The staff in the Biological Sciences department have been recognised for their teaching excellence through a variety of awards and nominations for teaching and related activity.

2019 Bristol Teaching Awards

Students' Award for Outstanding Educator (Life Sciences)

Awarded to Dr Stephen Soffe, School of Biological Sciences.

Steve is a dedicated and hardworking individual who approaches teaching with great care. Even when delivering large volumes of information, he is able to keep the cohort engaged, taking his time and being patient to ensure that difficult content is understood. Students note Steve’s ‘outstanding guidance’ during practical sessions and appreciate his ‘clear’ and ‘specific’ feedback, which is conducive to self-guided improvement. Steve encourages his students to be independent, and to embed their knowledge by making links between lecture material and their own, applied observations, providing students with an engaging and motivating ‘real world’ view of their learning.

2018 Bristol Teaching Awards

Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)

Awarded to Professor Gary Foster, School of Biological Sciences.

‘He loves viruses!’ Many students applaud Gary’s passion and flair in turning what could be ‘perceived as some to be boring’ into a ‘compelling’ subject. Striking a balance with ‘humour and light-hearted engagement’ he enthuses students about plant virology and has inspired many to continue their studies in this area. ‘He loves his subject and, although it is a challenging one, he breaks the lecture content down into fun but informative and clear lectures’. Gary is valued by students for his generosity with his time and knowledge ensuring that all students feel confident; one student remarked, ‘Gary is the kind of scientist I would like to be!’

2017 Bristol Teaching Awards

Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)

Awarded to Dr. Rose Murray, School of Biological Sciences.

This award winner invests great effort into preparing and delivering engaging lectures, and providing extra teaching materials and support for their students. They make difficult concepts comprehensible and inspire students to explore the subject beyond the curriculum. Their dedication to learning is extremely well received by their students, one of whom exclaimed that: 'their lectures are always full, even the 9am slot!'.

Other nominees:

  • Professor Gary Foster, Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)
  • Professor Innes Cuthill, University Award for Education (Science)

2017 Life Sciences Awards

Team of the Year

Awarded to The Senior Teaching Associates:

  • Dr. Emily Bell
  • Dr. Andy Wakefield
  • Dr. Kathryn Ford
  • Dr. Talya Hackett
  • Dr. Karin Kjernsmo
  • Dr. Rebecca Pike
  • Dr. Bryony Sands
  • Dr. Rose Murray

This year we have met unprecedented challenges due to unplanned staff losses (resignations, retirements) and good news events (maternity leave and Fellowship) all of which impact on teaching. We have been able to recruit an outstanding group of STAs who have at very short notice stepped into the breach, picking up a high number of tutorial groups, lectures, practicals and other duties at very short notice. This has without exception been carried out with a sense of great professionalism and good humour. I can’t think of a more deserving group to be the recipient of this award. Their contribution has been and continues to be outstanding.

The STA team has made an amazing contribution to teaching this year. They have made all our jobs easier by being so proactive and supportive of all that we do.

Change Leader of the Year

Awarded to Dr. Rose Murray.

Rose has been a great addition the Academic Teaching staff and has made some great changes since she started - she is full of energy and enthusiasm for updating our courses! Rose has been an inspiration to all who work with her - academic staff, support staff and students - introducing new ideas and ways of doing things in a constructive, enthusiastic and friendly way. Rose has changed the school for the better.

2016 Bristol Teaching Awards

Nominees included:

  • Ed Drewitt, University Award for Education (Science)
  • Professor Gary Foster, Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)
  • Dr. Rose Murray, Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)

2015 Bristol Teaching Awards

Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)

Awarded to Dr. Andrew Griffiths, School of Biological Sciences.

Andrew is not only brilliantly enthusiastic and engaging, but delivers fascinating content, using a wide range of resources which encourage students towards independent study. His enthusiasm for the subject is contagious: ‘if someone can get 300 students excited about worms, then they get my vote’. ‘You can see it in his smile he enjoys teaching and has a genuine passion for communicating science to young minds’.

Other nominees:

  • Dr Peter Trimmer, Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science)

2014 Bristol Teaching Awards

University Award for Education (Science)

Awarded to The Teaching Technicians, School of Biological Sciences.

The ‘Teaching Technicians’ team in the School of Biological Sciences are Sue Coe, Annabelle Donnell, Maggie Gamble, Sue Holwell and Steve Martin. The team provides invaluable support for academic staff in designing and arranging practicals, helping to prepare and run field courses, and play a key role in organising and running open days along with other widening participation activities. They have handled the significant changes in teaching practice over recent years with goodwill and an inspiring can-do attitude. Indeed the team regularly goes way beyond what might reasonably be expected of technical staff in supporting practical and field work within the School. Over the past five years they have also been heavily involved in designing and equipping the teaching labs in the new Life Sciences building; this crucial work, in addition to their core jobs, has been tackled with enthusiasm and imagination.

Three presenters for the Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching in the category of Science present the award to Dr. Rose Murray.
Rose Murray receives the Students' Award for Outstanding Teaching (Science) Image credit: Bristol University
A silver apple
The Bristol Teaching Awards recognise and reward those members of staff who have made an outstanding contribution to teaching, the provision of support for students, and the enhancement of the student learning experience.
The award for 'Team of the Year' 2016-2017
'Team of the Year' 2016-17 award, Image credit: University of Bristol
The full collection of winners from the Bristol Teaching Awards in 2018.
The full group of award recipients at the Bristol Teaching Awards 2018, including Professor Gary Foster. Image credit: University of Bristol
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