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Karen Moss

Karen Moss


School of Science & Technology

Staff Group(s)
Chemistry and Forensic Science


Karen  Moss (FRSC, SFHEA) lectures in chemistry. She is the Director of the Centre for Effective Learning in Science and co-chair of Nottingham Trent University's Innovative Pedagogy group.

She is a chemist who teaches at all levels of undergraduate chemistry with specialisms in professional skill development, radiochemistry and precious metals. Karen leads modules in Professional Development and Communicating Science & Technology (a school placement module) which she designed.

She has an international profile in scientific pedagogy and community engagement with funded European projects in Outreach and Responsible Research & Innovation.

Karen co-chairs the Nottingham STEMCITY network which promotes public engagement with STEM & STEM careers. The STEMCITY network was the originator of the Nottingham Festival of Science & Curiosity (FOSAC)

Career overview

Karen arrived at NTU in 1986 and was for the last 5 years HoD for Chemistry & Forensics.  Previous roles at NTU include School Quality Manager (2011-15), Becoming Reader in 2010 and Director of the HEFCE funded CETL (2005-2011). Karen was one of the first Learning &Teaching Coordinators appointed at NTU in 1988. Previously she was at the University of Durham, having completed her degrees at UMIST, Manchester.

Research areas

Dr Moss is Director of the Centre for Effective Learning in Science. Her research interests are in science education, employability skills development and outreach:

  • What is the impact of technology-based interventions on student learning and staff practice in undergraduate laboratories? (PhD projects)
  • Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) what are the cultural factors that support or hinder RRI in HE research culture across Europe? (Horizon 2020 NUCLEUS Project)
  • How can we use technology to support learning? Use of voting systems (clickers), software, VLEs, internet sites, videos (TLTP Chemistry Video Consortium Videodisc project as author and consortium member.)
  • Research into effective learning in science e.g. how Threshold Concepts & Troublesome Knowledge relate to learning areas of chemistry or forensic science in science: which concepts do students struggle with, why and what can be done about it?
  • Can we use inquiry-based learning to foster engagement with subject and develop key STEM skills? (Context-based Curricula in science aka “Flipped Learning”)
  • Employability and Transferable Skills: embedding activities in HE science curricula (HESTEM)
  • Developing creative approaches to science outreach including inquiry-based learning, hands-on activities and creative approaches (PLACES, STEMCITY, CELS)
  • Developing impact measurement in educational development- how do we know what we have achieved? Activities vs outputs and outcomes (CELS)

External activity

Currently Chair of the Nottingham STEMCITY Network, Karen has served as a committee member for the national Heads of Chemistry UK,  a member of the National RSC Outreach Working Group and as Chair of the Tertiary Education Group of RSC.  She has held a range of External Examiner and acted as QAA subject reviewer. Karen was heavily involved in the Higher Education Academy Physical Sciences Subject Centre including as a member of their Advisory Group.

Sponsors and collaborators

Research has been conducted with the collaboration, funding and support of:

  • Universities of Leicester, Nottingham and Loughborough- e.g. P Cullis & A Cashmore, J McCombie, D Williams, HEFCE funding (CETL, CFOF and HESTEM programmes)
  • European EUSEA organisation & Nottingham Science City partners (Horizon 2020 &  FP7 funding)
  • Royal Society of  Chemistry (Chemistry for All Widening Participation project)
  • Universities of HULL, Plymouth and Leicester e.g.T L Overton, D Williams, S Belt, HEFCE funding (CFOF programme)

Research funding has included:

    NUCLEUS, K Moss & C Brown, EU H2020 Science with and for Society RRI, €120,000

    CHEMWORKS, K Moss, RSC Chemistry for All Project, £150,000

    NTU Grand Challenge, K Moss & P Smith, National HESTEM  Programme (HEFCE), £17,000

    Enhancing Graduate Employability and Skills: Building Effective STEM Graduates K Moss (PI) & D Butler, R Leslie, P Smith,  B  Neal, National HESTEM Programme (HEFCE),  £21,000

    PLACES, EU FP7 SiS project, 3rd Party funding, €16,000) building cities of Scientific Culture

    EU FP7 SiS project – 3rd Party funding €16K  with CALMAST (IRE) and Leicester University Developing Genetics Outreach & Youth Science parliaments

    HEFCE CFOF curriculum development extension funding £25.5K

    HEFCE CETL funding £4.85 million

A validated and well tested model called Kit in a Kase has been created and can be offered as a vehicle for the design of outreach activities to help explain the science behind your products to the public. Please visit the CELS website for information.


Selected publications

  • RAYMENT, S.J., EVANS, J., MOSS, K., COFFEY, M., KIRK, S.H. and SIVASUBRAMANIAM, S.D., 2022. Using lessons from a comparative study of chemistry & bioscience pre-lab activities to design effective pre-lab interventions: a case study.Journal of Biological Education. ISSN 0021-9266
  • RSC (2021) Is Chemistry Accessible for all? Lessons from Chemistry for All Project , RSC website
  • K Moss & John Rumbold (2019) NTU case study in “Lessons from the Implementation of RRI in Universities and Scientific Institutions” Brochure” NUCLEUS website
  • S Anderson, K Moss J Rea, (2016) NUCLEUS FIELD TRIP REPORT | CELL 5 | PUBLIC POLICY, Reference 664932 NUCLEUS H2020 ISSI 20142015/H2020 ISSI 2014-1, Nottingham Field Trip, May 2016,
  • Building effective STEM graduates. Moss K, Butler D, Leslie R, Smith P and Neal B, National HESTEM Conference, Birmingham, September 2012, – abstracts available.
  • Sharing best practice in STEM outreach: How to make friends and influence people. Moss K (Project Lead), Report to National HE STEM Programme, Widening Participation Through Strategic Working with Schools, Colleges and Local Community, 2012, 25-27
  • Making the ordinary extraordinary – developing employability through PBL and practical work. Moss K, ViCE/PHEC Conference, Edinburgh, August 2012, – abstracts available from the VICE/PHEC website.
  • Effective learning in science: the use of personal response systems with a wide range of audiences. Moss K, Computers and Education, 2011, 56 (1), 36
  • Using personal response systems for effective learning, Moss K and Crowley M, Computers In Education, 2011, 56, 36.
  • The mole misunderstood. Moss K and Pabari A, New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 6, September 2010, ISSN 1740-9888.
  • What is effective learning in science? Moss K, Impact and Outcomes from a CETL New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 5, September 2009, ISSN 1740-9888.
  • Non-traditional students' experience of learning physics and chemistry. Ayres R, Cousins G, Taylor P and Moss K, Proceedings of EuroVariety in Chemistry Education, Manchester, September 2009.

For full list click 'Go to Karen Moss' publications' link above.

See all of Karen Moss's publications...

Course(s) I teach on

  • Apply for chemistry at NTU through clearing
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2023

  • Chemistry lab - student working
    Undergraduate | Full-time / Sandwich | 2023