National Teaching Fellow 2015
A deep commitment to developing students as individuals underlies Dr Dave Lewis’ approach to student education. He uses interactive approaches to stimulate his students’ curiosity with science and the underlying ethical implications and inspire them to want to discover more. Students have commented:
“Dr Lewis’ drive to motivate others to learn is so apparent. Doesn’t just spoon-feed but encourages you to think for yourselves as scientists to find out the answers.”
“His interactive approach challenges students to realise the full implications of the material.”
Through his role at Leeds’ School of Biomedical Sciences Dave seeks to develop innovative, research-led teaching which is not normally found in the curriculum yet addresses a clear demand from employers. He provides opportunities for students to develop key employability skills including a Level 6 module which provides an education in in-vivo physiology and pharmacology, a suite of non-traditional final-year research projects and the teaching of bioethics. He actively involves his students as full partners in his curriculum development and pedagogical research activities through an educational research internships scheme he has developed.
Dave passionately believes in the need to discuss topical issues in science and the ethical implications of these with the wider community, particularly those that don’t normally engage with science. He leads major public engagement projects such as ‘Engaging with Dementia’. To involve his students in his passion for public engagement, he established ‘Pop-up science’, a unique student-led public engagement volunteer scheme where students deliver activities at local community fetes and family fun-days. Comments have included:
“Such an enjoyable day! A challenge making complex tasks simple….a rewarding experience.”
He has actively promoted developments in student education and policy in pharmacology, physiology and bioethics, nationally and internationally, through membership of the education committees of learned Societies. He is Co-convenor of the Physiological Society’s Education and Teaching Theme. Dave’s contributions to enhancing student education have been recognised by the award of a University of Leeds Teaching Fellowship in 2011, the British Pharmacological Society’s Rang Teaching Prize in Basic Pharmacology in 2012 and the Physiological Society’s Otto Hutter Teaching Award in 2013.