Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship

If you are a practising teacher, and you have an idea about physics teaching that you have always wanted to develop, then the Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship can help you bring the idea to fruition.


The Fellowship will provide you with up to £2,000 to buy materials, software or services to help you develop your idea into something that other teachers can use.


The Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship is open to applicants who are practising teachers working in a UK educational institution (schools and colleges) catering for students aged 11 to 19.

How do I apply?

Simply email with your name, school/college details, and details of your proposed project (up to 200 words). Please place “Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship Application” in the email’s subject line. Applications will only be accepted by email.

Deadline for applications: Monday 20 April 2015

Please note:

  • Before applying, please take a look at the case studies below to gain an idea of the projects this Fellowship aims to support
  • You should expect to hear whether your application has been successful two weeks after the deadline
  • If you are awarded the Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship, you will be expected to complete your project within 12 months of receiving the funding

Case Study: Hardware for hard-up schools, Stuart St John

Stuart St John was awarded the Fellowship to develop a cost-effective interface for recording and making sounds using a computer.

Stuart said: “I was able to spend time on developing these ideas thanks to the Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship awarded by the Institute of Physics from the Trust set up by in Anthony's name. I am grateful to the Trust and the Institute for this opportunity."

Summary of his project:

The purpose of this work was to investigate ways in which everyday computers can be used in schools to fulfil several of the roles of more expensive, specialised laboratory equipment for teaching and learning purposes. The brief adopted was to keep things as straightforward as possible so that any school science department with a few basic tools can copy the ideas presented.


The project has produced a simple, safe input device to enable use of a computer as an oscilloscope and a conversion of external speakers into a signal generator. They are not without their limitations, but the intention is that they may provide opportunities for hands-on learning in schools where budgets are very limited.

Several teaching ideas are outlined, with pointers for further development. It is hoped that interest in the project may generate further application of the ideas to the teaching of high school physics.

A full write-up of the project was published in Physics Education.

About Stuart St John:

Stuart St John is the Head of Physics at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith. When not teaching physics he likes tinkering around and mending things, particularly bikes, on which he loves to explore the wilder parts of Cumbria. He also enjoys playing a variety of musical instruments.

Case Study: Student attitudes to physics practicals, Caitríona McKnight

Caitríona McKnight was awarded the Fellowship to investigate girls’ engagement with practical work across the three sciences.

Caitriona McKnight

Caitríona said: “This project has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the factors affecting engagement in physics, particularly in practical work and to identify differences in approach and views of boys and girls. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on my own teaching pedagogy as well as learning from the research of others. This has enabled me to apply strategies to increase engagement in my own classroom.

I am grateful to the IOP for supporting me in my project both financially and with regular correspondence. I am also grateful, in particular, to James de Winter (Institute of Education, Cambridge) for supporting me with data analysis.”

Summary of her project:

An action research study was carried to explore the attitudes of GCSE students to physics practicals and explore differences (if any) between boys and girls. The research was prompted by a study carried out in India in August 2013. They concluded from their survey that “there is significant difference in the attitude of boys and girls towards practical work”.

Questions in an initial survey focused on student opinions on the importance and quantity of practical work, and their thoughts on: putting equipment together, having written instructions, and experiencing teacher demonstrations.

About Caitríona McKnight:

Caitríona McKnight is a teacher of physics at the Stephen Perse Foundation, Cambridge. She was born and educated in Ireland, graduating at Trinity College Dublin in 1988. She travelled to England soon after, initially working as a computer analyst in Harlow, Essex and later as a transportation planner in Reading, Berkshire.

As she could not postpone her childhood dream of teaching, and following in her father’s footsteps, she completed a PGCE at the Department of Education, Cambridge in 1993 and she has been teaching ever since. When not teaching, Caitríona takes every opportunity to travel the world.

Anthony Waterhouse and the Fellowship

The Institute is extremely grateful to Helen Parsons (Anthony Waterhouse’s sister) for generously endowing the Anthony Waterhouse Fellowship; Helen describes its background and inception:

“My father Vincent Waterhouse was first a physics lecturer at Ludlow Grammar and then a physics lecturer at Furzedown Teacher Training College. He passed on his love of science to my brother Anthony who went up to Cambridge (Trinity) to read Electrical Engineering, on an industrial scholarship.

In 1969 he visited South Africa with the Dryden drama group as "props man". While up Table Mountain he missed the last cable car and took a path down the mountain which he had been told was easy. Tragically the path was not clear and he fell and killed himself. My parents and I never got over his loss and this is why I am giving this money in memory of him.”