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Teachers of Physics Awards

The Teachers of Physics Awards celebrate the success of secondary school and college physics teachers who have raised the profile of physics and science.

Read about our 2023 winners

The Teachers of Physics Awards celebrate the success of secondary-level physics teachers who have raised the profile of physics and science in schools and colleges. We know that teachers contribute an immense amount to society, and we wish to accord them the recognition they deserve.

With these awards, we honour teachers alongside distinguished research scientists, technicians and industrialists.

In this way we recognise that without dedicated teachers there would be no physics research community or technological base in society.

The winners receive a prize of £1,000, an engraved glass paperweight and a certificate.

There is now a single application system for all teachers in England, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.


  • Teachers must be employed in a school or college in the UK or Ireland either part time or full time and have taught for at least three years.
  • Teachers, nominators and referees cannot be members of the IOP’s council, employees of the IOP, under contract to the IOP or a member of the award’s judging panel.
  • Nominators cannot act as referees.

The IOP reserves the right to rescind IOP Awards should there be evidence of a significant breach of the Code of Conduct.

Making a nomination

The nominations for the 2024 IOP Teacher of Physics Awards are now closed.

Please email [email protected] if you have any questions about the awards or your submission.

You can nominate yourself or someone else for this award.

We welcome and encourage nominations from people from underrepresented backgrounds and those who may not have previously applied or nominated others for an award. 

Nominations can come from a variety of sources, including parents and students (past or present), head teachers, colleagues, governors, advisers, and IOP branch representatives. Pupils are requested to seek the support of a staff member in the school or college to gather all the necessary information and references and who should submit the nomination on their behalf. Pupils should not submit individual nominations.

Nominators will need to submit:

  • their details and details of the nominee;
  • a citation that highlights the nominee’s impact in either a single area or any combination of five areas (see nomination categories); and
  • contact details for two referees, one of whom should be a senior colleague in the school or college. Please obtain permission from the referees in advance.

If you are nominating someone else, you should inform the nominee as you will need to provide their contact details and they will be contacted following submission to complete an optional equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) monitoring form.

Winners will be shortlisted based on the quality of the information provided, so the citation must include details under the following categories, which are indicative only.

Nomination categories

We aim to recognise the most diverse group of teachers from the widest range of schools and colleges, and to that end the citation can highlight the nominee’s impact in:

  • either a single area;
  • or any combination of five areas (with a total word limit of 500 words for the single area or combination of five).

Teaching impact

Expert subject knowledge and pedagogy, classroom style, ability to create a warm and inclusive learning environment, popularity of the subject, progression of pupils to further study.

Staff development within the school or within a group of schools

Working with trainee teachers or other early career teachers, staff training, development of departmental resources, running professional development activities, informal sharing of expertise, training of technicians.

Work beyond the classroom

Running a physics or science club, running a catch-up or revision club, taking school or college trips to places of scientific interest, work in widening participation of students in higher education, hosting pupil-based events or activities. Work with feeder schools, parents or the local community to promote physics or science.

Work with the wider educational community

Writing articles, giving talks at teacher gatherings online or face to face, activity on social media to promote physics or physics teaching, advising regional or national education bodies on physics or science, examining.


Supporting those in groups currently underrepresented in physics. This might be demonstrated by expertise in, commitment to or dissemination of work that improves inclusion, developing, implementing or promoting specific teaching and learning methods or whole-school work, promoting progression to further study, or by working in a school or college of a type or in an area that specifically supports students from underrepresented groups.


View current and previous award winners.

Primary Science Teacher Awards

The Primary Science Teaching Trust celebrates outstanding teachers of primary science with these awards, which are supported by the IOP. To learn more about these awards, including former winners, visit the Primary Science Teaching Trust website.

Learn about other IOP awards.