Well, my hands have just about stopped shaking enough to type this post now!

I feel incredibly humbled to have been announced today as the Royal Society of Biology Higher Education Biosciences Teacher of the Year 2021 (HEBTOY 2021). This is a huge honour, especially when I consider the calibre of the finalists, Drs Helen Vosper and Dave Lewis, and the amazing work they have been doing this year. You only have to look at the previous winners and finalists to know that it’s an extraordinary group of incredibly passionate educators. I am very fortunate to be able to join that club as I continue my educational development. The award was announced at the RSB HUBS annual conference, and I was genuinely shocked when my name was announced as the winner because there had been no forewarning

The application process was in three stages, first an application where I had to evidence my practice across six criteria, then after I was shortlisted a case study where I could expand on my use of digital tools in teaching and learning. Finally, an interview, where I presented part of my case study focusing on the #DryLabsRealScience network before answering a series of questions about my teaching practice and philosophy more generally.

Although time-consuming, I cannot recommend the process highly enough; it made me really reflect on my practice to evidence the very best bits and that in and of itself is very valuable. Having a mentor to help read your application is invaluable, and I am grateful to Ian Turner, David Smith and Steve Rutherford for being critical friends during the drafting process. So…if anyone reading this is thinking of applying, then I say just go for it!