Dr Susan Rowland

Associate Professor

Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

Associate Professor

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 54615


After completing my BSc Hons and PhD at the University of Sydney I was a Human Frontiers in Science Long-Term Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Connecticut. After gaining an academic position there, I returned to Australia in 2006 to teach and research at UQ. I completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education at UQ in 2007. In 2009 I was appointed as a full-time teaching-focussed faculty member in SCMB.

Research Interests

  • Science Education

Research Impacts

My research is teaching and learning focussed. The opportunity to do real research into how we can help students learn more effectively is exciting.

UQ SURJ - the UQ Science Undergraduate Research Journal: I am the Editor in Chief of UQ SURJ. We accept articles about students' personal research, but also interviews, reviews, News and Views articles, photo essays, video and audio submissions. Our first edition was published at the end of 2012, and it is available at https://shire.science.uq.edu.au/surj/. My research students and I conduct ongoing assessment of the UQ SURJ experience; I am particularly interested in what students learn from writing and peer reviewing. I'm also delighted when students use their articles to enter competitions and gain prizes!

Free Energy Radio: This project aims to bring the voices and lives of working scientists to the student body at UQ. Each Summer my students and I interview scientists. These interviews form part of the Free Energy archive, which is available to hundreds of UQ science students each year. Our educational study on these interviews focuses on the decision points in scientists' careers - we are asking "How do you build a science career, and what are the drivers for career pathway choice?" This year we are also creating some interviews about PhD students and their supervisors for http://myuniversity.gov.au/

Implementation of a legitimate undergraduate research experience (URE) for large science course cohorts: One of the key priorities at UQ is the introduction of the URE. In this experience, undergraduate students get to design and implement experiments that are part of a real research stream from a working lab. This program complements and largely replaces the more traditional “cook book” laboratory experience for undergraduate classes. Students who would rather complete a more structured set of exercises may still opt to do that, and bypass the URE laboratory. We call this new type of laboratory experience an ALLURE. This project is being implemented in several undergraduate courses run by SCMB, including BIOC2000, which I coordinate. It is a collaboration with Gwen Lawrie, Joanne Blanchfield, Jack Wang, Kirsten Zimbardi, and Paula Myatt. We now have a national leadership grant funded by the OLT to expand this project.

Building biochemical knowledge: This project aims to define the key concepts of biochemistry, with a view to enabling backwards design of our biochemistry and molecular biology majors courses. A further aim is to determine what types of information are being laterally and vertically transferred by students of biochemistry, with the goal of introducing multi-disciplinary teaching into undergraduate science courses at UQ. This is a multi-academic collaboration involving contributors from SCMB, JAC, and SMP at UQ. The first phase has been completed in Semester 1, 2010, but it is ongoing.


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Sydney
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Sydney


  • Rowland, Susan, Green, Matthew, Lawrie, Gwendolyn, Myatt, Paula, Pedwell, Rhianna, Wang, Jack, Worthy, Peter and Zimbardi, Kirsten (2014) The ALURE of Massified Undergraduate Research. Australian Biochemist, 45 3: 15-19.

  • Auchincloss, Lisa Corwin, Laursen, Sandra L., Branchaw, Janet L., Eagan, Kevin, Graham, Mark, Hanauer, David I., Lawrie, Gwendolyn, McLinn, Colleen M., Pelaez, Nancy, Rowland, Susan, Towns, Marcy, Trautmann, NancyM., Varma-Nelson, Pratibha, Weston, Timothy J. and Dolan, Erin L. (2014) Assessment of course-based undergraduate research experiences: a meeting report. CBE Life Sciences Education, 13 1: 29-40. doi:10.1187/cbe.14-01-0004

  • Rowland, Susan, Colthorpe, Kay and Beames, Stephanie (2014) Editorial – Welcome to volume 22, numbers 4 & 5. International Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education, 22 4: .

View all Publications



Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision