Congratulations to members of the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences who have recently received commendations for their work in Teaching and Learning.

Drs Gwen Lawrie, Susan Rowland and Jack Wang have been awarded Faculty of Science Teaching and Learning strategic grants.

Dr Wang and colleagues were awarded $15,000 from the Faculty (along with $6,250 from the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences) to develop professional scientific practice in third year undergraduate microbiology students.

The funding will primarily go towards evaluating the impact of new inquiry-based laboratory classes in developing research skills, as well as contribute towards the dissemination of these findings.

"Changing courses to embrace new educational philosophies is very time and labour-intensive, and Professors Mark Schembri and John Fuerst (co-investigators on the grant) were instrumental in getting this project off the ground" said Dr Wang.

Drs Susan Rowland and Gwen Lawrie, both from the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences, already have a project in place that looks at inquiry-based learning in biochemistry and chemistry classes respectively, and Dr Wang's project in microbiology education will continue to build upon their efforts.

Dr Lawrie also received a grant of $2,550 which matches support already received from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Adademic) for the project entitled 'Supporting teaching-focussed academics in science in their transition from scholarly teaching to scholarship of teaching and learning'.

This funding will support the development and delivery of a professional development model in a 'Writing Retreat' to enable academics to translate their teaching and learning project outcomes into papers.

The project team includes Ms Kelly Matthews, Dr Clair Hughes and Prof Merrilyn Goos, all from UQ's Teaching and Educational Development Institute.

"Publication in educational journals requires different approaches to writing, data analysis and discussion and this represents a significant shift in writing skills/style for science academics" said Dr Lawrie.

"This means that many will be put off publication until they can create time to understand and meet the different expectations or they do not publish at all.

"An intensive session represented by a retreat offers both mentoring and time to act as a catalyst to reducing the barrier to publications in this different field" she said.

The Faculty of Science has announced that there will be a second round of funding later in 2011.

Congratulations also to Drs Lisbeth Grondahl and Mikael Boden who were recognised by the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology for effective teaching.

This recognition came as a result of the EAIT Faculty's request to over 600 of its high-achieving students to nominate their most effective teachers.

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