accredited?
When will the winners be announced?
How are the winners decided?
Do I have to submit my application in a specific award area?
Can group applications be submitted?
How long should my application be?
Do I have to use LearnSci resources in my teaching to enter?
When can I apply?