Meet Our New Faculty Learning Support Tutor

Toby Scott-Ward has joined the Faculty of Science as a Learning Support Tutor to ensure our Undergraduate and Postgraduate students are receiving the right support throughout their learning. Toby told us about his new role and what he hopes to achieve:


What are your responsibilities in this new role?


As a Learning Support Tutor for the Faculty of Science, I help students to develop their academic abilities and learning skills through a combination of one-to- one support sessions, feedback on written assignments, and by delivering specialist and general workshops and small group tutorials. Within this context, I develop and update online resources for the Learning Support service and ensure that students are aware of other support services available to them within the University, including the Academic Skills Unit, English for Academic Purposes, and Purple Door, to name a few.


What things would you like to accomplish in your work?


I am passionate about supporting students’ progress and helping them to develop their academic skills to be the best they can be during their time at the University and beyond. Our focus is to ensure that all science students, undergraduate or postgraduate, are aware of and use our service as part of the network of high quality support they receive whilst at Portsmouth. With this in mind, my aims are to evolve how Science Learning Support operates, and to improve our service for everyone, in particular those who most need advice and support. My professional goals include advancing my teaching abilities and knowledge through continuing professional development, self-directed learning and actively engaging with the University-wide network of academic support personnel. A fantastic perk of this job is that I am learning a lot from the students themselves through the variety of interesting ideas and work they bring in!


Could you please give us a brief overview of your previous experience relating to this role?


Throughout my career, I have engaged in a range of teaching activities, and supervised postgraduate students at leading institutions including the University of Portsmouth, St. George’s University of London, the Royal Veterinary College, and the University of Lisbon in Portugal. I have developed and delivered advanced pharmacology & immunology MSc lectures at the British College of Osteopathic Medicine, neuropharmacology tutorials for the undergraduate Pharmacology course at London Metropolitan University, and Basic Laboratory & Industry Skills modules for the Applied Biosciences Foundation course at the University of Kent.


In terms of my research background, following my PhD in Biochemistry from Imperial College, I investigated the role of ion channels and receptors in human cells and how they can be targeted to treat infection and disease. My research was primarily focused on understanding the molecular basis of the genetic disorder, cystic fibrosis, and how we can alter the function and expression of specific proteins in lungs to overcome the devastating effects of this chronic disease.


What do you like to do in your spare time?


I enjoy exploring, in particular the coasts and beaches at low tide and other nearby attractions, with my two energetic sons. Although they have been at school for a short time, I enjoy providing whatever learning support I can to them as well! I am also interested in various aspects of astronomy and physics (don’t get me started on supernovas) and I have a passion for film scores and for films, especially those from movies with aliens, explosions and time travel in!

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