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Richard John

Discipline Head
School of Environment and Science - Chemical Sciences
+61 (0)7 5552 8260 (Work)
G39 4.31, Gold Coast Campus

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Biographical Information Richard John is a Professor of Chemistry and former Dean (Learning and Teaching) at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He is the Project Lead for the Queensland STEM Education Network (QSEN) – a consortium of seven Qld universities working collaboratively across the state, partnering with schools, to improve STEM education outcomes for students. Richard also leads two other STEM education initiatives at Griffith University: the Griffith Science Education Alliance (a collaboration between Griffith University, the Qld DET and several other community and industry partners); and Science on the GO! (Griffith University’s science outreach program). He has over 60 research publications in international peer-reviewed journals, is a named inventor on two patents and his work has led to the commercialisation of four analytical monitoring systems. He has taught undergraduate chemistry for over 20 years, is the author of a foundation year chemistry textbook (the Chemistry Companion) and co-author of two senior-school chemistry textbooks. He is also the creator and author of the Suzie the Scientist Early Reader Series and the Millie the Mathematician Early Reader Series – a school-based reading resources linking literacy with the Australian Curriculum in Science and Maths and supplied to every primary school in Australia. Richard has held teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford, the University of Wollongong, the Smithsonian Institute and Griffith University. Awards and Honours Richard is an elected Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and is a past Chair of the Electrochemistry Division. He has won numerous prestigious awards and Fellowships for his contributions to science and science education. These awards include: being named a Queensland Science Champion (in its inception year of 2014); winner of two Australian Awards for University Teaching – OLT Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2012, 2016); the Australian Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award (B-HERT, 2011); the Business Higher Education Round Table Award for Best Community Partnership (2011); the Australian Science Teachers Association Award for Service to Science Education (2009); the Peter Doherty Award for Excellence in Science and Science Education (2008); the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Award for Excellence in Chemical Education (2008); the Griffith University Service Award (inaugural recipient in 2008); the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellowship (2007); the Science Teachers Association of Queensland Medal for Excellence in Science Education (2006); the Griffith University Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006); the Australian Research Council Post-doctoral Fellowship (1995) and the Australian Academy of Science-Royal Society Endeavour Fellowship (1992). Qualifications and Past Positions Richard completed his undergraduate studies (BSc Hons 1st Class) and PhD at the University of Wollongong in 1988 and 1992 respectively. During his postdoctoral study at Oxford University’s Centre for Molecular Sensors he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemical at Keble College (Oxford) and Research Scholar at University College (Oxford). He returned to the University of Wollongong as an Australian Research Council Fellow in 1995 and was appointed to Griffith University in 1996. In 2006 he created and led the Science on the GO! and Griffith Science Education Alliance initiatives (he continues as Program Lead of these initiatives to this day). In 2007 he was appointed the Queensland-Smithsonian Fellow at the National Science Recourses Centre at the Smithsonian Institute (Washington DC). In 2007/08 he was seconded to the Australian Academy of Science as Managing Director of the national Science by Doing education project for secondary schools. In January 2013 he was appointed Dean (Learning and Teaching) for the Griffith Sciences Group at Griffith University. He stepped down from this role in 2016 to assume the Project Lead for the Queensland STEM Education Network. Richard also serves as a Director and Board Member for P&Cs Qld.


  • Member
    Australian Rivers Institute2007 - 2018
  • Program Lead, Science on the GO!
    Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia1 Jan 2005 - 1 Jan 2019
  • Project Lead, Queensland STEM Education Network
    Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia1 Jan 2014 - 1 Jan 2019


  • Doctor Of Philosophy
  • Bachelor Of Science With Honours