Skip to main content

Teaching Excellence Awards

AdvanceHE run two awards programmes that recognise, celebrate and disseminate teaching excellence in higher education in the UK. 

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) showcase the outstanding impact of individuals and teams who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share their knowledge. 

The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is a nationwide competitive peer-reviewed process for recognising academic and professional services colleagues who have made a significant impact on both student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education. The scheme has been running since 2000 and is operated by Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy). 

All UK higher education providers, who are Full or Associate members of Advance HE, may nominate up to three members of staff who teach and/or support learning in higher education. Individuals selected to enter the NTFS are called ‘nominees’ as their institution has chosen to put them forward for an award via a ‘nomination’.

National Teaching Fellows must demonstrate evidence of:

  • Individual excellence: of enhancing and transforming student outcomes and/or the teaching profession, demonstrating impact commensurate with the individual’s context and the opportunities afforded by it.
  • Raising the profile of excellence: of supporting colleagues and influencing support for student learning and/or the teaching profession; demonstrating impact and engagement beyond the nominee’s immediate academic or professional role.
  • Developing excellence: of the nominee’s commitment to and impact of ongoing professional development with regard to teaching and learning and/or learning support.

Gaining a National Teaching Fellowship has a number of benefits for individuals and their institutions.


Benefits to individuals Benefits to institutions
Achieving a National Teaching Fellowship is widely recognised in higher education within the UK as well as internationally as a mark of quality. Offers an extension to university wide individual recognition schemes, as a means to raise the status of teaching and instil pride in the profession and student outcomes.
The award can help ‘open doors’ to new academic or career opportunities. Showcases the institution’s support of individual teaching excellence and the impact this has on student outcomes.
Award winners join a national community of like-minded professionals who are passionate about teaching excellence. Enables staff to cross boundaries, collaborating with colleagues in other disciplines and areas of work, across institutions nationally and internationally

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning. Introduced in 2016, the scheme highlights the key role of teamwork in Higher Education. Each award will recognise a team which has enabled a change in practice for colleagues and/or students at an institutional or discipline level. Each institution can nominate one team per year.

All teams will be assessed on the evidence provided in the nomination documents in relation to each of the two CATE award criteria:

  • CATE Criterion 1: Excellence in the team’s collaborative approach  Evidence of excellence in the team’s approach to working collaboratively, commensurate with their context and the opportunities afforded by it. 
  • CATE Criterion 2: Excellence in the impact of collaborative working  Evidence of the team having a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning, including beyond their immediate academic or professional area.

Reviewers will be looking for evidence of reach, value and impact to be demonstrated in the evidence provided.

Gaining a CATE has a number of benefits for both individuals and their institutions.

Benefits to teams Benefits to institutions
Provides teams with national recognition and profile of their collaborative work in learning and teaching within higher education. Offers an extension to university wide team-based recognition schemes, as a means to raise the status of learning and teaching.
The award can help ‘open doors’ to new collaborative or career opportunities. Showcases the institution’s support of collaborative approaches to developing teaching excellence and the impact on learning and teaching.
Join a national community of like-minded professionals who are passionate about collaborative approaches to teaching excellence. Enables staff to collaborate and network with colleagues across disciplines, themes, institutions, nations and countries.


Process for 2023/2024



4th September

Expressions of interest launched, where you can access information about the process and download the EOI forms for both NTFS and CATE on the NTFS/CATE SharePoint or book a 121 with the Teaching Excellence Awards Lead and NTF (2022) Kelly-Louise Preece to discuss your EOI 

4th October 2-4pm

18th October 2-4pm

1st November 2-4pm

Expression of interest writing retreats are you interested in submitting an expression of interest this year for NTFS or CATE? Then come along to one of our EOI writing retreats to dedicate some space and time to writing your EOI, and have the opportunity to ask our Teaching Excellence Award Lead and NTF (2022) Kelly-Louise Preece for advice and support.

If you would like to join one of our writing retreats, please email

6th November 2023, 5pm

Deadline for submission of Expression of Interest form (500 words per criterion to give clear sense of reach, value and impact of relevant work, submitted to the Academic Development and Skills team by email to

Mid-late November 2022

Application is reviewed internally to consider the submitted Expression of Interests against the NTF award criteria and select a maximum of 3 NTFS candidates  and 1 CATE team to be supported for the 2024 deadline. 

Early December to 31 January 2024

Nominees draft full claim with support from Academic Development and Skills

31 January 2024 onwards

Nominees introduced to internal mentors and external consultant for further revisions and feedback

Institutional support statements underway in collaboration with nominees, ADEs, and others able to authenticate practice (including Academic Development and Skills requesting quotes where needed)

16 February 2024


Complete draft of applications submitted to the Academic Development (by email to for review by internal reviewers plus external consultant.  

Internal reviewers to take a view on the strength of complete case and confirm support for the 2023 deadline. 

1 March 2024


Complete applications finalised and submitted to Academic Development and Skill (by email to for final checks

6 March 2024

13 March 2024

Final CATE submission via Advance HE portal

Final NTFS submissions via AdvanceHE portal



The scale of influence. Though ‘geographic’ reach may be important for some nominees, it is useful to consider other ways that a nominee can demonstrate reach. Some nominees may demonstrate reach at a department/ faculty/ institution/ national/ global level, for example, but others might provide evidence of how their practice has reached different groups of students, individuals and/or organisations (e.g. postgraduates, commuter students, BAME students, online learners, etc.). 


The benefit derived for students and staff (which may take different forms). Value may include qualitative evidence such as a change in approach to learning among students or staff. For example, evidence may be provided about how the work being described has added value to the student learning experience or to teaching practice. Value may also relate to the quality of enhanced experiences and the meaningfulness of practices. Some nominees may also be working in settings where there are positive explicit ethical elements to their practice. 


The difference that has been made to policy, practice and/or student outcomes in an HE context as the result of an activity. The focus here is on explicit evidence of positive change taking place. Impact evidence can be both quantitative and qualitative, but it is important to show how the activities described have changed teaching practice and/or learning outcomes.