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HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year

"As a Bioscience educator, if your sessions drive your students to grow intellectually, to deep dive into an exciting biological world or make a difference in their career journey, then you should consider applying for the Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award! It's not just about getting the recognition you deserve but you also become part of an amazing community of bioscience educators."
Professor Momna Hejmadi, Univesity of Bath
HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year finalist 2012

About the award

The Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award seeks to identify the UK’s leading bioscience higher education (HE) teachers, recognising the invaluable role they play in educating and inspiring the next generation of biologists. The competition is open to all employed bioscience teachers in the UK HE system and individuals can be nominated either by self, peer, management, or student nomination using the nomination form.

We are seeking nominations which represent and celebrate the whole of the HE bioscience teaching community across all career stages. Nominations are particularly encouraged for women and/or people from minority ethnic backgrounds because these have been under-represented in previous application pools.

The HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award recognises outstanding learning and teaching practice in the biosciences. The scheme rewards lecturers who:

  • Display individual excellence through the development and implementation of approaches to teaching that have proven successful in promoting bioscience student learning and achievement
  • Undertake scholarly and professional developmental activities that actively influence and enhance the learning of their students
  • Support colleagues and influence bioscience student learning beyond their own department and institution
  • Exhibit innovation in relation to teaching that has proven to improve their teaching practices and enhance student learning
  • Embeds inclusive approaches to bioscience teaching, ensuring equality of participation and outcomes for those from disadvantaged backgrounds

Previous finalist case studies and some examples of successful application forms are available to read/view.

"Ignore the imposter syndrome and get an application in. The worst thing that can happen is you have to apply again the following year. The application itself is a really helpful opportunity to evaluate where you are at and plan your next career steps."
Dr Dom Henri, University of Hull
HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year winner 2018



The HE 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.

Since the closure of the UK Centre for Bioscience in 2011, the award has been offered and managed by the Royal Society of Biology. The Society and the sponsors, Oxford University Press and Heads of University Biosciences, are delighted to support the continuation of this award.

"Go for it! I hadn’t considered applying for the award until a colleague encouraged me. It was a great experience as it came at a time when I proposing a re-launch of the teaching programme I had been directing. It provided a perfect opportunity to reflect on what I had achieved thus far and the direction I wanted the programme to take in the future."

Dr Sarah Gretton, University of Leicester
HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year finalist 2017



The winner will receive the Ed Wood Memorial Prize of £1,000 to spend as they wish. 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, subsequently the UK Centre for Bioscience, and who dedicated himself to the promotion of biochemistry and molecular biology education.

The winner will also receive £250 worth of OUP books of their choice; and one year’s free Membership of the Royal Society of Biology at the appropriate grade (MRSB or FRSB). The winner also gets the fee for their first year of Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) waived, should they wish to apply.

The remaining finalists will each receive a £150 prize for their case study, and will also receive one year’s free Membership to the Royal Society of Biology, and the fee for their first year of Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach) waived.

"Teaching can often be the Cinderella activity in biosciences, and you don’t feel particularly outstanding when you are working with amazing colleagues. Being shortlisted gave recognition for me personally and also for my teaching colleagues as it recognised the excellence in what we do. It was also great to meet the other finalists - very inspiring scientists with varied approaches."

Dr David Martin, University of Dundee
HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year finalist 2019


How to apply

To apply for the Higher Education Bioscience Teacher of the Year Award 2021 please view the Guidance Document for full information and if you have any questions regarding the award process, please contact

Follow this link to download the guidance document.

The competition is open to all employed bioscience teachers in the UK HE sector. Individuals can enter Round 1 by being nominated, either by themselves or a colleague. Students can also suggest candidates for the Award. Nomination forms should be submitted no later than Sunday 29 November 2020.

Follow this link to download the nomination form.

Students can suggest their lecturer for the award using the below form. Student suggestion forms should be sent to by Friday 30 October 2020. The Royal Society of Biology will then forward this information to the candidate. It is then up to the suggested candidate to formally nominate themselves for the award.

Follow this link to download the student suggestion form.

Applicants who are selected to progress to Round 2 will be required to complete a case study, present this in person and complete an interview with the judging panel.

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