Dr Richard Blackburn

Associate Professor and Director of Education in Chemistry

School/Department: Chemistry, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2093



I am teaching focussed academic from an organic synthesis & medicinal chemistry background. Interested in developing novel methodologies for teaching chemistry, reducing cognitive load for students in practical modules and enhancing student employability and satisfaction with course. I have held numerous senior roles in the School of Chemistry and am currently the Director of Education.

I am a Senior Fellow of HEA and leader of the School's Research and Innovation in Chemistry Education (RICE) research group.


My current research interests are:

  • Development of learning activities and resources (e.g. games and problem-based learning) that enhance student understanding of organic and medicinal chemistry topics, whilst also building interpersonal and professional skills.
  • Use of digital tools within the practical chemistry curriculum that can help students prepare for laboratory classes and enhance their practical skillset
  • Understanding (and then addressing) the factors that result in demographic differences in 'access to' and 'attainment in' Higher Education. 


George-Williams, S. R.; Blackburn, R. A. R.; Wilkinson, S. M.; Williams, D. P. Prelaboratory Technique-Based Simulations: Exploring Student Perceptions of Their Impact on In-Class Ability, Preparedness, and Emotional State. J. Chem. Educ. 2022, 99 (3), 1383–1391.

Greaves, R.; Kelestyn, B.; Blackburn, R.; Kitson, R. The Black Student Experience: Comparing STEM Undergraduate Student Experiences at Higher Education Institutions of Varying Student Demographic. J. Chem. Educ. 2022, 99 (1), 56–70.

Dickenson, C. E.; Blackburn, R. A. R.; Britton, R. G. 3D Printing Workshop Activity That Aids Representation of Molecules and Student Comprehension of Shape and Chirality. J. Chem. Educ. 2020.

Battersby, G. L.; Beeley, C.; Baguley, D. A.; Barker, H. D.; Broad, H. D.; Carey, N. C.; Chambers, E. S.; Chodaczek, D.; Blackburn, R. A. R.; Williams, D. P. Go Fischer: An Introductory Organic Chemistry Card Game. J. Chem. Educ. 2020, 97 (8), 2226–2230.

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, 96 (7), 1510–1514.

Blackburn, R. A. R.; Villa-Marcos, B.; Williams, D. P. Preparing Students for Practical Sessions Using Laboratory Simulation Software. J. Chem. Educ. 2019, 96 (1), 153–158.

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), 104–107.


Chemical Education / Pedagogy


Chemistry (all programmes)

Pharmaceutical Chemistry (all programmes)


RSC Higher Education Group

RSC Chemical Education Research and Practice Group


Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy

University Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Teaching Excellence Award Finalist (X2)


PhD (Organic Synthesis) - University of Bath UK

Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education - University of Leicester UK

MChem (w/ Industrial Placement) - University of Bath UK

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