skip to content

Department of Computer Science and Technology

  • Research Associate

I am a Research Associate in Computing Education working with Dr Sue Sentance. I am part of the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre. Currently, we are working on a project investigating the impact of physical computing on students' attitudes and beliefs such as creativity, technological self-efficacy, and socio-technological agency. This is a longitudinal study investigating primary school students and how they engage with the BBC micro:bit device. We will also be investigating gender differences in how students engage with physical computing, and the role of parents and teachers in developing students' digital capital.

My wider research interests include STEM education, inquiry-based learning, assessment, attitudes and beliefs, and widening participation. 

I am an Ordinary Member of the Institute of Physics Higher Education Group and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. 


Prior to joining the department in 2024, I held several postdoctoral positions in science/physics education. I was a postdoctoral researcher in physics higher education at Imperial College London from 2021-2024, in science education at King's College London (in the School of Education, Communication and Society) from 2020-2021, and in physics secondary education at the University of Cambridge from 2019-2021. My undergraduate (Imperial College London), master's (King's College London), and doctoral backgrounds have all been in theoretical physics. I was awarded my PhD in theoretical cosmology from Queen Mary University of London in 2019. 

Alongside my PhD I worked part-time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich as an Observatory Explainer and then as an STFC Astronomer. As part of my role I delivered school sessions to primary and secondary school pupils and presented Planetarium shows to schools and the public. During my PhD I also took part in various outreach activities, including highlights such as Soapbox Science and Pint of Science.


Journal articles

  • Moore, A. M., Fairhurst, P., Bennett, J. M., Harrison, C., Correia, C. F., & Durk, J. (2023). Assessment and practical science: identifying generalizable characteristics of written assessments that reward and incentivise effective practices in practical science lessons. International Journal of Science Education, 1-27. Doi: 10.1080/09500693.2023.2253366

  • Durk, J., Davies, A., Hughes, R., & Jardine-Wright, L. (2020). Impact of an active learning physics workshop on secondary school students’ self-efficacy and ability. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 16(2), 020126. Doi: 10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020126

  • Durk, J., & Clifton, T. (2019). Discrete cosmological models in the Brans–Dicke theory of gravity. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 36(18), 185011. Doi: 10.1088/1361-6382/ab329e

  • Bentivegna, E., Clifton, T., Durk, J., Korzyński, M., & Rosquist, K. (2018). Black-hole lattices as cosmological models. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 35(17), 175004. Doi: 10.1088/1361-6382/aac846

  • Durk, J., & Clifton, T. (2017). A quasi-static approach to structure formation in black hole universes. Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics, 2017(10), 012. Doi: 10.1088/1475-7516/2017/10/012

  • Bibi, R., Clifton, T., & Durk, J. (2017). Cosmological solutions with charged black holes. General Relativity and Gravitation, 49, 1-14. Doi: 10.1007/s10714-017-2261-4

  • Durk, J., & Clifton, T. (2017). Exact initial data for black hole universes with a cosmological constant. Classical and Quantum Gravity, 34(6), 065009. Doi: 10.1088/1361-6382/aa6064

Book chapters

  • Howson, C. B. K., Smith, A., Durk, J., Fox, M. F., Tymms, V., & Richards, M. Strengthening learning communities: Belonging in a UK physics department. In Academic Belonging in Higher Education (pp. 80-94). Routledge. Doi: 10.4324/9781003443735-8


Contact Details