Dr Saima Salehjee



Personal statement

Saima Salehjee is a Lecturer in the Department of Education, Strathclyde University. She is responsible for teaching and research work with particular emphasis on STEM education. Saima's research focuses on science literacy, public understanding of science, science identity and identity transformations over a lifespan of individuals from a different ethnic, religious and sexual backgrounds. She has received research funding from The Royal Society of Chemistry to continue her research with children on the provision of science literacy using stories as a Nudge in science teaching and learning practices. In addition, she has received funding from the Skills Development Scotland to develop science teacher-researchers in Further Education and Higher Education sectors and Erasmus+ funding to engage underpriviliged children into the culture of science (as a co-investigator).

She was granted travel grants from Canberra University Australia and British Council, she was nominated for the Brunel Doctoral Research Prize in 2017 and received the Grace Peeling Memorial Prize for her MA in Educational Management in 2011. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), an Associate Member of Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC) and a treasurer of The Chemical Education Research Group (CERG).

Saima is a passionate science lecturer, motivating her student teachers to implement science interventions in schools and to research the impact of these interventions. Her aim is to inspire more primary and secondary school students to progress into STEM education and careers as future scientists. Her forthcoming 2019/2020 books include ‘Becoming a scientist’ and ‘A practical guide for science mentors’ with Cambridge Scholars and Routledge. She has currently six PhD students at various stages of their work.


Aboard the helicopter : from adult science to early years (and back)
Watts Mike, Salehjee Saima
Early Child Development and Care Vol 190, pp. 21-29 (2020)
Teaching science through stories : mounting scientific enquiry
Salehjee Saima
Early Child Development and Care Vol 190, pp. 79-90 (2020)
Mentoring for developing scientifically literate citizens
Salehjee Saima
Mentoring Science Education Teachers in the Secondary School (2019) (2019)
But is it science?
Watts Mike, Salehjee Saima, Essex Jane
Early Years Science Education (2018) (2018)
Models of scientific identity
Salehjee Saima, Watts Mike
Science and Technology Education (2018) (2018)
Muslim young women and science identity
Salehjee Saima, Watts Mike
IICE 2018 Ireland International Conference on Education, pp. 24-28 (2018)

more publications

Professional activities

British Education Research Association (BERA) Early Career Researcher Symposium.
British Education Research Association (2019)
British Education Research Association (2019)
Sheila Qureshi
School of Education Seminar Series
Education (Organisational unit)

more professional activities


‘Nudge psychology to boost trainees’ engagement with research evidence: a workplace toolkit’
Salehjee, Saima (Principal Investigator) Firth, Jonathan William (Principal Investigator)
In Scotland, there is an emphasis on the use of critical thinking by practitioners in multiple fields, in order to build a skilled workforce for the future. Along these lines, the professional trainers, training teachers, nurses, engineers, economists etc, are often advised by their training providers and Higher Education institutes to engage with evidence-based practices (D'Andrea & Gosling, 2003). However, new professionals may feel that research evidence is irrelevant, time consuming and additional responsibility, and prefer to work on the basis of intuition. Therefore, the broad aim of our project is to encourage critical thinking and self-reflection among trainees via engagement with evidence. To do so, we aim to introduce ‘nudge psychology’ - which suggests that a ‘nudge’ – i.e. a simple and subtle encouragement – can be more effective in modifying behaviour than a reward or punishment. Just as some products, such as mobile phones, are intuitive to use, so nudges aim to ensure that people are not put off from working towards their goals, and are instead motivated to persist (Sunstein, 2014). In essence, a nudge is a small change to facilitate a behaviour, for example, by making it easier, more attractive, more desirable, or more memorable. Workers can be nudged towards particular choices and behaviour if they are accessible, attractive and memorable, or they could be nudged away from such choices and behaviour. This study will focus on these processes by identifying relevant nudges using the research literature, and by interviewing those who work training teachers, engineers, careers advisors, and other professionals, in order to find out which nudges would be most relevant to their trainees. We then intend to develop a nudge psychology toolkit for use in a range of workplace settings.
10-Jan-2019 - 10-Jan-2020

more projects