Selection Process

Background to the 2021 awards 

During March to May 2021, students were asked (via an independent survey) to nominate an inspirational teacher and/or someone who had made a similar contribution to their experience outside the classroom. Students were also asked to provide a comment in support of their nomination.  

Research students were asked to nominate inspirational research supervisors through the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES).

TNE students were asked to make nominations for inspirational teaching awards for overseas partners through the TNE Student Experience Survey. The selection processes are similar to those outlined below.   

Inspirational Teaching, Outstanding Student Support and Outstanding Academic Adviser Nominations 

A total of 2671 nominations were received nominating 892 individual staff for either an inspirational teaching award, outstanding student support or outstanding academic advising across all Colleges and Directorates.  The number of nominations was comparable with the previous year (2479 nominations / 840 individual staff). 

The selection process for the Inspirational Teaching Awards has followed the same methodology as previous years.  

During July 2021, each College convened a panel to consider their nominations and used the criteria below to assess the impact the nominees have had on their students. Nominations were anonymised so that individual staff could not be identified. Each College made 12 awards, and these went forward as nominations for a University Inspirational Teaching Award. Similarly, 2 staff  were each given a College Award for Outstanding Student Support and 6 for Outstanding Academic Adviser were nominated for a University Award.  A further 6 awards were made for Outstanding Student Support within Directorates, which were also nominated for a University Award.  

In total 36 staff have been nominated for a University Inspirational Teaching Award, 18 staff for a University Outstanding Academic Adviser Award, and 12 staff for a University Outstanding Student Support Award. 

The University Panel met on 26 August 2021 chaired by Neil McKay (Dean of Students) along with Emma Heron (Head of Teaching and Learning Enhancement, SSA), Marissa Hill (Head of Disabled Student Support ), Melissa Jacobi  (Head of Academic Advising), Mel Lindley (Head of Teaching and Learning Enhancement, HWLS), John Pymm (Director of Academic Development and Diversity).  Rebecca Hodgson (Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, SSA) and Sam Giove (Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning, BTE) also contributed to the panel. 

Inspirational Teaching (Overseas Partner) Nominations

A total of 323 nominations were received nominating 75 individual staff across five overseas partners, including those from Sheffield Hallam University who teach on overseas partner courses.

The University Panel met on 20 August 2021 chaired by Neil McKay (Dean of Students) along with John Pymm (Director of Academic Development and Diversity), Praise Ishola (President, Students’ Union), Bee Yee Gan (Head of Global Academic Development) and Kate Morse (Associate Dean, Global and Academic Partnerships, BTE).


Inspirational Teaching Award

  1. Fostering enthusiasm for their subject and inspiring student engagement with learning  
  2. Raising academic attainment by challenging students to achieve their full potential  
  3. Transformational impact on students in their transition in, through and out of their programme of study. 

 Outstanding Student Support

  1. Supporting students and enabling them to achieve 
  2. Impact on student retention and progression 
  3. Providing exceptional support above and beyond what might normally be expected. 

Outstanding Academic Advising

  1. Provided outstanding personalised guidance and support to aid academic progression including signposting to additional support mechanisms as required 
  2. Had a transformational impact on students being able to identify and articulate their personal/professional strengths and areas for development 
  3. Provided exemplary support for pastoral needs by signposting to additional support as required in a timely and sympathetic way 

Inspirational Research Supervisors

A total of 122 nominations were received from students, nominating 88 staff for an Inspirational Research Supervisor Award.  The nominations were considered by a panel chaired by Professor Doug Cleaver, Director of Doctoral School.

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