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Funding Available - Advance Notification of Calls for Proposals

Teaching Development Projects

Each year UKCME awards a small number of grants to support lecturers develop, implement and evaluate innovative approaches to materials teaching. Typically projects are funded to £5000, last between 12 and 18 months and are required to deliver outputs that are of relevance to the wider materials education community. We intend to publish a formal call for proposals in November 2003 for projects to start early next year. The subject matter of the call will be left open but a flavour of our previous projects is given at

Implementation Projects

Over the last few years we have provided funding to enable materials academics to develop innovative approaches to learning and teaching. Particular successes have included the development of problem based learning modules, the introduction of case study approaches to teaching, and the production of many web based learning packages. Our workshop programme has been useful in raising the awareness of such developments and their benefits to both staff and students. Now many of you are reporting that you would like to adopt similar approaches yourselves but lack the time, resources and close support to do so. In recognition of this we are introducing a new programme of Implementation Projects.

Of course we cannot give you time but we can provide funds to ‘buy in’ post-graduate support to ease your existing workload. We can also provide packs of resources relevant to the particular teaching approach of interest, and team you up with a ‘mentor’ – a materials lecturer who has already implemented similar methods and can give practical advice and guidance specific to your needs.

Each project will be funded to around £1000 and, in contrast to the larger teaching development projects, will not be required to produce transferable outputs. All we ask is that you keep us informed on your progress. Our aim is simply to enable more materials lecturers to try for themselves the innovative approaches we advocate. We intend to fund 10 such projects to begin next year and will soon publish a formal call for proposals. In preparation for this please take the time to research the types of innovative approaches already applied to materials teaching, and begin to think about how you might structure your own implementation project.


Forthcoming Events

Enhancing the Employability of Materials Graduates

Wednesday 22nd October, Aston University, Birmingham

Relevant to: Improving student recruitment; Embedding career and professional development into the curriculum

This workshop, hosted in partnership with LTSN Physical Sciences, is aimed at lecturers who wish to learn more about the importance of, and approaches to, enhancing graduate employability. A number of resources have been produced to support academics as they help students to develop employability skills and plan their future careers. This workshop will describe these resources and illustrate ways in which they might be used. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues who have already embedded employability and career development activities within their undergraduate curriculum. A resource pack tailored to the specific needs of the scientific education community is being put together and this will be available to all attendees without charge.

For more details and to register for this event please visit

Regional Workshop Programme

If we are to continue to provide relevant support we must fully understand the challenges you face and the issues that are important to you. We would welcome the opportunity to meet you to discuss your future requirements and hear your views on the appropriateness of our activity.

To this end we are holding a series of regional workshops in conjunction with the FDTL Tutoring Materials project. Each event will include a presentation of our previous activity and the types of support we can provide, a description of our funding schemes and how you can be involved, and a discussion on the future of materials education. There will also be presentations from the Tutoring Materials project team on the results of their research and the resources produced. A preliminary programme for these workshops is given below and once this is confirmed we will contact you with further details.

Northern Ireland Belfast 20 November
Wales Swansea 2 or 3 December
Midlands South Bath 3 or 4 December
North West Manchester T.B.C
North East Northumberland T.B.C
Midlands North Loughborough T.B.C
South Southampton T.B.C
South London T.B.C
Scotland Edinburgh T.B.C


Publications Available

If you would like to receive a copy of any of the publications listed below please email your request to and be sure to include your contact information.

Materials Education – 12 Guides for Lecturers (available October 2003)

This boxed set of booklets has been produced as a result of our Thematic Groups Programme and covers 12 key themes in materials education:

  • Attracting Materials Students
  • Teaching Materials Lab Classes
  • Teaching Materials Using Case Studies
  • Teaching Materials Chemistry
  • Teaching Materials to Engineers
  • Teaching Environmental Materials
  • Tutoring Materials
  • Learning Materials in a Problem Based Course
  • Learning Materials at a Distance
  • Developing Professional Skills
  • Assessing Materials Students
  • Evaluating a Materials Course

Each guide has been compiled by a materials academic with special knowledge of the subject and has been edited by Professors Caroline Baillie and Leone Burton. The boxed set is priced at £48 but will be made available to all materials lecturers free of charge.

Supporting the Learning & Teaching of Mathematics

The UKCME has recently completed the MathsTEAM project in collaboration with our sister centres – LTSN Engineering, Physical Sciences and Mathematics. The project studied the provision of maths support for students, with a particular focus on teaching the subject to scientists and engineers. The results are presented in a series of three booklets – Maths Support for Students, Maths for Engineering and Science and Diagnostic Testing for Mathematics. They each provide a comprehensive collection of case studies, intended to assist you with the challenge of enhancing the basic mathematical skills of your students.

The Effectiveness of Problem Based Learning

This report, compiled by our sister centre Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine, describes the development and piloting of a systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of PBL by an international group of teachers and researchers, convened under the auspices of the Campbell Collaboration.

Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning

Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) is a process that enables people of all ages, backgrounds and attitudes to receive formal recognition for skills and knowledge they already possess. A person’s learning and experience can be formally recognised and taken into account to gain entry to further or higher education courses, give exemption from certain parts of a new course of study, or qualify for an award in an appropriate subject in further or higher education. These Good Practice Guides for both students and lecturers have been produced by Dr John Wilcox and Dr Richard Brown at Bradford College. They are available as hard copy now and will be on-line shortly.

Change Thinking Change Practices

This guide is part of a series of resources produced to support those promoting and embedding good practices in higher education. This publication includes three papers on key themes: Dissemination- a change theory approach by Professor Lewis Elton; The Evolution of Strategies for Educational Change - the implication for higher education by Professor David Hopkins; and a Guide to Innovation in Learning and Teaching by Professors Andrew Hannan and Harold Silver. It is available as either hard copy or online from the Resources section of the Higher Education Academy website (


Technical Developments at UKCME

MyUKCME and Website Personalisation

Our web developer, Tom Heath, is completing the development of a sophisticated Community Relationship Management (CRM) System. This system will enable us to manage the contact we have with you more effectively, and hopefully respond more efficiently to your needs. The major component of the system (under the working title of MyUKCME) will consist of a secure area of our website where you can update your contact details, register for events, request publications, and tell us about specific subjects or themes in Materials Education that particularly interest you. This will enable us to ensure that the information we send you is of maximum relevance to your work and interests. It will also be the foundation for the development of personalisation features on our website, such as news feeds relevant to your interests, and the ability to build collections of resources for easy access. We will shortly be looking for volunteers to help us test the system and provide feedback.

Themed Areas of Web Site

The Centre is fast building an extensive collection of resources - some relevant to materials science, some relevant to learning and teaching, and some relevant to both. As our collection grows it is becoming more important that we present these resources in an easily navigable way. We are therefore developing several Themed Areas of our web site as gateways to particular collections. The first of these contains useful publications on Policy and Strategy Development in Higher Education and is already live ( Other Themed Areas under development include Pedagogic Research, Student Recruitment, Innovative Teaching Methods and Resources for Students. There will also be others and we would welcome any suggestions you may have.


New Staff at UKCME

We would like to introduce the newest member of our team, Johanna Kehusmaa, who is working as Assistant Web Developer to support Tom Heath. Johanna is not a materials scientist, but with her degree in Business Studies and experience in e-commerce she is already making a valuable contribution to our work.


News from MATTER

New aluMATTER Modules

Click here to go to the top-level of the aluMATTER site

aluMATTER was set up as a new project in 2001 to develop innovative and interactive web-based learning tools for aluminium science and technology. The first three science-oriented modules, "Strengthening Mechanisms", "Softening Mechanisms", and "Anisotropy" are now freely available on the aluMATTER website.

2003 has seen the start of a new phase of aluMATTER. Part-funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme of the EU, this phase involves the development and deployment of six new technology-oriented modules over the next two and a half years. The module titles are:

  1. Mechanical Properties
  2. Functional Applications
  3. Machining Technology
  4. Formability & Forming Technology
  5. Joining Technology
  6. Corrosion and Surface Technology

Experts from the aluminium industry and universities across Europe are involved in preparing the content, which is aimed at university students, and at technicians, engineers and designers working in the the numerous SMEs involved in aluminium fabrication. All the modules will be available in four languages: English, French, German and Dutch, and content from the first three modules is expected to be released in the middle part of 2004.

Click to go to the MATTER home page




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