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Dr Sam Illingworth

Post Nominals MPhys PhD PgCert MA PFHEA
Biography I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement with internationally recognised expertise in higher education, interdisciplinary studies, and science communication. I joined Edinburgh Napier University in 2021, after working as a Senior Lecturer in the University of Western Australia, where I led the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in science communication.

My research concerns the use of poetry and games as creative pedagogies to help address issues of staff and student wellbeing and belonging. My work also uses poetry and games to help develop meaningful dialogues between different groups of people and to help platform the voices of marginalised communities.

With over 70 peer-reviewed publications, an h-index of 20, an i10-index of 38, and a total citation count of 1615 (source: Google Scholar), I have a history of high-quality outputs in both pedagogic innovation and disciplinary research (science communication).

In my current role I help to embed innovative and engaging pedagogy across the University, as part of the Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement and the Centre for Higher Education Research. I have been Programme Leader for several undergraduate and postgraduate provisions in higher educational institutes across the world, and I provide bespoke training to undergraduates, postgraduates, and members of staff on how to develop dialogues about their research with the wider society. I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, an MA in Higher Education, and am a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have supervised several postgraduate research students and supported students for professional qualifications. Specifically, I have supervised three PhD students to completion and served as an external examiner for five PhD students. I have also supervised multiple undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, providing them with guidance on their research projects, dissertations, and professional development.

I welcome applications from prospective PhD and MRes students in the areas of science communication, creative pedagogies, and interdisciplinary studies.

I am also an award-winning poet, games designer, and science communicator, and my work has generated a significant amount of local, national, and international media coverage. For example, I have appeared on both the BBC and NPR talking about my research, and have had my work featured by Scientific American, Buzzfeed, and the Times Higher Education.

Outside of research, I have run several successful writing workshops and have also written for the radio and stage. Several of my theatrical works have been performed in the UK, including by the Royal Shakespeare Company, and I have performed my poetry across the world at numerous spoken word events, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Green Man music festival.
Research Interests Higher Education
Science Communication
Game Design