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Department of Biochemistry


The role of the demonstrator

Demonstrators are integral to the success of practical teaching. It is an important role within the teaching remit of the department.

The Biochemistry Department runs practicals in


Demonstrating for MIMS or BMB

Please contact the Biochemistry Senior Classroom Technician Dr Siolian Ball

A general description of the role is summarised below.

Role Description - Junior Demonstrators for MIMS & 1B BMB


The Senior Demonstrator is in charge of the practical. The role of the Junior Demonstrator is to help and guide the students during practical sessions. This includes making sure the students understand the principles behind the techniques used and the meaning of the practical results. Junior demonstrators should be familiar with equipment and protocols used in the practical and should also be able to answer questions related to these and to theoretical aspects of the practical.  An important part of the role is to be familiar with the relevant risk and COSHH assessments and to ensure that the students abide by the Health and Safety requirements.

In order to fulfill this role demonstrators are requested to attend a practical training session run by the Senior Teaching Technician before the beginning of the term. Non-attendance means you may not be allowed to demonstrate.


During the training session you will


  • Obtain the relevant Health and Safety advice from the Senior Teaching Technician and sign to confirm that you have received this.
  • Obtain the relevant practical literature from the Senior Teaching Technician. The green sheets contain the scientific background of the practical, the white sheets contain the actual practical protocol itself, the blue sheets are the student questions and the ‘yellows’ contain ‘ideal’ results and also answers to the ‘blues’. It is important to read (and understand) all of them beforehand, but the yellows are particularly useful.
  • Familiarize yourself with the fire escape routes from the both teaching labs.
  • Confirm your payment details necessary for you to receive your temporary work contract should you need one.  If this is not done you may not be allowed to demonstrate.


On the day of the practical you should


  • Arrive 15 minutes before the start of the practical to check that all the reagents are present and that the supplied equipment is appropriate.
  • Be ready to answer students’ questions and be clear and consistent in your guidance to students about the practical protocol.
  • The Senior Demonstrator will outline Health and Safety rules. Ensure that the students comply with these. Stop any dangerous/illegal behavior immediately and report incidents/accidents to the Senior Classroom Technician.
  • Ensure chemical and biological waste management guidelines are adhered to at all times. Also ensure the ‘sharps’ (needles and blades), if present, are used safely and disposed in a sharps bin, immediately after their use. It is part of your role to monitor and manage students in accordance with local rules and to ensure that the students tidy and clean up after themselves.
  • Students must not be left alone in the teaching lab. They will be sent away (or asked to wait outside) unless a demonstrator is present.
  • Lab coats and other relevant PPE (personal protective equipment, i.e. Gloves, lab coat and goggles if relevant) must be worn in front of students at all times. Hair (if long) must be tied back and shoes must be appropriate. Ensure that students also comply with these measures.
  • There is no food or drink allowed in the teaching labs.
  • Mobile phones are not to be used in the teaching labs. Demonstrators are more than welcome to make or receive calls in the teaching lab office.



Biochemistry practicals within Biology of Cells

Please contact Mark Leach

Cell and Developmental Biology (CDB)

has different organisation so please consult the individual course website.


Payment for Demonstrating

Information on procedures for registering and payment can be found on the accounts web site