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The Lillian McDermott Award in Physics Education Research

The award recognises the most outstanding poster presentation in the field of physics education research at the annual meeting of the Institute of Physics Higher Education Group.

A headshot of Lillian McDermott

About Lillian McDermott

Lillian McDermott was a pioneer in the field of physics education research and a passionate advocate for improving physics education through careful study of the conceptual difficulties encountered by students.

She was a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), and a recipient of the AAPT Oersted Medal. She also received the International Commission on Physics Education Medal presented by the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

Lillian McDermott was the lead author of Physics by Inquiry and Tutorials in Introductory Physics. Over a long and distinguished career, she positively influenced many generations of students as well as the wider physics community.

The Award

This award comes with a prize of £150 and a certificate.


Selection criteria

Poster presentations are judged on the basis of:

  • excellence in physics education research design, research methodology, and analysis of results;
  • originality of the poster layout and format; and
  • effectiveness of communication.


The 2021 Lillian McDermott Award winner

Sophie McDougall, University of Glasgow: “Belonging and Engagement for a Successful Transition to Higher Education.”

Special mention

Eilidh Hudson, University of Glasgow.

Nabihah Rahman, Rebekah Christie, Jessie Durk, and Amy Smith, Imperial College London.