About the Teaching and Learning Awards
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.
There are two award schemes:
- Teaching Excellence Awards recognise individual faculty and staff in teaching roles for sustained commitment to teaching excellence and student learning.
- Awards for Exceptional Contribution to Learning recognise individual UCD employees, engaged directly in teaching and or facilitating student learning, for their exceptional contribution to the enhancement of the learner experience. Examples of employees that this award may apply to include tutors, teaching assistants and laboratory demonstrators, occasional lecturers, fieldwork instructors, teaching fellows, clinical tutors, language assistants/instructors, researchers, career & skills consultants, educational technologists, librarians, technical officers and entrepreneurial specialists. This is not an exhaustive list. UCD faculty are not eligible to apply for this award.
Both schemes are 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 twelve University level awards in total will be made between the two schemes at the discretion of the adjudication panel. 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.
All current UCD employees (including hourly paid claimants) are eligible to apply for the awards, with the following exceptions for previous awardees:
- Colleagues who were previously awarded a University level Teaching and Learning Award, the highest level of award for teaching and learning excellence conferred by UCD, are not eligible to reapply for an award at either College or University level. Nominations received for these colleagues will be recorded and notified to the nominee for information only.
- Colleagues who were awarded a College level Teaching and Learning Award in the last award cycle are not eligible to apply for an award in the current award cycle, i.e. those who received a College level award in 2021-22 are not eligible for consideration in 2023-24. Award cycles are every two years. Nominations received for these colleagues will be recorded and notified to the nominee for information only.
Individuals must satisfy the general and specific eligibility criteria associated with the award at the point of application for a College and or University award.
Teaching Excellence Awards
Individual UCD faculty and staff in teaching roles are eligible to apply for this award.
Exceptional Contribution to Learning
Individual UCD employees who are engaged directly in teaching and or facilitating student learning are eligible to apply for this award. UCD faculty are not eligible to apply for this award.
Please read the frequently asked questions covering points of eligibility prior to applying.
Stage One - Nominations
UCD staff and students are invited to nominate UCD employees who have made outstanding contributions in the pursuit of teaching excellence and or the enhancement of student learning using the 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 is possible to make multiple nominations. The nomination information will be considered by adjudication panels as part of the adjudication process.
For more information see the Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Nominations below.
Stage Two – College Application and Selection Procedure
All nominees will be invited to apply for a Teaching and Learning Award. If nominees meet the eligibility requirement and decide to apply for an award, they then proceed to download and complete the appropriate application form. 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 on the last tab for important dates.
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.
The decisions of the college adjudication panels are final and not open to appeal.
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. The decisions of the University adjudication panel are final and not open to appeal.
The list of University adjudication panel members will be published prior to the review process on this webpage.
Key Dates 2023-24
Key Dates 2023-24
|13th November 2023 - 25th August 2024
|College applications open
|9th September 2024 - 21st October 2024
|Information webinar for prospective applicants
|17th September 2024, 1-2pm
|Notification of results
|22nd November 2024
|University applications open
|25th November 2024 - 6th December 2024
|Notification of results
|22nd January 2025
The Teaching and Learning Award schemes run biennially. The subsequent iteration of Teaching and Learning Awards is planned for the 2025-26 academic year.
Each application will consist of a completed application form addressing the adjudication criteria and nomination information. In addressing the criteria candidates should provide a reflective and evidence-based account of their practice, based around carefully selected examples.
Teaching Excellence Award
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 a sustained record of effectiveness in relation to teaching and learning. The maximum word count permissible is 2000 words.
- Approaches to teaching and learning that engage, motivate and inspire students to learn;
- Development and enhancement of curricula and resources that reflect a command of the field;
- Significant impact on the quality of the student educational experience;
- Leadership and influence at the level of discipline/college/university;
- An ongoing commitment to critical enquiry and reflection to enhance teaching practice.
All applicants should carefully read the Teaching Excellence Guidance on Completing the Application Form.
Award for Exceptional Contribution to Learning
For the Award for Exceptional Contribution to Learning, applicants should select any three of the four adjudication criteria (below) to address. The maximum word count permissible is 1200 words.
- Approaches to teaching and learning that engage, motivate, and inspire students to learn;
- Development and or use of effective learning resources/tools/technologies that support and enhance student learning;
- Significant impact on the quality of the student educational experience;
- Provision of effective feedback and academic mentoring to students.
All applicants should carefully read the Exceptional Contribution to Learning Guidance on Completing Application Form
Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Nominations
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. Adjunct/visiting faculty and staff may also nominate.
Yes, it is appropriate to encourage students to make nominations, however, it is not appropriate for colleagues to canvas on their own behalf.
No, the name and contact details of nominators will not be released to nominees. The reasons for nominations will be shared with nominees.
Yes, provided they are still a UCD employee. If they are no longer a UCD employee, then they will not appear on the list in the nominations screen.
Yes, hourly paid claimants can be nominated for an award. Many of UCD's tutors and demonstrators are hourly paid claimants.
Yes, it is possible to make multiple nominations, however, you are encouraged to keep the number small as it is a selective process.
Yes, currently employed tutors and demonstrators will be listed in the nomination system.
No, only individual employees may be nominated. Following a review of the 2019-20 UCD Teaching and Learning Awards it was recommended that the option to nominate teams be removed due to challenges with adjudication of teams, as well as persistent eligibility queries and anomalies.
Frequently Asked Questions Relating to Applications
No, to be eligible to apply for an award you must be currently employed by UCD.
Eligibility is based on your status at the point of application. As a current member of UCD faculty you are eligible to apply for a Teaching Excellence Award. UCD faculty are not eligible to apply for an Exceptional Contribution to Learning award.
To access the system, you must have an active staff or student account. Please contact the IT Helpdesk for help with your account details.
UCD faculty positions are: lecturer/assistant professor; associate professor; professor; and full professor.
Yes, adjunct/visiting appointees are eligible to apply for an award. Their eligibility for each award type is determined by their UCD position title. In other words, an adjunct associate professor is eligible to apply for a Teaching Excellence Award, but ineligible to apply for the Award for Exceptional Contribution for Learning (as is the case for UCD faculty).
No, previous recipients of a University level award, the highest level of award for teaching and learning excellence conferred by UCD, are not eligible to reapply for a UCD Teaching and Learning Award at either college or university level. Your nominations will be recorded and notified to you for information only.
No, previous recipients of a University level award, regardless of award type, are not eligible to reapply for a UCD Teaching and Learning Award at either College or University level. Your nominations will be recorded and notified to you for information only.
You may be eligible to apply, depending on which awards cycle you were previously successful. If you were awarded your College level Teaching and Learning award in the last cycle (i.e. 2021-22) you are ineligible to apply in 2023-24. College awardees from earlier cycles (i.e. pre-2021-22) are eligible to apply in 2023-24.
Only one application is permissible.
No, the UCD Teaching and Learning awards are based on individual nomination and application. If you choose to apply you must submit an individual application.
Whilst it may be appropriate in some instances to refer to work or professional development undertaken prior to joining UCD, examples and evidence presented in your application should concentrate on your teaching and learning contributions in UCD.
The maximum number of words is 2000 for the Teaching Excellence Award and 1200 for the Award for Exceptional Contribution to Learning.
No, in the case of both applications the synopsis is over and above the maximum specified word count of 1200 for Exceptional Contribution to Learning application and 2000 for Teaching Excellence application.
The application is intended to be a text-based application with a maximum total word count specified for each application type (refer to preceding question). You may choose to include a table and or figure to illustrate a key point or present evidence, however, the total word count of your application includes all words (and numbers) including those presented in a table and or figure. Failure to comply with the word count may result in your application being deemed ineligible. This is in the interest of fairness to all applicants.
No, web links are considered supplementary information to the application and therefore should not be included. The inclusion of web links may result in your application being deemed ineligible. This is in the interest of fairness to all applicants.
Yes, it is not possible to upload files greater than 7MB in size.
In relation to each of the closing dates for applications (i.e. stage 2 and stage 3), the system will accept applications up until 12 midnight on the specified closing date, i.e. the system will accept applications up until 23:59:59 on the specified closing date and will stop accepting applications at 00:00:00.