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Version 2. F1000Res. 2015 Mar 24 [revised 2015 Apr 29];4:76. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.6227.2. eCollection 2015.

Challenges and opportunities for early-career Teaching-Focussed academics in the biosciences.

Author information

1
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB2 3EA, UK.
2
Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK.
3
School of Biological Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, LL57 2UW, UK.
4
WildCRU, Zoology Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PS, UK.

Abstract

Twenty-seven percent of academics in UK Higher Education (HE) are in Teaching-Focussed positions, making major contributions to undergraduate programmes in an era of high student expectations when it comes to teaching quality. However, institutional support for Teaching-Focussed academics is often limited, both in terms of peer networking and opportunities for career development. As four early-career stage Teaching-Focussed academics working in a variety of institutions, we explore what motivated our choices to make teaching our primary academic activity, and the challenges that we have faced in doing so. In addition to highlighting the need for universities to fully recognise the achievements of teaching staff, we discuss the role that the various biosciences learned societies have in supporting Teaching-Focussed academics. We identify that there is a need for the learned societies to come together and pool their expertise in this area. The fragmented nature of the Teaching-Focussed academic community means that clear sources of national support are needed in order to best enable the next generation of bioscience educators to reach their full potential.

KEYWORDS:

Higher; education, teaching

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