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University College Dublin has a national and international reputation for educational excellence thanks to its community of highly committed faculty and staff. The University celebrates the achievements of colleagues who make an outstanding contribution in the pursuit of teaching excellence and the enhancement of student learning through Teaching and Learning Awards. The scope of these awards is broad, covering all aspects of teaching and learning, and seek to:

  • Highlight the value and importance that the University places on high quality teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum design 
  • Provide recognition for teaching excellence
  • Showcase and share exemplary and innovative practice
  • Encourage scholarly activity and leadership in teaching and learning.

Award Information

UCD is pleased to announce two new award schemes:

  1. Teaching Excellence Awards will recognise individual faculty and staff in teaching roles for sustained commitment to teaching excellence and student learning. 
  2. Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning will recognise individuals or teams including any UCD faculty, staff, tutors or demonstrators who have made outstanding contributions to student learning in a specific area. 

Both schemes will be tiered with awards at college and university level.  College level awards will be valued at €500 and will be paid to the recipients' school/unit to be spent by the awardees on career development or teaching enhancement activity.  University level awards will be valued at €1,500, and will be paid to the recipients' school/unit to be spent by the awardees on career development or teaching enhancement activity.  University awardees will also receive an engraved piece of glassware.  Up to six university level awards will be made for each scheme (i.e. up to 12 awards in total).  Awardees will be celebrated both within their colleges and at a university celebration event. Applications from staff outside college structures will be managed by a special adjudication panel.

Stage One - Nominations

UCD staff and students are invited to nominate any UCD Faculty, staff, or tutors, or demonstrators who have made outstanding contributions in the pursuit of teaching excellence and or the enhancement of student learning using the new nominations system on the HR tab in InfoHub.  A short explanation must be provided for each nomination.  The nominee will not know who has nominated them but will receive a copy of the nomination text.  It will be possible to make multiple nominations.  The nomination information will be considered by adjudication panels as part of the adjudication process.  

Stage Two – College Application and Selection Procedure

All nominees will be invited to apply for a Teaching and Learning Award.  If nominees decide to apply for an award, they then choose the most appropriate scheme.  If nominees decide not to apply for an award, no further action is necessary.  Applications will be made via the Teaching and Learning Awards applications system on the HR tab in InfoHub.

Late applications cannot be accepted.  Please consult the timeline below for important dates.

Application requirements:

Each application will consist of a completed application form addressing the adjudication criteria/criterion and nomination information.


For Teaching Excellence Award applications, all criteria should be addressed. Applicants are not expected to provide evidence of excellence in all areas, but should build a profile that highlights their achievements. The Award focuses on sustained involvement in high quality teaching.  The maximum wordcount permissible is 2000 words.


For the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learningscheme, applicants should select one criterion to address.  The maximum wordcount permissible is 1000 words.


Adjudication Criteria

  1. Approaches to teaching and learning that engage, motivate and inspire students to learn;
  2. Development and enhancement of curricula and resources that reflect a command of the field; 
  3. Significant impact on the quality of the student educational experience; 
  4. Leadership and change at the level of discipline/college/university; 
  5. Engagement with and/or contributed to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

In addressing the criteria/criterion candidates should briefly describe illustrative examples and evidence of impact. 

College Adjudication Process

The stage two college application and selection procedure will be carried out by each college and the number of awards made will be at the discretion of each college.  Applications from staff outside college structures will be managed by a special adjudication panel consisting of Prof Jason Last (Chair), Assoc Prof Aoife Ahern, Ms. Annette Forde, Ms. Aine Galvin, Mr. Andy Myler and Ms Roisin Ni Mhara.

Stage three – University Application and Selection Procedure

College adjudication panels will make recommendations from the pool of college awardees to put forward for consideration for university level awards.  Those applying for university level awards will have an opportunity to update their original application forms which should then be submitted by the application deadline.  Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their application form and the explanation(s) for nomination.


University Adjudication Panel

  • Professor Mark Rogers, Registrar & Deputy President (Chair)
  • Professor Hugh Campbell, Head of School & Dean of Architecture
  • Associate Professor Marie Clarke, Dean of Undergraduate Studies
  • Professor Anne Drummond, Director of Centre for Safely & Health at Work  
  • Ms Lexi Kilmartin, UCD SU Education Officer 
  • Professor Stephen Marshall, Director of Teaching & Learning, University of New South Wales

Key Dates 2017


Stage one Nominations open 16th February -5th March 
Stage two College applications open 13th March - 7th April 
Stage two Notification of results Tuesday 2nd May
Stage three University applications open 8th - 19th May 
Stage three Notification of results Tuesday 6th June

The date for next awards has yet to be confirmed.


All UCD faculty and staff are eligible to apply for the awards. Members of faculty and staff who have already received a UCD teaching award are not eligible to apply for an award for two years (i.e. those who received an award in 2015 or 2016 are not eligible for consideration in 2017). Nominations received for these faculty and staff will be recorded and notified to the nominee for information only.

Individuals or teams are eligible to apply for the Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Who can nominate for the awards?
UCD faculty and staff members (i.e. holders of an employment contract at the time of nomination) and UCD current students (i.e. fully registered to an undergraduate or graduate level programme) may nominate.


2. Can I nominate myself?


3. Will the nominees know who nominated them?
No, the name and contact details of nominators will not be released to nominees. The reasons for nominations will be shared with nominees.


4. Can I nominate a faculty or staff member who taught me in the past?
Yes, provided they are still a member of UCD faculty or staff. If they are no longer a faculty or staff member, then they will not appear on the list in the nominations screen.


5. Can I nominate someone who is currently on sabbatical, maternity leave or other leave?
Yes, but the processing of their application may be deferred.


6. Can I make more than one nomination?
Yes, it is possible to make multiple nominations, however, you are encouraged to keep the number small as it is a selective process.


7. Will tutors and demonstrators be listed in the nominations system?
Yes, but only if they are recorded as a tutor/demonstrator against a named module in InfoHub.  Only module coordinators and school administrators can assign the tutor/demonstrator role in this system.  See the module access management system for more information.


8. What constitutes a team for the purposed of these awards?
In the case of team applications, there must be an an identifiable team consisting of at least 2 members. The role and specific contribution of every team member must be made clear in the application.


9. Can I nominate a team if I don't know the names of all the members?
Yes, you must select a representative for the team and ideally list as many team members as possible.  If the team decides to submit an application, it will be the responsibility of the team representative to list the additional team members. 


10. How many applications can I submit?
If nominated as an individual then one application is permissible you must choose which scheme to apply for: either Teaching Excellence Awards or Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. For team applications only one application per nominated team is permissible.


11. Can I submit both a team and an individual application? 
If you have received team and individual nominations then you can apply as part of the team and also as an individual.  Team applications can only be made for the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.


12. If I am nominated as an individual can I submit a team application?
No, if you are nominated as in individual you cannot apply as a team and vice versa.


13. What is the wordcount for the application form?
The maximum number of words is 1000 for either award.