National Teaching Fellowships (NTFs)
The NTF Process
The NTFs are a group of teachers nominated by their universities and selected by the HEA to be honoured with recognition as outstanding in their field. The Awards are made annually on the basis of specified criteria and they currently carry a small financial reward to be used to develop your teaching.
See here for more info on our previous NTFs.
- Criterion 1 Individual excellence: evidence of enhancing and transforming the student learning experience commensurate with the individual’s context and the opportunities afforded by it.
This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of: stimulating students’ curiosity and interest in ways which inspire a commitment to learning; organising and presenting high quality resources in accessible, coherent and imaginative ways which in turn clearly enhance students’ learning; recognising and actively supporting the full diversity of student learning needs; drawing upon the results of relevant research, scholarship and professional practice in ways which add value to teaching and students’ learning; engaging with and contributing to the established literature or to the nominee’s own evidence base for teaching and learning.
- Criterion 2 Raising the profile of excellence: evidence of supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning; demonstrating impact and engagement beyond the nominee’s immediate academic or professional role.
This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of: making outstanding contributions to colleagues’ professional development in relation to promoting and enhancing student learning; contributing to departmental/faculty/institutional/national initiatives to facilitate student learning; contributing to and/or supporting meaningful and positive change with respect to pedagogic practice, policy and/or procedure.
- Criterion 3 Developing excellence: evidence of the nominee’s commitment to her/his ongoing professional development with regard to teaching and learning and/or learning support.
This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of: on-going review and enhancement of individual professional practice; engaging in professional development activities which enhance the nominee’s expertise in teaching and learning support; engaging in the review and enhancement of one’s own professional and/or academic practice; specific contributions to significant improvements in the student learning experience.
In an effort to enable more colleagues to understand the Swansea process and to plan their career development to possibly include an NTF application at some stage, we have put together some FAQs:
Do I have to nominate myself or can someone else do it ?
The University puts out a call when the scheme opens each year to invite interest from colleagues who think they may be suitable for nomination. If you are interested, you reply personally, not another person on your behalf. Those who express an interest will need to respond in writing and each case is then considered for the university to choose its 3 nominations to go forward.
How much work does this entail ?
Responding to the initial call requires a little work, drawing on the criteria and the HEA website. Should you be selected to go forward, you will need to commit time and energy to the application in order to give yourself and the institution the best opportunity to succeed.
What time of year does this happen ?
The timing varies but we are aware that there is never a less busy time for everyone. The timing is set by the HEA.
How far out should I be planning this ?
Ideally, the decision should be made well in advance. You will know if you are at a position where you think national recognition is appropriate to your stage of development and your level of performance. You might want to mention it to your line manager at PDR or talk it over with one of the existing NTFs or your Director of Learning and Teaching.
What kind of thing are they looking for ?
The NTFs are a community of teachers with a marked commitment to evidence based innovative pedagogy. Individually they practise across a wide range of disciplines, making their mark in their institutions but collectively they come together in support of teaching excellence and development with an increasing social and political agenda. The NTFs have been energetic in their feedback on the TEF and increasingly contribute to the sector more widely.
Is there any help available to me institutionally ?
The process is homed in SALT and so there is support available within the team by way of information. However, if you are selected, you will be given a mentor who will work with you to a prescribed timeline to ensure that you have the best opportunity to present yourself well.
How big is the financial reward and what can I do with it ?
The Award is £10,000 but can only be used to support your teaching development, in accordance with Swansea University’s financial protocol.
Are there any benefits to being an NTF apart from the money ?
There certainly are! Becoming an NTF brings you into contact with many fascinating individuals, full of ideas, expertise and experience. The community of NTFs are enormously welcoming and there are a range of diverse opportunities to attend their annual symposium, collaborate on pedagogic development, publish and research pedagogically.
What happens if you get it ?
Successful NTFs are called to a celebration in London in the autumn at which they are presented with their Award. Your attendance is funded and you are invited to take a person of your choice with you. It is a grand affair, but thoroughly enjoyable and stimulating, in the company of interesting people.
Have we got any NTFs already ?
- Professor Aidan Byrne was our first NTF in the College of Medicine, now working at Cardiff University
- Professor Jane Thomas, Director of SALT, awarded in the College of Human and Health Sciences
- Professor Derek Connon, College of Arts and Humanities
(See here for more info on our previous NTFs)
Please don’t be put off by the professorial status – it’s not a requirement and many NTFs are early career and may be drawn from professional backgrounds or more academic routes but all united by their common love of teaching.
How does the university choose which people each year ?
When the call for interest is made, the selected group are assessed in terms of the quality of their statement of interest, their availability to commit to the workload involved and their teaching profile/evidence base. Three are selected to go forward and then we begin to work intensively with them to prepare a detailed submission in a condensed period of time.