Dr Katherine Inskip

School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Senior University Teacher in Astrophysics

Dr Katherine Inskip
Profile picture of Dr Katherine Inskip
+44 114 222 4540

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Dr Katherine Inskip
School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Hicks Building
Hounsfield Road
S3 7RH

I am a teaching-focused academic working in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, with a particular interest in Astrophysics. My teaching responsibilities include the first year astronomy lab, core second year astrophysics and the third year extended project in education and outreach.

My astrophysics research interests are the formation and evolution of active galaxies, specifically the triggering, fuelling and stellar populations of powerful radio-loud active galaxies, and the co-evolution of galaxies and black holes in the more general AGN population.

Interestingly, while mergers are highly significant in the lives of radio-loud active galaxies, for the more average active-galaxy-on-the-street it seems that mergers play very little role at all, and secular processes are key.

My focus is now shifting towards educational research, particularly the areas of widening participation and the development of key transferable skills (e.g. computer programming, communication skills).

I am currently working towards a Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

I currently coordinate the SUPER outreach programme for GCSE/A-level students.

Departmental administration

  • Department of Physics & Astronomy Teaching Committee (2014-)
  • Departmental Library Liaison (2014-)
  • iPEG (Innovations in Physics Education Group) Coordinator (2014-)
  • Physics with Astrophysics MPhys (1995-1999, University of Leicester)
  • Astrophysics PhD (1999-2002, University of Cambridge)

Academic career

  • Lloyds' Tercentenary Foundation Research Fellowship (2002-2004, University of Cambridge)
  • PPARC Research Fellowship (2004-2007, University of Sheffield)
  • Temporary Lecturer in Astrophysics (2008, University of Sheffield)
  • Emmy Noether Postdoctoral Researcher (2008-2014 inc. two career breaks, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg)
  • University Teacher in Astrophysics (2014-, Sheffield)
Research interests

Physics Education

  • Widening Participation/Retention in UG Physics Astrophysics Education
  • Integrating computer programming in the UG curriculum


  • Triggering of AGN Activity
  • Radio-Loud Active Galaxies

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Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

Teaching activities

Undergraduate Laboratory modules (current)

  • PHY115 Professional Skills in Physics & Astronomy
  • PHY116 Professional Skills in Physics & Astronomy

Undergraduate taught modules (current)

  • PHY106 The Solar System
  • PHY213 Stellar Structure & Evolution
  • PHY242 Astronomical Spectroscopy

Undergraduate projects (current)

  • PHY394 Physics Education & Outreach (extended project module)
  • Astrophysics Projects


  • Appearance on Channel 4 Learning's series 'Science in Focus: Big Questions - the Nature of Scientific Enquiry' Hubble's Expanding Universe
  • Contributor to Deep Sky Videos YouTube channel
  • Science article contributor for the StarShipSofa podcast


  • SUPER: Sheffield University Physics: Experience Research
  • Astronomy talks in local schools
  • STEM ambassador

General Public

  • Astronomy talks
  • Build/drive your own mars rover
  • Space camps for Beaver Scouts