Dr Michael Grove BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, NTF

Dr Michael Grove

School of Mathematics
Reader in STEM Education

Contact details

School of Mathematics
Watson Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Michael Grove is Head of Education within the School of Mathematics with responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the School’s teaching and learning provision. He is also a Reader in STEM Education and teaches mathematics to undergraduate students along with researching issues relating to learning and teaching in higher education with a particular focus upon mathematics support.  He is a National Teaching Fellow, the UK’s highest award for teaching and learning within higher education. He is also currently Honorary Secretary, with responsibility for Education, of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

Since 2006 he has received grant funding totalling over £26million, including £24miillion from the Higher Education Funding Councils for national activities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. He has also published numerous academic works including research papers, book chapters, books and articles.


  • PhD, University of Birmingham
  • MSc Astrophysics, Queen Mary, University of London.
  • BSc(Hons) Physics with Astrophysics, University of Birmingham.
  • National Teaching Fellow (2014).
  • Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.


Prior to Michael becoming a Reader within the School of Mathematics he was the inaugural Director of the University of Birmingham’s STEM Education Centre. He is the former Director of the National HE STEM Programme, a three-year initiative which he co-developed and for which he secured funding totaling £21million from the Higher Education Funding Councils for England and Wales.

Between 2009-2012 the National HE STEM Programme had a remit to enhance the way in which universities recruited students and delivered programmes of study within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. He has been a key figure in supporting the STEM subjects deemed strategically important and vulnerable by government in 2005, when he worked to establish the More Maths Grads initiative (2006-2009), a £3.3million project designed to increase and widen participation within the mathematical sciences at university level.

A physicist by background, Michael works within the University of Birmingham and nationally on issues relating to learning and teaching within higher education. He teaches mathematics to undergraduate students at Birmingham and has taught mathematics to undergraduate physicists at the University of Leeds.

He leads the University of Birmingham's Mathematics Support Centre which was established in 2012 to ensure all undergraduate students have access to prompt support to aid their learning of mathematics within any discipline. He has made an international contribution to furthering mathematics support provision, and in recognition of his work in this area he was appointed Associate Director of the sigma Mathematics and Statistics Support Network which was first established through the National HE STEM Programme and then sustained by a further grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (2013-2016). Most recently he has been involved in re-establishing a national induction course and series of postgraduates teaching workshops for those new to teaching and learning mathematics and statistics within UK higher education in conjunction with the Isaac Newton Institute (INI), Cambridge.

His learning and teaching interests include supporting students at the transition to university, particularly in relation to non-specialist learning of mathematics; the teaching of mechanics, enhancing modeling and problem-solving skills, and helping mathematics students develop the graduate skills and abilities needed for a successful transition into the workplace. He supports the professional development of new academic members of staff and part-time teachers, and in 2005 established a national series of workshops (which have been now been adopted internationally) designed at aiding postgraduate students who are new to teaching mathematics at university – he has also written books and guides on this subject.

In 2010, Michael established a highly successful national programme of activity to promote and support scholarship, evaluation and research in learning and teaching within the STEM disciplines in higher education, and has published guides and resources for those who are looking to begin their activities in this area. Most recently he has been responsible, under the auspices of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, for creating an annual mathematical sciences teaching and learning workshop series and a new University Teaching Award for the mathematical sciences.


Recent teaching duties within the School of Mathematics include:

  • Year 1: Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving (1MMPS).
  • Year 2: Mathematics in Industry (2MI).
  • Year 3: Research Skills (3RSM)
  • Year 4: Supervisor of MSci student projects.


Michael’s research interests are broad and include:

  1. Supporting mathematical learning at the transition to university.
  2. Supporting the specialist and more-able mathematics student.
  3. Mathematical modelling and problem solving.
  4. Developing graduate skills and attributes within the mathematical sciences.

Recently he has been working on:

  1. Mathematics support within higher education.
  2. Enhancing assessment and feedback within the mathematical sciences.
  3. Embedding sustainable innovation and enhancement activities within higher education and measuring their impact.

Other activities

Michael has worked national and internationally on a range of learning and teaching activities including:

  • Current member of the Mathcentre team, the UK’s online mathematics support centre.
  • Current member of the Committee of the Heads of Departments of Mathematical Sciences.
  • Current member of IMA (Institute of Mathematics and its Applications) Council and Executive Board.
  • Sub-Group Lead and Member of Horizons in Physics Education (HoPE) Network funded under the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union (2013-2016).
  • Editor of the Higher Education Academy funded book Transitions in Undergraduate Mathematics Education (2015).
  • Former member of the Department for Children, Schools and Families/Department for Business, Innovation and Skills ‘STEM High Level Strategy Group’ and National STEM Centre ‘STEM Lead Organisations Group’.
  • Member of 2007 QAA Subject Benchmark Group for Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research


Recent publications


Grove, M, Croft, A (ed.), Kyle, J (ed.) & Lawson, D (ed.) 2015, Transitions in Undergraduate Mathematics Education. The Higher Education Academy.


Grove, M & Good, C 2019, 'Approaches to feedback in the mathematical sciences: just what do students really think?', Teaching Mathematics and its Applications. https://doi.org/10.1093/teamat/hrz013

Grove, M, Croft, A, Lawson, D & Petrie, M 2019, 'Community perspectives of mathematics and statistics support in higher education: the role of the staff member', Teaching Mathematics and its Applications, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 43-59. https://doi.org/10.1093/teamat/hrx017

Grove, M & Croft, T 2019, 'Learning to be a postgraduate tutor in a mathematics support centre', International Journal of Research in Undergraduate Mathematics Education, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 228-266. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40753-019-00091-8

Grove, M, Mac an Bhaird, C & O’Sullivan, C 2019, 'Professional development opportunities for tutors of mathematics learning support', MSOR Connections, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 4-15. <https://journals.gre.ac.uk/index.php/msor/article/view/1021/pdf>

Grove, M, Guiry, S & Croft, T 2019, 'Specialist and more-able mathematics students: understanding their engagement with mathematics support', International Journal for Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2019.1603407

Lawson, D, Grove, M & Croft, T 2019, 'The evolution of mathematics support: a literature review', International Journal for Mathematical Education in Science and Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2019.1662120

Grove, M, Croft, T & Lawson, D 2019, 'The extent and uptake of mathematics support in higher education: results from the 2018 survey', Teaching Mathematics and its Applications. https://doi.org/10.1093/teamat/hrz009

Grove, M, Croft, A, Lawson, D & Petrie, M 2018, 'Community perspectives of mathematics and statistics support in Higher Education: building the infrastructure', Teaching Mathematics and its Applications, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 171-191. https://doi.org/10.1093/teamat/hrx014

Grove, M, Mackenzie, H, Tolley, H, Croft, A & Lawson, D 2016, 'Senior management perspectives of mathematics and statistics support in higher education: moving to an ‘ecological’ approach', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 550-561. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2016.1196932

Collis, H, Ridyard, C, Grove, M, Dyson, R & Good, C 2015, 'Examining Peer Assessment Methods Amongst Undergraduates: A Student Review', Education in Practice, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 18-23. <https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/teaching-academy/documents/public/eip-dec15/collis.pdf>

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Grove, M & Kyle, J 2014, Enquiry into Learning and Teaching in Mathematics and Engineering. in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry. SAGE Publications, pp. 126-145.


McLinden, M, Grove, M, Green, J & Birch, A 2019, Developing and embedding inclusive policy and practice within higher-education institutions. in K Křčmář (ed.), The Inclusivity Gap. Inspired by Learning, Aberdeen, pp. 160-176. <https://www.inspiredbylearning.eu/book/10>


Sangwin, C & Grove, M 2005, 'STACK: addressing the needs of the "neglected learners"', Paper presented at Proceedings of the WebAlt Conference, 1/01/05 pp. 81-95.

View all publications in research portal