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The Royal Society of Biology has been working alongside the Academy of Medical Sciences, The Physiological Society and the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS) to review the status and valuation of teaching in higher education (HE).

On the 30th June 2014, the partner organisations released a report entitled “Improving the status and valuation of teaching in the careers of UK academics”. Background about the project is available to read below.

Background

In 2010, the Academy of Medical Sciences published the report 'Redressing the balance: the status and valuation of teaching in academic careers' that assessed the balance that teaching and research hold within UK biomedical science departments and medical schools, particularly in relation to career progression.

Three years later the Academy - alongside the Royal Society of Biology, The Physiological Society, and HUBS decided to follow up the implementation of the report's recommendations. The work is being undertaken by a joint steering group (members listed below).

After conducting a survey in mid-2013 of over 250 individuals across bioscience departments and medical schools in UK universities, the steering group held a joint workshop. This was held on the 28th March 2014 at Charles Darwin House, London and aimed to:

  • Further promote the importance of the issue to a range of HE stakeholders
  • Disseminate case studies that highlight good practice
  • Discuss processes for evidencing and evaluating good teaching

The workshop was attended by over eighty representatives from over fifty different institutions organisations in the Higher Education sector. This included a vice chancellors, pro vice chancellors, deans of faculty, heads of bioscience, mid/early career researchers, funders, national bodies and learned societies.

Both the survey and the workshop indicated that there was still much to do to raise the status and valuation of teaching in UK academic careers.

On the 30th June 2014, the partner organisations released a report entitled “Improving the status and valuation of teaching in the careers of UK academics” which has been informed by both the survey and the workshop.

This report calls for an urgent change in culture and highlights the challenges and the opportunities for improvement. It makes practical recommendations to help deliver this change in culture for learned societies and other organisations, universities and individuals.

The Royal Society of Biology will use the recommendations to inform their further work to improve the status and valuation of teaching in higher education.

Academy of Medical Sciences project website
The Physiological Society website project website

Downloads

Report - “Improving the status and valuation of teaching in the careers of UK academics"
Annex - Interpretation from survey
Annex - Breakout groups table
Annex - Workshop Agenda
Annex - Slides from case studies of good practice

The Steering Group

Professor Keith Gull CBE, FRS, FMedSci Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford (Chair)
Professor Judy Harris Professorial Teaching Fellow in Medical Sciences Education, University of Bristol and Deputy Chair of the Education and Outreach Committee, The Physiological Society
Professor Ron Laskey CBE FRS FMedSci FLSW Emeritus Professor of Animal Embryology, University of Cambridge
Professor Ottoline Leyser CBE FRS Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Dr Hilary MacQueen Head of Department of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences, The Open University and Chair of the Heads of University Biosciences (HUBS) Executive Committee, a Special Interest Group of the Royal Society of Biology
Dr Jeremy Pritchard Head of Education, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham and Chair of the Education, Training and Policy Committee, Royal Society of Biology
Professor Anne Ridley FMedSci Professor of Cell Biology, King's College London and co Chair of the Academic Careers Committee, Academy of Medical Sciences
Dr Janet de Wilde Head of STEM, Higher Education Academy
Dr Simon Wilkinson CRUK Career Development Fellow, Edinburgh Cancer Research UK Centre, University of Edinburgh
Professor David Wynford-Thomas FMedSci FLSW Pro Vice Chancellor, Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology; Dean of the School of Medicine, University of Leicester; member of the Medical Schools Council

Secretariat

Dr Richard Malham Senior Policy Officer, the Academy of Medical Sciences
Gemma Garrett Deputy Director of Education, Royal Society of Biology
Zoe Martin Education Policy Officer, Royal Society of Biology
Dr Christabel Stokes Head of Education, Outreach and Policy, The Physiological Society

 

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