ELEVATE are UCC’s first recipients of the Disciplinary Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Assessment (DELTA) Award

27 May 2021

ELEVATE DELTA Team: A Collaboration built on Disciplinary, Technical, and Pedagogical Expertise

ELEVATE represents an interdisciplinary team based in the School of Microbiology who together have a shared vision for how immersive and active learning can enable students to explore the spatial and structural complexity of viruses and next generation molecular systems. Bringing together disciplinary experts from the Schools of Microbiology, Computer Science & IT, and the Centre for the Integration of Research Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) at UCC, the ELEVATE team are the first UCC based recipients of this award.

Pursuing active learning approaches to facilitate student paced discovery and engagement with challenging molecular concepts, the team developed a series of bespoke desktop and immersive VR simulations for the teaching of virus structure, heterologous expression, recombinant plasmids and green chemistry solutions for the bioeconomy. They have adopted a co-design approach in partnership with students and disciplinary experts to create pedagogically robust learning experiences with embedded assessments FOR/OF/AS learning.

The ELEVATE team is comprised of (pictured clockwise from top) Dr Martina Scallan, Dr Jerry Reen (team lead), Dr John O’Callaghan, Dr Sheila Ryan, Dr John Morgan, Dr Brian McSharry, Carmel Shortiss, Dr Niall O’Leary (School of Microbiology), David Murphy (School of Computer Science & IT), Owen Jump, Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, UCC. Development and design had been carried out in collaboration with students from the disciplines of Microbiology, Genetics, Biotechnology, and Computer Science & IT, including Ay’sha Moore, Jordyn Lynch, Diego Bethencourt, Erin Dalton, John Brendan O’Leary and William Wallace (BSc Microbiology Students), Grace McEvoy and Christine Walsh (MSc Multimedia Students), Ciara Ferris and Kelsey O'Connor (BSc Genetics Students), Kelan Murphy and Darragh Kelleher (BSc Biotechnology Students).

Staff in the School of Microbiology congratulated the team saying…
…Tá comhghairdeas tuillte ag gach duine as an éacht iontach seo.
…This is fantastic news, huge congratulations!
…Well done all, an amazing group of staff and students!
…It was a strong proposal that couldn’t be denied!
…Well done Jerry and the dream team!
…The leadership and commitment to this was undoubtedly central to its success and will be central to its implementation.
…This application and success epitomises who we are…excellence in everything we do.
…Well done to the whole team, a real positive for the school.
…It was a huge amount of work and is a tremendous achievement for the team who put this together.
…very important for the future of our discipline and how we teach it in UCC.

Further information at


School of Microbiology

Scoil na Micribhitheolaíochta

Microbiology Office, Room FSB452, 4th Floor Food Science & Technology Building, University College Cork, Cork T12 Y337