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Dr Elena Riva - Senior Teaching Fellow & Director of Studies

Elena Riva

Elena is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Director of Studies at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning, WIHEA Fellow, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Elena, who joined IATL in October 2015, develops new modules, events, and activities (Science on Screen, Rosalind Franklin: Science, Music, and Performance) that explore complex and global scientific topics and issues, creating connections between the scientific disciplines and the humanities. She developed and convenes the IATL modules Genetics: Science and Society, Understanding Wellbeing Theory and Practice and Thinking Water. She played a key role in the development of the new interdisciplinary MSc in Humanitarian Engineering, for which she also convenes the module 'Water and Environmental Management'. In 2017, Elena has been awarded funding by both The Warwick Innovation Fund and WIHEA for developing her research project 'Improving students' wellbeing in the teaching and learning environment'. In 2018, Elena and the Dean of Students, Louise Gracia co-developed a successful bid for funding from the ‘HEFCE Catalyst Fund: Supporting mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students’.

Elena was the recipient of the 2018 Warwick Teaching Excellence Award and she was also awarded the honour of the Butterworth Award, which recognises individuals with six or fewer years of experience teaching in higher education.

Elena obtained a master degree (2007) and a PhD (2010) in Chemistry from the University of Milan. After holding a Research Associate position in the Chemistry Department at the University of Cambridge (2011), she became a Research Fellow in the Chemistry Department at the University of Warwick (2012) and was subsequently awarded an IAS Postdoctoral Fellowship that allowed her to work on a personal project at the Chemistry/Biology interface, employing a highly interdisciplinary approach that combines state-of-the-art methods for microbiology, chemical analysis, and synthetic organic chemistry. You can read all about her research in several articles that have been published in top-ranking chemistry and biology journals.

During her postdoctoral studies, Elena developed a strong passion for teaching and for promoting STEM subjects to young people. Both at Cambridge and Warwick, she has taught and trained undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD students and has designed and delivered several outreach activities for explaining scientific topics to Primary and Secondary School children. In 2015 she has been awarded a ‘Royal Society of Chemistry Outreach Fund Grant’ for running 'The Chemistry Toolbox' project, a 'How to teach science' training day for Primary School teachers.

She is a Member of the Board of Trustees of Alström Syndrome UK.

How Elena can help you

Elena is always happy to work with students and colleagues who are interested in discovering novel and interdisciplinary ways of teaching and learning science-based themes…get in touch if this applies to you!

In her role as Director of Studies, Elena would be delighted to hear from you if you are a UG or PG student that has the desire of discovering more about our modules' provision. She is also the right person for you if you are a member of staff interested in creating an interdisciplinary IATL module or in contributing to them.

Elena also serves as STP (Sessional Teaching Payroll) Coordinator for IATL.


E dot Riva at warwick dot ac dot uk


024 761 50531




Senate House