Dr Helen Watson

Dr Helen Watson

Associate Professor of Bioscience (Education)

Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)



I am an education focused academic with an interest in bioscience and skills education. I chair the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science Athena Swan self-assessment team (SAT) and co-chair the University SAT. I have a strong interest in widening participation in higher education and co-lead this for the Medical School. I have a longstanding involvement in the Biochemical Society where I chair the Education, Training and Public Engagement Committee. I lead on Student Voice for the Dental School and am a pastoral tutor. 


2012-2013 Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP), University of Exeter

2006-2009 PhD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, University of Southampton
2003-2006 BSc. (Hons) Biochemistry, First Class, University of Southampton

Professional membership

Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2017)
Fellow of Higher Education Academy (2014)

Roles on external bodies

Biochemical Society: Chair of Education, Training and Public Engagement Committee

External Examiner: University of Surrey UK, University of Nottingham Malaysia and University of Nottingham UK

Chair of QAA Biosciences Benchmark Statement advisory group




Collett, T., Capey, S., Edwards, J., Evans, D.J., McLachlan, J.C., Watson, H. and Bristow, D. (2021), Teaching, research or balanced? An exploration of the experiences of biomedical scientists working in UK medical schools. FEBS Open Bio. https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.13304

Burr S., Martin T., Edwards J., Ferguson C., Gilbert K., Gray C., Hill A., Hosking J., Johnstone K., Kisielewska J., Milsom C., Moyes S., Rigby-Jones A., Robinson I., Toms N., Watson H., and Zahra D. (2021) Standard setting anchor statements: a double cross-over trial of two different methods', MedEdPublish, 10, [1], 32, https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2021.000032.1

Watson H.R. , Burr S. (2018) Twelve tips for teaching twelve transferable skills, MedEdPublish, 2018, 7, [3], 39, doi:https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2018.0000177.1

Watson H.R. , Burr S. (2018) Research skills in medical education. MedEdPublish, 2018, 7, [3], 13, doi:https://doi.org/10.15694/mep.2018.0000151.1

Collett T., Hanks S., Watson H.R., Davies T. (2017) Collecting student feedback: a whole-school approach. MedicalEducation. 2017;51(5):547-8.

Watson H.R., (2015) Biological membranes. Essays In Biochemistry. 2015;59:43-69

Watson, H.R., Wunderley, L., Andreou, T., Warwicker, J. and High, S. (2013) Reorientation of the first signal-anchor sequence during potassium channel biogenesis at the Sec61 complex, Biochemical Journal. 1;456(2):297-309.

Öjemalm, K., Watson, H.R., Cross, B.C.S., Warwicker, J., von Heijne, G. and High, S. (2012) Positional editing of transmembrane domains during ion channel assembly, Journal of Cell Science 15, 464-472. doi:10.1242/jcs.111773

Butler, J., Watson, H.R., Lee, A.G., Schuppe, H-J., and East, J.M. (2011) Retrieval from the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment is key to the targeting of C-terminally-anchored ER-resident proteins, Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 112, 3543-3548.

Watson, H.R., Butler, J., Schuppe, H-J., Lee, A.G. and East, J.M. (2011) The Localisation of the ER Retrieval Sequence for the Calcium Pump SERCA1, Molecular Membrane Biology 28, 216-226.

Conference Papers

Tolppa, T., Watson, H.R. Evaluation of a near-peer mentoring initiative implemented across all years of an undergraduate medical program, in Annual Scientific Meeting of ASME (Edinburgh, 2015).

Watson, H.R., Nayak, V., Bostock, F., Hopcroft, N., McGarrick, J., Bull, S. Using team based processes to consolidate learning, in Enhancing Molecular Bioscience Education (Cambridge, 2015).

Bull, S., Watson, H.R., Bostock, F., Hopcroft, N., McGarrick, J. Using team-based learning for consolidation within a problem-based learning curriculum, in Annual Scientific Meeting of ASME (Brighton, 2014).

Watson, H.R., Butler, J., Lee, A.G. & East, J.M. Maintaining the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum ATPase (SERCA) and its modulators in the endoplasmic reticulum, in Molecular membrane biology Gordon research conference (Andover, NH, USA, 2009).

Watson, H.R., Butler, J., Lee, A.G. & East, J.M. Trafficking of calcium pumps in the early secretory pathway, in Golgi 2008 (Pavia, Italy, 2008).

Internet Publications

UKPSF Dimensions of the Framework - Biochemistry and Molecular Biosciences (2020) Dr David Smith, NTF, SFHEA Sheffield Hallam University, Dr Patrick Thomson, SFHEA Strathclyde University, Dr Helen Watson, SFHEA University of Plymouth, Prof Graham Scott, NTF, PFHEA, Hull University https://biochemistry.blob.core.windows.net/public/2020/06/AFHEA-Guide.pdf 

Undergraduate Biochemistry Curriculum Guide (2017) https://biochemistry.blob.core.windows.net/public/2019/05/Curriculum_A5_6pp_leaflet_web-final.pdf

Watson H.R., (2016) Perspectives on peer mentoring and peer tutoring in medical education. Conversations in Medical Education ASME blog



Conferences organised

Life Sciences 2019 in collaboration with the Biochemical Society, British Pharmacological Society and Physiological Society, Nottingham, March 2019

Evolving Molecular Bioscience Education in collaboration with the Biochemical Society and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), Chester, April 2018

Using e-learning to improve student engagement in the biosciences: a workshop for HE educators, London, March 2017

Enhancing Molecular Bioscience Education, in collaboration with the Biochemical Society and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), Cambridge, March 2015