Dr Cheryl Hurkett

Lecturer in Natural Sciences

Department: Biological Sciences, School of



I am a teaching focussed lecturer on the Natural Science degree programme with the role of convening the Physics and Mathematics contents of the degree. I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I graduated from the University of Leicester in 2004 with a First Class MPhys Physics with Astrophysics (Hons) and then with a PhD in X-Ray Astronomy in 2008. My PhD research involved working as part of an international collaboration to analyse data from extremely violent extra-galactic explosions called Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) with the NASA mission called Swift. My more recent research has revolved around innovative teaching practices in STEM subjects in higher education particularly those involving Research/Problem Based Learning approaches.


As noted above my most recent research is focussed on STEM pedagogy specifically the Research/Problem Based Learning (R/PBL) methodology. This has been funded by the University of Leicester.




D. Williams, C. Hurkett, S. Symons, S. Gretton, C. Harvey, P. Lock, D. Raine.
A Framework for Student-Instructor Partnerships.  International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. (2021)

C. Hurkett
Open Journal System: enabling student-led journals. Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 1 (2), 189-193 DOI: 10.29311/jlthe.v1i2.854 (2018)

C.P. Hurkett, S.L. Symons, S.N. Gretton, C.T. Harvey, P.E. Lock, D.P. Williams, et al.
The benefits of sustained undergraduate inter-programme collaborations between international partners. Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education 1 (1), 31-42 DOI: 10.29311/jlthe.v1i1.823 (2018)

R.L.C. Starling, K. Wiersema, A.J. Levan, T. Sakamoto, D. Bersier, P. Goldoni, et al.
Discovery of the nearby long, soft GRB 100316D with an associa0ted supernova. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 411 (4), 2792-2803 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17879.x (2011)

C.P. Hurkett, S. Vaughan, J.P. Osborne, P.T. O'Brien, K.L. Page, A. Beardmore, et al.
Line searches in Swift X-ray spectra. The Astrophysical Journal 679 (1), 587 DOI: 10.1086/586881 (2008)

C.P. Hurkett, J.P. Osborne, K.L. Page, E. Rol, M.R. Goad, PT O'Brien, et al.
GRB 050505: a high-redshift burst discovered by Swift. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 368 (3), 1101-1109 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2006.10188.x (2006)

P.T. O'Brien, R. Willingale, J. Osborne, M.R. Goad, K.L. Page, S. Vaughan, et al.
The early X-ray emission from GRBs. The Astrophysical Journal 647 (2), 1213 DOI: 10.1086/505457 (2006)

A. Nousek, C. Kouveliotou, D. Grupe, K.L. Page, J. Granot, E. Ramirez-Ruiz, et al.
Evidence for a canonical gamma-ray burst afterglow light curve in the Swift XRT data. The Astrophysical Journal 642 (1), 389. DOI: 10.1086/500724 (2006)

N. Gehrels, C.L. Sarazin, P.T. O'Brien, B. Zhang, L. Barbier, S.D. Barthelmy, et al.
A short gamma-ray burst apparently associated with an elliptical galaxy at redshift z= 0.225. Nature 437 (7060), 851-854 DOI: 10.1038/nature04142 (2005)




Forensics (Fingerprint analysis methods); Complex Systems; Origin of Life; Pedagogy (Research/Problem Based Learning)


NT1003 Networks and Circuits
NT1004 Biophysics, Physiology and Metabolism
NT1005 Laboratory, Computing and Scientific Skills I 
NT1006 Mathematics for Science 1 
NT1008 Principles of Science: Bonds, Molecules and Cells 
NT2001 Astrophysics, Astrochemistry and Astrobiology 
NT2003 Laboratory, Mathematical and Scientific Skills II 
NT2009 Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism 
NT2010 Light and Matter,Waves and Quanta
NT3001 Research Project III 
NT3003 Interdisciplinary Research Journal 
NT3010 Electromagnetic Fields and Relativity, Quantum Physics and Particles 
NT3011 Condensed Matter and Statistical Physics


Editor of New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences (2016-); 
Editor of Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics (2013-);
University of Leicester: University Distinguished Teaching Fellow (2019);
HEA Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (Winner, 2017)
HEA Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (Finalist, 2016)


Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education;
Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
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