Associate Professor Kim Nichols

Associate Professor

School of Education
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 334 67236


Dr Kim Nichols has a PhD in neuroscience and a BSc in biochemistry from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She came to Australia on an International Human Frontier Science Program Fellowship to study at the Centre for Neuroscience at Flinders University in South Australia and then took up a National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship to work in the Department of Physiology at Adelaide University. As a scientist, Kim developed curriculum for the Australian Science and Mathematics School, a senior secondary school on Flinders University Campus that provides STEM interdisciplinary curriculum using collaborative inquiry- and digital technology-based learning. She transitioned into STEM education at ASMS once she received her teaching accreditation and participated in delivery of innovative curriculum around contemporary topics such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, epidemiology, robotics and sustainability. Kim then took up a position at The University of Queensland as a STEM educator where she explores school STEM education that supports learners’ engagement, higher order thinking and scientific literacy through contemporary STEM topics, computational modelling, collaborative multimodal inquiry, connections to industry professionals and informal learning environments.

Research Interests

  • Scientific literacy
  • Inquiry science
  • STEM education
  • ICTs in science education

Research Impacts

Dr Kim Nichols is a science educator and recognised STEM education expert. She has considerable experience in working with the Department of Education and Training, the Queensland Science Museum and other industry partners to translate STEM discipline content (eg. biotechnology, nanotechnology, climate science, computational science) into practice and information that is accessible. These organisations seek out her expertise to lead research that seeks to support secondary/tertiary students and the broader public to develop a deeper understanding of these STEM disciplines and related socio-scientific issues through philosophical inquiry, computer-based simulations and other interactive learning tools/strategies. She has developed, delivered and researched curriculum around STEM topics for multiple Australian Research Council- and Office of Learning and Teaching-funded projects. As a STEM education expert, she has also consulted for national (The Learning Federation) and international (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/UNESCO) educational organisations around STEM topics. Since 2007 she has been invited to Science Meets Parliament and associated events to advise members of parliament and industry on STEM education issues and her advice is also sought around STEM education policy.


  • Graduate Diploma in Education, The University of Adelaide
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Ott.
  • Bachelor in Science (Honours), Ott.
  • Bachelor of Science, Ott.


View all Publications


View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision