Profile: Dr Martin Galpin
Dr Martin Galpin is the Deputy Director of Studies in Chemistry at Oxford, and a Supernumerary Fellow of University College, Oxford. In addition to teaching, he is currently developing the Chemistry Department’s Graduate Training Programme, combining training in both research and transferable skills for our postgraduate research students. He is also involved in College, Departmental, and university-wide outreach schemes, helping to encourage talented students to explore Chemistry and Maths beyond their school syllabus, build self-confidence, and consider applying to Oxford.
Why/how did you become an academic?
I wanted to learn more about science, to discover and understand things that no one had thought about before, and to inspire and teach students to do the same.
What are you researching at the moment?
My main role is Deputy Director of Studies in the Chemistry Department, where I help to run our undergraduate and graduate degree programmes. (It has been a particularly interesting job recently!) I lecture the undergraduates in the Department in Mathematics for Chemistry, and I’m also working on a few research projects with my chemistry colleagues when I have the time. At Univ, I give maths tutorials and classes to the first-year chemists and biochemists.
How have you found teaching and researching during lockdown?
It has been quite challenging at times, but it’s also been a learning experience in many ways.
For example, we had just a few weeks to move all the Department’s teaching online at the start of the pandemic, with all our lecturers and tutors working from home. So there was some rapid experimentation with the technology and a fair bit of creative thinking. It was great to see the amazing online lectures that our colleagues produced, from a standing start in so little time.
Giving my lectures in front of a webcam, without any audience feedback, did feel slightly strange at first! Tutorials in lockdown had their own complications too, but fortunately, we were able to use graphics tablets and virtual whiteboard software to communicate maths over the internet.
What is your favourite part of being an academic?
Probably the opportunities it gives to learn new things every day.
Do you have any favourite moments from your time at Univ?
I always look forward to the Schools Dinner at the end of Trinity. It’s great to celebrate the end of exams with the students, and I’m often struck by how much they have grown during their time at Univ.
Do you have any advice for prospective students?
Question what you read and hear, especially when it comes to science.
Describe Univ in three words.
Friendly, supportive, and current.
Published: 31 August 2021