Dr Katherine InskipKatherine Inskip

University Teacher in Astrophysics

Contact details

Group web pages

ShePHERD (Sheffield Physics Higher Education Research & Development)

Astronomy and Astrophysics Group

Personal Web Page


Tabs title



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.


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)

Departmental administration

Department of Physics & Astronomy Teaching Committee (2014-)
Departmental Library Liaison (2014-)
iPEG (Innovations in Physics Education Group) Coordinator (2014-)


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


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


"Secular Evolution and a Non-evolving Black-hole-to-galaxy Mass Ratio in the Last 7 Gyr" Cisternas et al. (2011) ApJ 741, 11
"Resolving the Dynamical Mass of a z ~ 1.3 Quasi-stellar Object Host Galaxy Using SINFONI and Laser Guide Star Assisted Adaptive Optics" Inskip et al. (2011) ApJ 739, 90
Complete publications
A complete list of publications is available via ADS database

Public Engagement


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 http://www.deepskyvideos.com
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