Michael Grove NTF, FIMA

Michael Grove

School of Mathematics
Reader in STEM Education

Contact details

School of Mathematics
Watson Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Michael Grove is a Reader in STEM Education within the School of Mathematics where he teaches mathematics to undergraduate students and researches issues relating to learning and teaching in higher education.  He is a National Teaching Fellow, the UK’s highest award for teaching and learning within higher education, a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and is currently (2016) Honorary Secretary Education Designate for the IMA.

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. He is a former Editor of MSOR Connections, the learning and teaching journal of the higher education mathematics community, and is currently Editor of the University of Birmingham’s teaching and learning journal Education in Practice.


Reader in STEM Education:

  • 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 in STEM Education 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).

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 not only continue to run but 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. 


Current teaching duties within the School of Mathematics:

  • Year 1: Mathematical Modelling and Problem Solving (1MMPS)
  • Year 2: Mathematics in Industry (2MI)


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.

I have also recently been working on:

  1. Enhancing assessment and feedback within the mathematical sciences.
  2. Embedding sustainable innovation and enhancement activities within higher education.

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.
  • Currently Visiting Associate Professor at University of Leeds within the Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences.
  • 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 (2014).
  • 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.


Mackenzie, H., Tolley, H. Croft, A.C. Grove, M.J. & Lawson, D.A. (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, pp550–561.

Croft, A.C. and Grove, M.J. (2016) Mathematics and Statistics Support Centres: Resources for Training Postgraduates and Others Who Work in Them. MSOR Connections, Vol.14 No.3, pp3-13. 

Croft, A.C., Lawson, D.A., Hawkes, T.O., Grove, M.J., Bowers, D. and Petrie, M. (2015) sigma – a network working!, Mathematics Today, 51(1), pp36-40.

Grove, M.J. and Pugh, S.L. (2015) Is a conceptual understanding of maths vital for chemistry?, Education in Chemistry, January 2015

Grove, M.J., Croft, A.C., Kyle, J. and Lawson, D.A. (2015) Transitions in undergraduate Mathematics Education. Higher Education Academy.

Pugh, S.L. and Grove, M.J. (2014) Establishing Industrial Advisory Boards Using a Practice Transfer Model. New Directions, 10(1).

Grove, M.J and Kyle, J. (2014) Enquiry into Learning and Teaching in Mathematics and Engineering in: Cleaver, E., Lintern, M., McLinden, M. (Eds.) Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Disciplinary Approaches to Educational Enquiry. SAGE:London.

Grove, M.J. and Overton, T.L. (Editors) (2013) Getting Started in Pedagogic Research within the STEM Disciplines.  University of Birmingham & The Higher Education Academy.

Cox, W. and Grove, M.J. (2012) Teaching Mathematics – A Guide for Postgraduates and Teaching Assistants.  Higher Education Academy Maths, Stats & OR Network.

Grove, M.J. (2012) The Mathematical Transition: A Multi-Stage Problem? MSOR Connections, Vol.12(No.1). 

Croft, A.C. and Grove, M.J. (Editors) (2011) Tutoring in a Mathematics Support Centre: A Guide for Postgraduate Students. National HE STEM Programme & sigma.

Marr, C.M., and Grove, M.J. (Editors) (2010) Responding to the Mathematics Problem. Higher Education Academy Maths, Stats & OR Network & the University of St Andrews.