Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy



Bioscience Teacher of the Year 2012

The Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award seeks to identify the UK’s leading bioscience university teachers recognising the invaluable role played by teachers in Higher Education.

The closure of the Centre in December 2011 means that the award will now be offered and managed by the Society of Biology with continued support from Oxford University Press.

The competition was open to all employed bioscience teachers in the UK higher education system and individuals can be nominated either by self, peer or management nomination using the quick nomination form. Nominations should be received by the Society of Biology by noon on Friday 2nd December 2011.

For full details and for answers to any questions you may have, please refer to the Society of Biology's website or contact the Head of Education, Rachel Lambeth-Forsyth.

Good luck with your entries!

Download a poster about the Award

Bioscience Teacher of the Year 2011

We are delighted to announce that Dr Jon Scott of the University of Leicester has been named winner of the Bioscience Teacher of the Year 2011 award

The judging panel recognised Jon as:

“an individual who genuinely puts student engagement at the heart of his academic practice” and who presented “holistically, an impressive record”.

Jon commented: “I feel deeply honoured at having been named as the Bioscience Teacher of the Year for 2011, particularly at a time when learning and teaching in higher education are under the spotlight more than ever before. This award is also of real significance because it is made by the UK Centre for Bioscience and Oxford University Press, both being organisations that place the promotion of high quality education at the heart of their activities."

photo of Jon Scott and other finalists presentation


Bioscience Teacher of the Year 2011 presentation made at the Effective Learning in the Biosciences Conference. Our photo shows from left to right, Jonathan Crowe (Oxford University Press), finalist Phil Langton (University of Bristol), winner Jon Scott (University of Leicester), highly commended finalist Carol Wakeford (University of Manchester) and Kevan Gartland (Glasgow Caledonian University and Chair of the Centre's Advisory Group).

The UK Centre for Bioscience also congratulate Carol Wakeford who was Highly Commended by the panel and our other finalists, Phil Langton (University of Bristol) and Richard Milne (University of Edinburgh).

As part of the judging process for the award, the four finalists worked with the UK Centre for Bioscience to produce case studies of methodologies they have each developed to enhance the learning experience for bioscience students at their institution. The case studies were published in the Proceedings for the Effective Learning in the Biosciences Conference and will shortly be made available to the wider bioscience learning and teaching community through the Higher Education Academy’s EvidenceNet.

Finalists' case studies

Over the 2010-11 academic year individuals from the Centre worked with each of the shortlisted candidates (and their students) to build up a case study surrounding an aspect of their teaching. The case studies helped to inform the selection process. The case studies were published in the Proceedings of the international conference: Effective Learning in the Biosciences 2011 and are available individually and can be downloaded below:


About the Award

Supported by the UK Centre for Bioscience and sponsored by Oxford University Press, the Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award recognises outstanding learning and teaching practice in the biosciences. Oxford University Press logo

The scheme rewards lecturers who:

  • Excel at engaging, motivating and inspiring their students
  • Go the extra mile to support their students’ development as individuals
  • Have influenced and enhanced students’ achievements and colleagues’ practices within and beyond their own institution

The winner will receive the Ed Wood Memorial Prize: £1,000 to spend as they wish and one year’s subscription to an OUP journal. The remaining finalists will each receive a £150 prize for their case study.

The Ed Wood Memorial Prize is named in honour of Professor Edward J. Wood, who established and became the first Director of the Learning and Teaching Support Network for Bioscience, now the UK Centre for Bioscience, who dedicated himself to the promotion of biochemistry and molecular biology education.

The Award supports the Centre's aim to 'Raise the status of learning and teaching and enhance the professional development and recognition of bioscience staff'.


So are you the sort of person who enters a teaching competition? If you care about teaching, enjoy a challenge and have something to share with like-minded colleagues, then why not?

(Reflections from a previous finalist)

The awards cover England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and applications are welcome from all four nations.

Aims of the Award:

  • To provide national recognition and reward for excellence in teaching and supporting student learning in the biosciences for individuals in any of the UK home nations (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)
  • To raise the status of teaching in the biosciences as a scholarly activity
  • To support individuals in reflecting upon and enhancing their professional practice in support of student learning
  • To develop case studies of effective student learning and disseminate these nationally to enhance bioscience student learning experiences across the UK

Who is eligible?

The competition is open to bioscience teachers in UK higher education, including those involved in higher education provision within further education. To enter, the bioscience teacher in question should be currently employed by a UK educational institution on a part-time or full-time, fixed term or permanent basis.

It is likely but not a requirement that applicants may already have received recognition for their outstanding teaching and support for student learning from their employing institution and it is envisaged that selection as Bioscience Teacher of the Year may provide a stepping-stone to nomination for the Higher Education Academy’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme for Individuals.

Criteria against which applications are judged

Equal weighting is given to the following 3 criteria:

  • Displays individual excellence through the design and development of approaches to teaching that have proven successful in promoting bioscience student learning and achievement
  • Undertakes scholarly and professional developmental activities that actively influence and enhance the learning of their students
  • Provides evidence of supporting colleagues and influencing bioscience student learning beyond their own department and institution

The judging process and the judging panel

A short-list of 4 finalists was selected. During the 2010-11 academic year they were visited on campus and observed and filmed during an appropriate teaching session. Candidates were interviewed informally about their teaching and asked to facilitate the gathering of student feedback via questionnaires and a student focus group. These activities helped the panel to build up a full picture and informed the writing of a 2-page case study by a member of staff from the UK Centre for Bioscience.

Meet the judging panel

The awards were presented at the Effective Learning in the Biosciences Conference in summer 2011.


The Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award has been developed from the UK Centre for Bioscience’s Ed Wood Teaching Awards which were established in 2008/09 to provide an annual opportunity for bioscience academics to receive national recognition for their outstanding learning and teaching practices, and to identify and publicise the practice of bioscientists which has been proven to enhance the student learning experience. The Centre is delighted to be working in partnership with Oxford University Press to strengthen and raise the profile of teaching excellence in the biosciences.

The Ed Wood Teaching Awards were originally based on the scheme of the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre and later incorporated a framework of excellence adapted with permission from the University of Leeds.

Other documents

View details of the 2009 and 2010 winners, finalists, and all their case studies