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 Vol 45, pp. 1118-1133 (2021)
Reflections on developing a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to embedding education for sustainable development into higher education curricula
Logan Louise, Strachan Scott, Willison Debra, Bain Roderick, Roberts Jen, Mitchell Iain, Yarr Roderick
Emerald Open Research (2021)
A chemist's view on the multidisciplinary perspectives of sustainable development
Willison Debbie, Sengodan Anand
Variety in Chemistry Education and Physics Higher Education Conference 2021, pp. Abs.42 (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

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

Chemistry for All Outreach Grant Workshop
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

More professional activities


Exploring the Hidden Disabilities of Mental Health in the Undergraduate Laboratory
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Scott, Fraser (Principal Investigator) Thomson, Patrick (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2022
RSC funded ChemSTEP Outreach project
Walker, Sarah (Co-investigator) Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Scott, Fraser (Co-investigator)
Working with industrial partners and schools to provide chemistry-relevant career information to secondary school students in areas of low social-economic status.
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2023
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
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
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

More projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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