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The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NFTS) celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in higher education. This esteemed national award is the result of a highly competitive process and each year up to 55 awards are made.

On securing this award, Dr Paul Joseph-Richard said:

“I am delighted and deeply humbled to learn that I have been honoured with a National Teaching Fellowship award for being an inclusive teacher. This recognition would not have been possible without the unwavering support and guidance from the UU Business School.

“I am immensely grateful to the Senior Management Team Prof. Durkin and Dr. Boyd, and fellow educators, internal and external mentors, and, most importantly, the incredible students that I teach, for their constant encouragement and belief in my approach to personalising inclusion in classrooms and beyond.  Your collective efforts have been instrumental in shaping my journey as an inclusive teacher.

“I am committed to continuing my efforts in fostering an atmosphere of understanding, empathy, and acceptance, where every student feels valued and empowered to reach their full potential.  This award will help my colleagues and I get the backing to further develop our Special Interest Group on Inclusive Teaching (SIGIT) to support particularly those students with visible and non-visible disabilities to learn, work and live better.

“Let us together strive for a brighter future, where every learner thrives regardless of their background or abilities.”

Dr Paul Joseph-Richard began his full-time academic career at Solent University in 2015 and joined Ulster University in 2018, having worked as a Human Resource Management (HRM) professional for 25 years, in various organisations, both in India and the UK. Currently, he has responsibility for teaching HRM modules to undergraduates, postgraduates and executive leaners enrolled in the university’s HRM degrees and in Executive MBA programmes.

He also acts as Placement Tutor, with a strategic responsibility for developing employability skills so that undergraduate HRM students secure a year-long compulsory placement in year 3 and that they return to university for their final year.

Paul is keen to develop the employability skills of all HRM students, with a specific focus on students with disabilities, who find multiple barriers to gain placements and employment.  This effort is in support of the university’s focus on widening access, and its impact is evident, with over 400 students, including those who have disabilities, having successfully secured placements. All of these students have returned to their final year sustaining 100% retention.

His work is incorporated into the UU Disability Action Plan and Inclusion Action Plans, supporting the university’s commitment in creating inclusive classrooms and workplaces.

Collaborating with the Harkin Institute, he enables international organisations to create disability-friendly universities, improving the lived experiences of staff and students.

In recognition of this commitment to inclusivity and the impact and value of this approach, he has received Ulster University’s Professional Practice Award (2020), and students nominated him for a Students’ Union Teaching Award (2021). Furthermore, he was nominated for the Early Career Research Excellence Champion Award in 2020 and the 2022 Catalyst Awards in the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Category – for the GradEmployNI programme.

The National Teaching Fellowship is the latest accolade Paul has received in recognition of his commitment to teaching excellence.

On Paul’s NTF award, Professor Odette Hutchinson, PVC - Academic Quality & Student Experience, added:

"The transformative value and impact of Dr Paul Joseph-Richard’s work on participants is immeasurable and as a passionate advocate for inclusion, he is inherently optimistic about our capacity to engage and change.

“Paul has delivered transformative impact through direct involvement with skills development and widening access and participation, and I would like to congratulate him on being awarded a National Teaching Fellowship, in recognition of his commitment as an inclusive, compassionate, critically reflective teacher.

“Paul goes beyond the requirements of his formal role to champion Learning and Teaching and student outcomes by encouraging the development of excellence in others, and his outstanding impact and reach extend nationally and internationally."

Alison Johns, Chief Executive, Advance HE, said:

“Congratulations to all of the new National Teaching Fellows and CATE teams on this prestigious accolade which recognises and rewards their commitment to teaching and learning and the impact it has on student success.

“It is with great pride that we run these awards for the UK higher education sector designed to celebrate these passionate people who make such a difference to students’ education and to the practice of their colleagues. We look forward to working with the new NTFs and CATE winners and sharing their excellent practice with colleagues around the sector.”

Other Advance HE award success:

In the latest Advance HE award announcement, Ulster University’s Person-centred Collaborative Operational Group (Pc-COG), which is part of the School of Nursing and Paramedic Science, was awarded of the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence.

Find out more:

For more information on the National Teaching Fellowships Scheme, visit

Details of all Advance HE NTFS and CATE award recipients are available at

Staff interested in applying can contact Dr Sarah Floyd by email to with any queries.

If you wish to be considered, please complete an initial short Expression of Interest Form by noon on 1 September 2023.