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Professor Simon Rees

Associate Professor, Head of Researcher Development

PhD (Dunhelm), PhD (Newcastle)

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Associate Professor, Head of Researcher Development in the Durham Centre for Academic Development (DCAD)  


Simon has had a varied career in education and scientific research and is exploring a range of scholarship interests:

- Creativity in Science

Simon has strong interests in exploring and promoting the nature of creativity in science. In 2020, he published a book with the Royal Society of Chemistry on teaching for and with creativity in chemistry and is currently working on a new title in Physics. He leads workshops on this area as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and externally such as with the Association of Science Education.Creativity is not a word that is associated with science but Simon is keen to address this misconception and demonstrate how creativity is at the heart of scientific endeavours.

- The language of Chemistry.

Simon completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry Education with the School of Education in 2016. His research explored foundation student understanding of scientific language and how this develops. He is working with colleagues, Megan Bruce and Steven Bradley to incorporate teaching strategies utilising corpus linguisitics within STEM teaching. this work has received funding from the Higher Education Academy, UK Council for International Student Affairs, Durham University and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

- Online Experimentation.

Simon has previously worked with the Royal Society of Chemistry to develop online experimentation resources for students. These enable students to develop their confidence and understanding of experimental techniques and to perform experiments that would not normally be possible (

Simon is a National Teaching Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and an OfQual subject specific expert.

blog - Creative Chemists – Strategies for teaching and learning (

twitter - @Creativechemis5


Awarded Grants

  • 2017: Developing primary science subject leaders(£3000.00 from )

Esteem Indicators

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Education: Education - Creativity and the language of science.
  • Subject specialists: Education - Creativity and the language of science.


Authored book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article


  • Rees, SW (2021), Teaching for and with Creativity in Science, Association of Science Education summer conference. online.
  • Rees, SW (2020), The Successful Researcher Escape Room, Vitae Connections Conference. online.
  • Rees, SW & Newton DP (2020), Creative Chemists, Variety in Chemistry Education Conference. online.
  • Rees, SW (2018), Reimagining Faraday, International Conference on Chemistry Education. Sydney, Australia.
  • Rees, S.W. & Kind, V. (2018), Chemical linguistic demand in multiple dimensions, 25th International Conference on Chemistry Education (ICCE 2018). Sydney, Australia.
  • Rees, SW (2017), Chemical Linguistic Demand in multiple dimensions: implications for widening participation and non-traditional students, Variety in Chemistry Education. York University.
  • Rees, SW (2016), Chemical linguistic demand in multiple dimensions and implications for developing understanding in non-traditional students, Durham University Teaching and Learning conference. Durham University.
  • Rees, S.W. (2014), Improving chemical language comprehension for adult learners: a data-driven learning approach to chemistry teaching, 23rd IUPAC International Conference on Chemistry Education. Toronto, Canada, Toronto.
  • Rees, S.W. & Bruce, M. (2013), The FOCUS project – Applications of Corpus Linguistics in Chemistry Teaching, Gordon Research Conference - Chemistry Education Research and Practice. Salve Regina University, Rhode Island, USA.