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Robert Averies

Research and Impact Officer
Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence

Working predominately with LITE Fellows, Robert provides training and guidance to empower successful Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects. With the role's emphasis on research impact, Robert's support is particularly relevant in the design, delivery and dissemination of research outputs, which encompass a variety of methods, forms and disciplines/service areas.

Robert’s professional background is in educational design, delivery and management in international settings. His broad English Language Teaching (ELT) experience — which culminated in his work as Director of Studies of a leading adult language centre in Rome, Italy — has provided him with rich insights into cross-cultural communication, conflict navigation, learner inclusion, critical pedagogy, and many other SoTL-relevant areas. This role saw him develop an array of participatory and learner-centred workshops, seminars and events — expertise he is drawing upon at Leeds through leading our innovative spotLITE series.

Through these experiences, Robert developed a passion for researching the relationship between education, the individual, and the wider social world. During his master’s in Social Development at the University of Sussex, he travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina to undertake qualitative research into how educational stakeholders across state schools, academia, NGOs and social movements imagine (and bring into being) a ‘transformative telos’ of education in a post-conflict setting. This experience sparked a strong personal interest in higher education as a vehicle for discovering (and reaching beyond) oneself, particularly in relation to meaning and purpose. Robert hopes to harness this in how he works alongside LITE Fellows and the wider community. 

Related to this, Robert is also working on a dedicated, co-creative space for exploring, developing and conducting pedagogic research into active and experiential learning - and welcomes collaboration from colleagues currently invested in these areas across the university. He is particularly interested in interrogating the purpose of education, through a humanistic and experiential lens, and takes inspiration from transformative educational thinkers including Ken Robinson and John Dewey.

Knowing all too well that one experience, project or interest often leads to something new, exciting and unexpected — Robert looks forward to collaborating with colleagues across disciplines and job functions, with the ultimate ambition of enhancing (and transforming?) student education at Leeds and beyond.