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What is it for?

The Early Career Educator Award is awarded to individuals who have been teaching/supporting learning in HE for five years or less and can demonstrate an outstanding contribution to learning, teaching and/or assessment practice within the University.

In particular, the individual’s contribution will be directly related to the Educational Excellence themes and priorities within the University’s strategy and will focus on an initiative that demonstrates effective problem solving, enhancement, or innovation in L&T.

The purpose of the award is to recognise, reward and celebrate our Early Career Educators in teaching/ supporting learning excellence and to create a proactive learning community within Ulster.

Up to four awards are normally available and the award of £800 to successful applicants should be used to support the recipients’ CPD in learning and teaching.

Early Career Educator Award recipients will be expected to share their experience and practice with colleagues at Ulster.

Who is eligible?

  • Any member of staff who teaches or supports learning at Ulster University and has been teaching/ supporting learning in HE for five years or fewer.
  • Applicants should have achieved FHEA at the time of making their application.

Applicants should provide a 2000-word Reflective Statement and Case Study on their particular contribution to excellence in teaching/ learning support through an innovation which has had a transformative effect on student learning.

Submissions should be endorsed by the applicant’s Line Manager to confirm the veracity of the claims made within the application.

How is the award judged?

The award scheme is judged by a panel including the PVC Academic Quality and Student Experience, all Associate Dean(s) (Academic Quality and Student Experience), representatives of CHERP, the Awards’ Manager, representative University National Teaching Fellows and the President of UUSU.


The Assessment Panel will be looking for applicants’ ability to:

  • Show evidence of an initiative that demonstrates effective problem solving, enhancement, or innovation in L&T that aligns to University L&T priorities
  • Support the claim with independent evidence, such as testimonials (particularly from students), supporting data and/or evidence of effectiveness and impact – (evidence should be integrated throughout the claim and contributes to the word count.)
  • Demonstrate clearly how their approach and the initiative goes beyond that which would be expected of a ‘good teacher’ and adds something novel, enhancing, or innovative to teaching/ supporting learning in their area.
  • Be underpinned by relevant references to the professional knowledge base in HE academic practice as evidence of scholarship in learning and teaching.
  • Include Reflection on, or evidence of, how their approach and practices have begun to have impact within the broader learning community that is beyond their own classroom/teaching.

When to apply

  • Applications should be received by the next deadline TBC
  • Submission as a single PDF File via the Award Dropbox on BBL

Early Career Educator Excellence Award Winners

2023-24 Winners

2022 Winners

2021 Winners

2019/2020 Winners

2018/2019 Winner