Dr Cherry Canovan
Cherry is a researcher embedded with the Widening Participation and Public Engagement team. Her research interests include the impacts of science festivals, as well as widening participation in STEM and higher education more generally.
Cherry has published widely in the areas of access to science and higher education among low-participation groups. She has also written several papers studying the impacts of science festivals on attitudes to science of both children and their parents. Her recent work includes a multi-phase research project looking at the impacts of Covid-19 related school closures on primary science teaching and learning.
Cherry has a wide variety of career experience. Before her move to educational research, she completed a PhD in Mathematical Physics, completing a thesis entitled 'A covariant approach to classical electrodynamics, with particular reference to accelerating media and novel Cerenkov fields'.
During her PhD she founded Lancaster University's Women in Physics group, and this experience sparked her interest in questions of who is able to access science learning.
Before returning to university to study Physics, Cherry worked as a journalist for several years, culminating in roles in education journalism for national publications.
- PhD Mathematical Physics, Lancaster University, 2016
- MPhys Physics, Lancaster University, 2008
- BA (Hons) Politics & Economics, Durham University, 1994
- Red Magazine's Hot Women Award, 2011
- Institute of Physics Very Early Career Woman Physicist of the Year Award, 2011
- Lancaster University Chancellor's Medal, 2008
- Educational Impacts of Covid-19
- Access to Science
- Access to Higher Education
- Science Festivals
- Impacts of Outreach Activity
- BERA Membership
Cherry's research covers a variety of areas with the common theme of widening access to science and higher education among low-participation groups. A major current study is looking at the impacts of Covid-19 on primary science teaching and learning; this research shows that science in primary schools was disproportionately impacted during school closure periods, and that children from disadvantaged areas suffered the greatest losses in this area. Another area of research interest is in the growing area of the impacts of science festivals. Cherry has published several papers looking at the effect that attending these events has on the attitudes of young people and their parents, as well as on ways to attract a more diverse audience. Cherry also works with local organisations such as Uni Connect branches to study the impacts of various types of widening participation interventions.
Use the links below to view their profiles:
- View their unique and persistent identifier on the ORCiD registry
- Full list of publications and articles on CLoK
- Google Scholar
- The impacts of Covid-19 school closures on primary science
- Science festivals: an effective tool for widening participation?
- Adult learners: insights into motivations, choices and support needs
- Assessing the impacts of online versus in-person widening participation delivery
- Future U Special Funding Award, 2022
- Hello Future Special Funding Award, 2020
- Future U Special Funding Award, 2020
- World Pandemic Research Network Conference, 2021
- International Symposium of Science Museums, 2021
- BERA Conference, 2021
- NEON Summer Symposium, 2021