Outstanding Cardiff Lecturer recognised with National Teaching Fellowship

A Cardiff University lecturer has been recognised for his outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession with a national award.

Dr Nigel Francis from the School of Biosciences has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship from Advance HE.

55 individuals from the UK higher education sector receive the award annually, and fellowships carry prestige and recognition nationally and internationally.

Dr Francis is at the forefront of digital education and assessment in the School. Using online tools to make vibrant and interactive classes, and online simulations, Dr Francis helps prepare students for lab-based activities, so they get the most out of their experiences.

At the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, he led the development of the #DrylabsRealScience community, a national network to develop ways of delivering authentic laboratory experiences for students via online teaching.

This approach supported the learning experience of Cardiff students, and the community continues still, as #RealLabsRealScience, driving forward ways of engaging students in authentic learning activities.

As a HEA Senior Fellow, he has been a major advocate for inclusive curricula and a huge support for students with disabilities. He is also the Degree Scheme Lead for BSc Biomedical Sciences, and organises the week-long Research Experiences for Year 2.

Commenting on his award, Dr Francis said: “I am humbled to have received this award and incredibly grateful for the support and guidance that has been offered by colleagues, both past and present, in helping me develop as an educator. I am lucky to have had the support of many exceptional people, who have allowed me to try new things to improve teaching and learning.

“I am fortunate to have worked alongside so many enthusiastic and inventive students, who have contributed to help shape their education and constantly challenge me to be better.

“I hope the Fellowship will help showcase some of the amazing teaching work that goes on within the School of Biosciences. On a personal level, receiving this award will allow me to develop further as an educator and help support others.”

Claire Morgan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience said: “I am pleased to congratulate Dr Nigel Francis on a well-deserved award. He is extremely dedicated to our students and I’m confident that with this award he will continue representing Cardiff University to further enrich education both nationally and internationally.”

Dr Francis will join a national community of more than 800 like-minded professionals who are passionate about teaching excellence, and will be given the opportunity to collaborate across boundaries and disciplines both at home here in the UK and across the rest of the world.

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