As A Career Changer, How Do You Plan To Bring Your Previous Work Experience Into The Classroom? 

I have just begun my Initial Teacher Training in Mathematics after having spent the past 10 years in academia, where I studied and applied mathematics to biological questions. Once I completed my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, I found an opportunity to study Biology using Maths in an MRes and PhD programme called “Modelling Biological Complexity”. Since then I have held a postdoctoral fellow position at The Francis Crick Institute. 

I loved being at the forefront of academic research, being surrounded by ground-breaking discoveries on a daily basis. However, I found more enjoyment from improving someone’s knowledge and outlook, inspiring students and demonstrating the importance and relevance of the subjects that I love. This is when I started the move to teaching.  

Whilst at school and even university I was completely unaware of the applications of maths, aside from the typical finance and accounting career routes and the use of statistics for analysing data. I was ignorant to the vast array of areas maths could be applied to and the doors that it subsequently opened for me. I was lucky to have taken A-level Maths as I enjoyed it, as the PhD programme I was desperate to pursue just so happened to have this as its minimum entry. Subsequently, a mathematical PhD meant I was in high demand for research projects in my previous position. I was involved in many collaborations and exposed to many diverse areas of research as a result. 

This is the fundamental thing I wish to bring into the classroom with me - the real importance and necessity of mathematics in a wide array of applications. The world really does revolve around mathematics. Whether that’s in a vast array of career options, ranging from data analysis to event planning, or day-to-day activities, such as finding the cheapest mobile phone deal, baking a cake or even discussing the performance of football teams. Maths can be daunting to students, complicated and even purposeless at times.  You can often hear “but what is the point of this, I won’t ever need to use it again” in a maths classroom. I wish to make maths relatable and accessible to all students, which will hopefully help aid their learning but also inspire some to pursue mathematics further and open more doors for them too.  

By Nicola Hawkins 



Message from the Scholarship Team

You can apply to the Scholarships with a 2:2 degree classification, providing you can demonstrate 'significant relevant experience'. Also you can apply before completing your subject knowledge enhancement course. See our eligibility criteria on our About Us page and our FAQs.



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