Dr Richard Blackburn

Dr Richard Blackburn

Lecturer (Teaching-Focused)

Undergraduate Admissions Tutor

MChem, Ph.D (Bath), PGCAPP (Leicester), MRSC, FHEA
Tel : +44 (0)116 252 2093
Email : r.blackburn@le.ac.uk

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I am a teaching focused lecturer with a particular interest in delivering organic, pharmaceutical and synthetic chemistry here at the University of Leicester. I was originally appointed to Leicester as a teaching fellow, and had already held a similar position at the University of Bath.

Since arriving at Leicester, I have used a pragmatic approach that blends intended learning outcomes with employer needs and current research developments in the field. I have pedagogically created lecture courses that are synoptic focused, research-inspired, and delivered using a variety of methods (models, interactive quizzes, videos/animations, C/PBL) through a blended learning environment. For practical modules, I have helped improve the student experience and their confidence with practical techniques through the acquisition of dynamic laboratory simulations and the development of tutorial videos for each experiment.

My current research interests are how we can motivate students to engage with practice materials, pre-lecture activities and what benefits alternative approaches to teaching organic chemistry have on undergraduates. As part of this work I am not only measuring engagement and attainment, but also what effect these changes are having on how student’s perceive their knowledge and skill sets.

Key Publications:

  1. Blackburn, R. A. R. Using Infographic Creation as Tool for Science-Communication Assessment and a Means of Connecting Students to Their Departmental Research. J. Chem. Educ. 2019 in press doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00981
  2. Blackburn, R. A. R.; Villa-Marcos, B.; Williams, D. P. Preparing Students for Practical Sessions Using Laboratory Simulation Software.
    J. Chem. Educ. 201996 (1), pp 153–158 doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00549
  3. Blackburn, R. A. R. Write My Next Lecture: Prelecture Problem Classes and In-Lecture Discussion to Assist Case-Study Teaching of Synthesis. J. Chem. Educ. 2018, 95 (1), 104–107doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00528.

Prior to my career as a teaching focused academic I was a chemical biologist, working on the development of methodologies for the synthesis of biologically active natural products. I am still fascinated by natural products due to their synthetic challenges and their exciting applications for therapeutics, sensing and education. To sate this interest I offer a number of research projects in this field and support the chemical biology postgraduates wherever possible.

Awards and Prizes

  • Merit Award (performance), University of Leicester, 2017
  • Superstar Award (student nominated teaching award), Leicester Student's Union, 2017
  • Discovering Excellence (teaching and learning) Award Finalist, University of Leicester, 2016/17
  • John Holloway Teaching Award (student nominated teaching award), University of Leicester, 2015/16
  • Newton Fund/Researcher Links Award, British Council, 2016

Research Interests

  • Pedagogy and Chemistry Education
  • Natural Product Synthesis & Biological Evaluation
  • Chemical Sensing

For current postgraduate opportunities, please click here.

For current postdoctoral opportunities, please click here.

External Roles

  • RSC East Midlands Committee (Leicester Rep.)
  • RSC Tertiary Education Group (Memberships Officer)

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Contact Details

Department of Chemistry
University of Leicester
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

Email: chemistry@le.ac.uk

Tel: [+44] (0)116 252 2100

Fax: [+44] (0)116 252 3789

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