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Norwich scientist wins prestigious chemistry award

Dr Niki Kaiser, from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Norwich, has been named winner of the prestigious Schools Education Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Dr Kaiser won the award for outstanding commitment to the incorporation and dissemination of research informed teaching approaches.

Receiving the award, Dr Kaiser said: “I feel very honoured to have been selected to receive the Schools Education Award, and I think it reflects how teachers are increasingly looking to research to help inform their practice. Teaching is a wonderful, rewarding career, and I believe that good professional development and excellent support for classroom practitioners is vital, if we are going to continue attracting new teachers to our profession, while retaining the much-needed voice of experienced teachers. I’m fortunate to have been able to pursue directions that interested me, and carve my own path professionally. I’m keen to help ensure that all teachers are able to do the same.”

Dr Kaiser has lived and worked in Norwich since 2006 and thinks of it as home. In winning the award she also receives £2,000 and a medal.

Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said: “Over the years, our lives have been significantly improved by the chemical sciences, from medicines and food to the environment itself. We are proud of the contribution the chemical sciences make to our global community, which is why it is right for us to recognise important innovations and expertise such as these.

“Our prizes and awards recognise people from a range of different specialisms, backgrounds and locations. Every winner is an inspiration to the chemistry community and will play an incredibly important role in enriching people’s lives for generations to come.”

Dr Kaiser works with teachers to find ways of applying educational research to their classrooms. She’s keen to help them improve student outcomes without losing the sense of wonder or increasing their workload. She also uses research to support her own students, and is particularly interested in exploring why they find certain chemistry concepts difficult to understand.

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Awards and Prizes are awarded in recognition of originality and impact of research, or for each winner’s contribution to the chemical sciences industry or education. They also acknowledge the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, as well as the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.

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