Recognising Teaching Excellence

advance HE

Forthcoming Events

NTFs and CATE winners Annual Symposium April 27

NTF and CATE showcase event and launch of the 2022 internal selection process Tuesday 4th May 13:00-14:00, for Manchester Met staff

NTF/CATE information session Tuesday 11th May 13:00-14:00, for Manchester Met staff

National Teaching Fellowship

The National Teaching Fellowship awards were introduced by the Higher Education Academy (now AdvanceHE) in 2000. It is a highly competitive scheme and a prestigious award recognised nationally and internationally. Up to 55 HE practitioners receive this award annually for their excellent contributions to learning and teaching in Higher Education from across the UK. Today, there are over 900 NTFs. Beyond the recognition, the NTF offers unique opportunities to collaborate with like-minded individuals in a growing community of passionate learning and teaching practitioners from a wide range of disciplines and professional areas. New NTFs join the Association for National Teaching Fellows.

The NTF award has helped outstanding practitioners to advance their career and become champions for teaching excellence within their institutions and further afield and inspire colleagues. See the AdvanceHE NTF pages for more information about the scheme and follow the @heaacademy on Twitter for updates. 'Enhancing the Impact of National Teaching Fellows: Critical Success Factors' is a research paper published by AdvanceHE which examines what makes a difference in successfully developing the impact of NTFs within and beyond the institution.


NTF criteria

All nominee claims will be assessed on the evidence provided in relation to each of the three NTFS award criteria:

NTFS Criterion 1: Individual excellence
Evidence 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.

NTFS Criterion 2: Raising the profile of excellence
Evidence 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.

NTFS Criterion 3: Developing excellence
Show the nominee’s commitment to and impact of ongoing professional development with regard to teaching and learning and/or learning support. Reviewers will be looking for evidence of reach, value and impact to be demonstrated within the narrative presented in Section B. Please note that each of the three award criteria above is given equal consideration in the assessment process and weighted equally in the overall score.

Reach, Value and Impact

Reviewers will be looking for evidence that demonstrates the reach, value and impact of the nominee’s practice. Nominees should be mindful of this requirement and aim to provide evidence that demonstrates a balance of these three qualities across the claim.

Reach - 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.).s

Value - 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.

Impact - The difference that has been made to policy, practice and/or student outcomes 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.

How to apply for a National Teaching Fellowship »


A recording of our 2020 NTF and CATE celebrations and the launch of the 2021 internal selection process that took place on the 21st of September 2021 with Prof. Helen Laville (PVC Education), Prof. Kevin Singh (NTF) and this year’s winners Dr Theresa Nicholson (NTF) and MetMUnch (CATE) represented by Jas Smith and Salma Miyan:


Stories from existing National Teaching Fellows

The Higher Education Academy has created a set of short videos featuring some of the 2018 NTFS and CATE award winners:


The Association of National Teaching Fellows blog has an article: What do people get out of being a National Teaching Fellow?


NTFs at Manchester Met

All of the current Manchester Met Fellows are happy to mentor aspiring NTFs and offer support with applications. Click on a Fellow for further details about their areas of interest and contact details.

Theresa Nicholson
Dr Theresa Nicholson 2020

Chrissi Nerantzi
Dr Chrissi Nerantzi 2015

Kevin Singh
Professor Kevin Singh 2015

kirsten jack
Prof Kirsten Jack 2014

Current role: Reader (Education and Pedagogy), Department Education Lead
Focus of NTF application: design and delivery of inclusive curricula, student engagement and belonging, innovation and technology-enhanced learning.
Twitter id: @ThezzaNicholson
Manchester Met profile page

Dr Theresa Nicholson is a Reader (Higher Education and Pedagogy) and Education Lead for the Department of Natural Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Theresa is an AdvanceHE National Teaching Fellow (2020) and an HEA Principal Fellow. Theresa is best known for her passionate advocacy of inclusive learning and teaching and for driving forward the University’s commitments around equality, diversity and inclusion. She is a steering committee member for the national charity Diversity in Geoscience UK, and at Manchester Met, is the Faculty’s Equality and Diversity Champion. Theresa has developed University policy around inclusive practice and created a staff development game Diversity Dash! She contributes to a Faculty working group seeking to address the Award Gap (BAME, BTEC) and to the University’s Inclusive Learning Community.

Theresa has pioneered many curriculum innovations and her signature pedagogy is characterised by student-centred, active, authentic learning that builds-in flexible assessment, aligning learning with students’ aspirations, motivations and interests. She is working with the Faculty Educational Change Workstream to embed an active futures pedagogy across curricula in the Science and Engineering New Build.

Theresa’s primary research interests draw together the strands of curriculum design and inclusive learning and teaching, and she has published widely on aspects of creativity and peer learning in assessment; student engagement and belonging; technology-enhanced learning; inclusive student partnership; and support for d/Deaf and disabled students. She is currently researching synergies between enquiry-based learning and global citizenship, and their potential for supporting diversity awareness and enhancing graduate outcomes.

Keywords: Inclusion, Curriculum , Enquiry-Based Learning, Education for Sustainable Development, Technology-Enhanced Learning

Current role: Principal Lecturer in Academic CPD
Focus of NTF application: creativity and open education
Twitter id: @chrissinerantzi
Personal website/institutional page
HEA Fellowship page

Chrissi is a Principal Lecturer in Academic CPD in the University Teaching Academy at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has academic leadership of the Good Practice Exchange, Communities and Networks, is the institutional lead for NTF and CATE submissions, teaches on the PgCert and the MA in Higher Education, is the Faculty link for the Arts and Humanities Faculty and developed and leads FLEX since 2014 an openly licensed practice-based professional development initiative with formal and informal pathways that has inspired colleagues to adapt FLEX for students. Chrissi is pioneering a wide range of creative, innovative, open and collaborative approaches to learning, teaching and assessment across the institution, including the use of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, learning through making and play and storytelling. Her research interests include, creativity, open education, cross-boundary collaborative learning and communities. She collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally in these areas.

Chrissi is a UK HEA National Teaching Fellow (2015), HEA Principal Fellow (PFHEA), Senior Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SFSEDA), a Member of ALT (CMALT) and a Global OER Graduate Network Fellow and the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year 2017. Chrissi is also an HEA Accreditor and a member of the Advisory Board of the award winning UNESCO programme Open Education for a Better World as well as the global mentor co-ordinator of this programme. She is the co-founder of the highly successful international Learning and Teaching in Higher Education tweetchat (#LTHEchat); the founder of the international community Creativity for Learning in Higher Education with 11 member institutions and the co-founder of Creative Academic that promotes creativity globally and publishes the Creative Academic Magazine. Chrissi has developed and funded a series openly licensed courses such as the Flexible, Online and Distance Learning (FDOL), Bring Your Own Devices for Learning (BYOD4L) and the Flexible, Open and Social Learning (FOS) that have been offered by multiple institutions for staff and students.

Keywords: open education, collaborative learning, creativity, storytelling, flexible learning

Current role: Head of Manchester School of Architecture
HEA Fellowship page

My NTF application was set against the context of The Wilson review of Business-University collaboration (2012) as well as the Lord Young Report (2014) which recognised the importance of enterprise education for students in higher education. However, the BIS Enterprise Education Impact in Higher and Further Education study (2013) found that the majority of such activities are based in business subjects rather than in creative subjects such as Architecture. Furthermore, the all-party parliamentary group for micro-businesses report An Education System fit for an Entrepreneur (2014) recommended that Universities be encouraged and supported in embedding an enterprise education culture for all students.

Although this kind of approach is widely recognised now, when I began my interest in blurring the boundaries between academia and professional practice in the mid to late 1990s, the word “practice”, a focus on employability and “life beyond graduation” was frowned upon in Schools of Architecture which tended to have a trendy predominance of abstract theory and philosophy such as the De-constructivist movement. It has therefore been very rewarding that my agenda has become somewhat mainstream.

During my time as Programme Director and then Head of the Birmingham School of Architecture I led a number of initiatives that included a mandatory work placement in Level 5, live projects, staff consultancy (a pre-cursor to Knowledge Exchange), student teaching assistants, friends of the school scheme, a volunteer critic scheme, passport to practice, into work interviews, architectural synergies industry simulation project, knowledge exchange module with part time students, teaching practices, a Beyond Graduation programme for unemployed students, student led assessment weightings options linked to ownership, and a student engagement policy with the University’s Estates Department projects.

Keywords: Enterprise Education, Industry links, Knowledge Exchange, Employability, Entrepreneurship

Current role: Reader (Learning & Teaching)
A focus of my application was the use of innovative pedagogy to support health professionals to explore and manage their emotions. In the claim, I reflected on how I had used the arts, for example, poetry, to support emotional self-awareness development. This had led to the development of a website, Caring Words, which encourages health care students to share their experiences through reflective poetry writing.
Twitter id: @Heijinxs
HEA Fellowship page

Dr Kirsten Jack is a Professor of Nursing Education at the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care. She was awarded a UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) National Teaching Fellowship in 2014. She is Principal Fellow of the HEA and Fellow of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) and a Senior Fellow of the Staff and Educational Development Association (SFSEDA. Kirsten is the HPSC Faculty Lead for Interprofessional Education and is passionate about the personal and professional development of health and social care students. She has explored the use of the arts to support learning across several contexts, has published extensively on this subject and presented her research at national and international levels. Kirsten is the Northern Hub Lead for Sigma Nursing Society Phi Mu Chapter, an organisation focused on the development of nursing leadership. She is an active member of ISSOTL and sits on the Publications Committee as well as promoting the Fellows Scheme, to support colleagues to develop leadership in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Keywords: Arts; Interprofessional Education; Leadership; Nursing

mark langan
Prof Mark Langan 2013

claire hamshire
Prof Claire Hamshire 2012

jo verran
Prof (Emerita) Jo Verran 2011

Current role: Professor of Higher Education
Focus of NTF application: HE metrics/student surveys, learner autonomy, peer and self-assessment, fieldwork, educational journal editorship
Twitter id: @AMarkLangan
Personal website/institutional page
HEA Fellowship page

I am a biologist that shifted focus from animal ecology research to quantitative explorations of Higher Education. This started within the HEA Biosciences network, sitting on their national committee and editing one of their journals. My research originally relied on applying scientific approaches to explore educational questions and I’m probably best known for work into student survey instruments and their metric outputs. I have also developed metric benchmarking systems (funded by the NHS) and was part of the team that developed the national UKES instrument.

I have longstanding interests in learner autonomy and motivation, linked to my research into both peer/self-assessment and also biological fieldwork. I carried out HEA funded research into learner behaviour and was contracted as researcher of learning gains (funded by Hefce). I have a growing interest in playful pedagogies as one of the co-creators of the Playful Learning conference that has now moved to Leicester University. Recently, I have taken opportunities to explore links between pedagogy and learning spaces (with a new faculty building on the horizon) and also aspects of inclusive learning (such as BAME student success).

My work has often included supporting staff to progress down their own L&T career progression routes, for example helping them to publish educational research. This is a welcome continuation of part of my role as an educational journal editor some years back (2010-2013). I was awarded my NTF in 2013, gained PFHEA status in 2014 and my Chair 2014. My favourite bits – getting away on writing retreats and working with colleagues from other subject areas. On a par for me with being with my students in the field and making up improvised experiments to explore animal ecology and behaviour.

Keywords: student surveys, playful learning, learning gains, fieldwork


Current role: Head of International for the Faculty of Health and Education
Twitter id: @clairehamshire
HEA Fellowship page

Professor Claire Hamshire is a Professor of Higher Education and the Head of International for the Faculty of Health and Education at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), combining a faculty role with a cross-institutional contribution to pedagogical research. She is also a UK HEA National Teaching Fellow (2012), HEA Principal Fellow and the Vice-President for the European Region of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). Within the University Claire has been instrumental in ensuring that the institution puts students’ perspectives at the centre of our teaching and research developments. Her research interests include first-generation students’ experiences, inclusive learning communities, peer-assisted learning, student engagement and learning transitions, and she has research collaborations to explore these areas both nationally and internationally.

Claire is currently leading both the Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) and Inclusive Learning Communities (ILC) projects, with the aim of leading the sector in terms of systematic changes towards inclusion. The PAL project has been instrumental in creating academic support networks for our students. The ILC project builds on the success of the OfS funded Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador Project; and is a partnership with the Students’ Union. The purpose of the project is to change the way BAME and first generation students’ experiences are included in our teaching practices, in order to increase their sense of belonging to our university. Ultimately, both project aim to improve student achievement in terms of progression, degree outcomes and employability, and increase student satisfaction with teaching on their programme.

Current role: Emeritus Professor
The prime focus of my NTF application was the exploration of the use of the arts and humanities for teaching microbiology, and to enhance students’ science communication skills – as well as my own.
Twitter id: @JoVerran

Jo’s award-winning* teaching practice is evidenced by her continued output of peer-reviewed publications, which detail her innovative approaches to the design, delivery and evaluation of student learning and public engagement. She championed group work, transferable skills development, and open-ended, investigative practical classes. She used other disciplines (particularly art) to encourage students to communicate their science. This cross-disciplinary work was a particular focus of her NTF application, developed further for her PFHEA (2016). Jo then used her own skills, and those of her students, in a variety of public engagement/science communication events, for example as part of the Manchester Science Festival. She worked closely with the University’s team on the Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement, and became the faculty lead for Science Communication and Public Engagement (2012-2018) and Head of School of Research, Enterprise and Innovation. Jo supervised postgraduate research students, and was head of the faculty Postgraduate School (2004-2011). She also led research in microbiology, and continues to hold roles of responsibility in several professional microbiology societies, nationally and internationally.

As Emerita Professor (2018), Jo continues to mentor and collaborate with colleagues, and supervise postgraduate students. In addition, she has contributed to several podcasts, festivals and other events, in particular focusing on her Bad Bugs Bookclub (, which encourages scientists and non-scientists to discuss novels of fiction in which infectious disease forms part of the plot – particularly apposite in this pandemic era.

* 2019: AAAS (American Academy for the Advancement of Science) award for Public Engagement with Science; 2012: Heads of University Courses in Biomedical Science Mike Pitillo award for research-informed teaching; 2011: Society for Applied Microbiology public engagement award; 2004: Society for General Microbiology award for innovation in microbiology education.

Keywords: Cross-disciplinary learning and teaching, Science communication, Collaborative learning, Inquiry-based learning, public engagement, microbiology


Former Manchester Met Fellow

nicola whitton
Professor Nicola Whitton 2013

Current role: Director of Durham Centre for Academic Development, Durham University
My NTF application was based around my research and practical work in learning technology, games, and playful approaches to teaching and learning.
Twitter id: @nicwhitton
Personal website: play think learn
HEA Fellowship page


In the video below, Professor Joanna Verran talks about her experience of being a National Teaching Fellow and what impact it has had several years on:


In it together, a Jiscmail mailing list

Following the 2020 NTFS In It Together project, the Committee for the Association of National Teaching Fellows in partnership with Advance HE has established a Jiscmail group to continue our work to ‘lean in’ on the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) agenda. This Jiscmail group aims to raise awareness of the challenges (personal and institutional) to becoming a National Teaching Fellow, and to provide a network of support and action to address barriers.

We hope that this online group will provide an open and safe forum for colleagues to share their ‘lived’ experiences and insights. We also envisage this group will act as a space to organise ‘next steps’ following the 2020 project outcomes. For instance, via this group we will create a mentor network with an EDI lens, to support HE providers to overcome the challenges aspiring NTFs are facing.  

You can join the Jiscmail group at this link