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



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
Measuring copper, lead and zinc concentrations and oral bioaccessibility as part of the Soils in Scottish Schools project
Davidson Christine M, Duncan Craig, MacNab Cameron, Pringle Bethany, Stables Stuart J, Willison Debra
Minerals Vol 9 (2019)

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

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
University of Manchester
Visiting researcher

More professional activities


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
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
The Importance of Industrial Experience in Student Employability
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator)
QAA funding to support student intern to research the breadth of industrial experience in Science and devise resources for students.
05-Jan-2016 - 03-Jan-2017
Supporting Students Entering University via Non Traditional Pathways
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Langford, Nigel (Co-investigator)
QAA funding to support two student interns to carry out a survey of students and create a suite of resources to support their transition into higher education.
05-Jan-2015 - 05-Jan-2015
Increase International Student Recruitment
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator)
ISRIF funding to support the engagement of two student interns to support international recruitment
01-Jan-2014 - 31-Jan-2014
Personal Development Planning (PDP) - Tackling Student Buy-in
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Bonnar, Lizann (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 04-Jan-2014

More projects


Pure and Applied Chemistry
Thomas Graham Building

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