Centre for Bioscience, The Higher Education Academy


Support for New Lecturers

These pages are aimed people new to teaching bioscience in Higher Education. We have gathered together resources and information which we think will be useful to you, with links so you can find out more about each item.

You are welcome to contact us with any queries you have regarding learning and teaching in the biosciences. We receive all sorts of enquiries - about the work of the Centre - about learning and teaching methods in the biosciences - requests for help with locating videos and other learning resources - and many other things! We have produced a Frequently Asked Questions page but if you can't find the information you require then contact us! We aim to give you an initial response within two working days.

Folder for new lecturers in the biosciences

We have produced a resource folder of subject specific information for new academic staff. The folder is intended to introduce you to Centre activities, provide hints and tips for when you first start teaching, recent developments in bioscience learning and teaching, and also includes details of a number of resources for learning and teaching.

You can read more about and download content from the folder.

You may also find our list of Education Acronyms useful.

Resources for teaching

ImageBank - our database of over 7000 biological images, copyright cleared for educational use so you can download any images you want for your teaching.  If you wish, you can also submit your own images.

Our Short Guides provide a four page introduction to various aspects of teaching and learning in the biosciences complete with ideas for further reading. Topics include transition, plagiarism and inclusive learning and teaching.

Assessment Briefing, published by the Centre in December 2009, it brings together references and resources on assessment in the biosciences. Each section of the briefings is introduced by an expert in that area.

Practical Compendium is a small collection of tried and tested practical exercises and associated student handouts and related material for laboratory and field classes, contributed to by UK academics across the range of bioscience disciplines.

Engage in Feedback is an evidence-based website. It aims to enhance student learning by providing staff with ideas, tools and resources they can use to enhance the feedback they provide.

Engage in Research is a website designed to help undergraduates with all aspects of scientific research.


Example image from ImageBankExample image from ImageBank

Example image from ImageBankExample image from ImageBank

The Higher Education Academy's Supporting New Academic Staff (SNAS) project is a collaboration between Subject Centre staff and PG Cert learning and teaching course tutors from many institutions.  The SNAS database contains discipline-specific and generic resource lists that provide a starting point for new academic staff.  The Centre for Bioscience staff have so far contributed lists on topics ranging from assessment to field work to widening participation.  Search the SNAS database.

Publications on bioscience learning & teaching

The Teaching Bioscience - Enhancing Learning Guides are accessible introductions to good learning and teaching practice. Each guide aims to provide an overview of the reasons for adopting a particular practice and provide practical guidance and information to turn ideas into reality. The guides combine a mix of theory with bioscience examples and case studies.

The UK Centre for Bioscience Bulletin is a printed newsletter that contains short articles and features relating to bioscience education and is published in print and online three times a year.  It is distributed free of charge.  We occasionally produce themed issues such as Bulletin 22 on Feedback and Feed-forward, Bulletin 29 on Education for Sustainable Development and Bulletin 33 on practical work.

Bioscience Education is an on-line, bi-annual journal that we own and publish.  Bioscience Education contains a range of original articles on tertiary level bioscience education, including peer-reviewed research and practice papers.

First Words on Teaching is a resource written by David Baume for new lecturers at Oxford Brookes University, however the comprehensive, generic information is useful for everyone.

You can also download a list of publications that are produced by other organisations.

Picture of Bulletin

Networking Opportunities

Events: We run a series of workshops and events on different aspects of learning and teaching. These events are usually provided free of charge and anyone with an interest is welcome to attend. Some institutions will count attendance of one of our events towards their PG Cert course and we provide attendance certificates for you to add to your portfolio.  View a list of our upcoming events

Network groups:We support a series of groups which specialise in a particular theme.  These groups discuss, usual via e-mail lists, current topics, the Centre also uses these lists to advertise relevant events and resources.  See details of our network groups.

Centre Reps: In most biology departments/schools we have named contact, you may find it useful to find out who is your Centre for Bioscience representative is.

Bioscience Mentors: A group for individuals working within the Higher Education sector who are interested in teaching and scholarship in the Biosciences. Bioscience Mentors aims to provide support and advice for like-minded colleagues, in career development and in gaining recognition and reward for excellence in learning and teaching. To find out more contact Dave Lewis: d.i.lewis@leeds.ac.uk

Read a blog and comment: just-higher-ed is the inside story of a person starting their first lectureship in the field of humanities.  The discipline may be different but a lot of the issues faced are the same.  You can comment on each entry and therefore discuss issues you are facing.

New International Staff

Starting to teach in higher education can be daunting enough, but if you are new to the UK and don't know the system that well it can be even worse. The international staff website covers many generic questions on learning and teaching and moving to the UK. If you have specific questions on Bioscience learning and teaching then contact us!

Contact us with your suggestions

Please email us with suggestions of other information that we could usefully include in this section or other ways in which we could help you.