Professor Debra Willison

Professor Of Learning & Teaching

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Personal statement

Current Responsibilities

Seconded to the Office of the Vice Principal (2017-present)

Undertake duties to support the Vice Prinicpal's portfolio in Learning and Teaching.

Chair of Strathclyde Online (2017-present)

Committee which oversees the coordination and development of digital education activity across the institution with the aim of realizing opportunities, maximizing connectivity and support.

Vice Dean Academic, Faculty of Science (2015-present)

Responsible for the strategic development of teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science, playing a key role in the development of the Faculty academic plan and guiding departments in determining their academic strategy to support this plan.

Key areas of activity include:

  • student recruitment
  • curriculum development
  • learning enhancement
  • retention
  • widening participation
  • quality assurance



Students' reflections on an employability skills provision
Scott Fraser J, Willison Debra
Journal of Further and Higher Education (2021)
Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Students [University of Strathclyde]
, Willison Debra
How safe is your playground? Analyzing soil in Scottish schools through a university outreach project
Willison Debra, Davidson Christine M, Scott Fraser
Journal of Chemical Education Vol 97, pp. 4321-4329 (2020)
University Guidelines for the recording and use of pre-recorded audio and video teaching materials. : University of Strathclyde
Willison Debra, Green Brian
University Guidelines to Ensure Support for Learning and Teaching in Periods of Disruption
Green Brian, Gould Helyn, Milligan Catherine, Willison Debra
Guidance on the Use of Videoconferencing or Skype, Zoom (or equivalent) for Viva Voce Examination.
Green Brian, Gould Helyn, Willison Debra, Milligan Catherine

More publications

Research interests

My research interests centre on the enhancement of learning and teaching within the following areas of focus: 

  • Student Transitions in Higher Education
  • Students as Partners in Academic Development
  • Personal Development Planning
  • Employability
  • Widening Participation

Previously, my research profile centred on the synthesis of ferrocene derivatives and metal carbonyl complexes and their use as chiral auxiliaries in asymmetric synthesis.

Professional activities

School of Mechanical Engineering, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India
Visiting researcher
Employability Skills: A Comparative Study Between Scotland and Australia
University of Swansea
Visiting researcher
From Trainee Technician to Vice Dean Academic (and everything in between!)
Scottish Institute for Enterprise
Graduate and Degree Apprenticeship Schemes and the Challenges Presented by Covid-19

More professional activities


Analysis of the Institutional Employability Audit
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator)
£2901.60 internal funding to support employment of a student intern to analyze the results of the institutional employability audit.
07-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Building Student Resilience in HE: A Strathclyde Toolkit
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) English, Rosanne (Principal Investigator)
£2000 QAA Enhancement Theme funding on Student Resilience will support the employment of 4 student interns to develop a toolkit of resources for students and staff at Strathclyde.
07-Jan-2021 - 06-Jan-2022
DiversiChem: Enhancing the Career Readiness of BGE Pupils for the Chemistry Profession: Scientists are not all “white men in white coats”
Scott, Fraser (Principal Investigator) Willison, Debra (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 13-Jan-2022
National Project for BGE Pupils: Global Challenges of Clean Water
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Davidson, Christine (Co-investigator) Scott, Fraser (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2020
National Project for BGE Pupils: Analysis of Soil in Scottish Schools
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Davidson, Christine (Co-investigator)
21-Jan-2017 - 31-Jan-2018
Enhancing Student Transition from Study to Employment Through Student Driven Engagement with Alumni
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator)
QAA funding to allow a student intern to support the establishment of Alumni Clubs in each department in Science.
05-Jan-2017 - 03-Jan-2018

More projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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