Biochemical Society e-course review: Using technology for effective teaching in HE

This e-course ‘Using technology for effective teaching in HE’ is composed of five modules and the course objectives map onto the UKPSF to support candidates for various levels of fellowship of the HEA. The course is incredibly well supported by educational theory, with references provided throughout. The ideas presented are innovative and would be really useful for anyone looking to redesign or update a module or course. Continue reading Biochemical Society e-course review: Using technology for effective teaching in HE

The demand for skills development in the molecular biosciences

Derry MercerBy Dr Derry K Mercer, Principal Scientist at Novabiotics Ltd & member of the Biochemical Society Policy Advisory Panel

The UK Government recently published a Green Paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ in which the urgent need for developing skills in further/higher education and the workforce was outlined. The document noted that while the UK higher education system was strong, our achievements in basic and technical skills was relatively poor and has led to the lower levels of productivity compared with other advanced economies.

The skills issues were outlined as follows:

  • lack of basic skills;
  • shortage of high-skilled technicians below graduate level;
  • skills shortages in STEM sectors;
  • the need for informed career choices;
  • lack of lifelong learning opportunities.

For anyone working in the molecular biosciences, whether in academia or industry, most of these concerns can hardly have come as a surprise and represents a huge problem for a growing sector that currently generates turnover of over £56 billion per annum. Indeed, the skills and productivity gaps were pointed out in an earlier UK government documentFixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ in 2015. Continue reading “The demand for skills development in the molecular biosciences”

Why I think that the proposal to remove publication portability from REF2021 should be scrapped

By Charlotte Dodson, Research Fellow at Imperial College London

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Charlotte Dodson

“Do we know what’s happening about REF yet?” asked one of the participants at the departmental Principal Investigator (PI) meeting last term. There was a gentle shaking of heads around the table and we moved on. Shortly afterwards I knew the answer: the Stern Review (a UK Government-commissioned independent review into how Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 should be improved for next time) made its recommendations. There is now a consultation by HEFCE and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on how best to implement these in REF 2021. Continue reading “Why I think that the proposal to remove publication portability from REF2021 should be scrapped”