Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)

Are you part of a high performing team?

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrates collaborative work in teaching and learning and captures the creative and innovative practice that positively impacts on the student experience. The awards recognise teams who have made a significant impact on student outcomes and/or enabled a change in practice for colleagues at an institutional or disciplinary/professional level.

Alongside the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS), the CATE carries significant prestige with only 15 teams receiving the award each year across the UK HE sector.  Successful team members are expected to become an ambassador for the scheme and
support the ongoing enhancement of learning and teaching.

The scheme is open to members of staff from all providers of higher education across the four nations of the UK.  Please note that your context is taken into account regarding the range and scope of impact you can be expected to have, which means the award is open to those working in non-teaching academic and professional roles as well as those in academic roles.

As an eligible institution, Sheffield Hallam can submit one nomination for a CATE each year.

Applying for the CATE: 

A case is made for excellence focused on two criteria:

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.  This effectively means that excellence is measured  in relation to what your place/context within the University enables you to do and doesn’t favour those in more senior roles.

This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of excellence in terms of:

  • having a clear set of aims, objectives and rationale for the team’s approach and how the group constitutes a team and developed as a team;
  • demonstrating direct engagement of students within or with the team;
  • illustrating how the team has contributed to wider thematic and sector priorities, for example, assessment and feedback; retention, employability, staff development; students as partners; technology and social media;
  • working collaboratively with a range of stakeholder groups;
  • embedding practices across different programmes, disciplines, campuses or institutions;
  • being flexible and creative in working to address unanticipated situations or events;
  • measuring the impact or outcomes of collaborative work.

Criterion 2: Excellence in the impact of collaborative working

Evidence of the team having a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning beyond their immediate academic or professional area. This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of:

  • the reach of the team’s work;
  • the benefit or value derived from working as a team;
  • the impact of supporting colleagues and/or influencing support for student learning;
  • the impact on student learning or outcomes;
  • the impact of any outcomes/outputs of collaborative work.
Submission process for 2024

An online briefing session will be held on Monday 3 July 2023, 2.00-3.30pm for anyone interested in finding out more about the CATE and submission process (please email to book a place).

Teams who are interested in being selected by the University to submit for the CATE in 2024 (or beyond) are asked to complete an initial expression of interest outlining how you meet the criteria detailed above and what evidence you can call on in support of your application.

Please submit your expression of interest no later than Friday 15 September 2023 to

Download the CATE 2024 Expression of Interest Form [Word doc]

As this is a highly competitive and demanding process we recommend that you consider carefully the evidence that you have against the criteria to decide whether your team has a reasonable chance of being selected as a nominee and what further development and support may be required. Shortlisted teams will be supported by a mentor.

The final date for submission by eligible institutions is expected to be in March 2024. This will be confirmed once we receive the relevant information from Advance HE.

Further information & resources

Advance HE website – Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

Advance HE – Insight into the award criteria (video series)

Advance HE – guidance for CATE team applications 2023

Find out more about Sheffield Hallam’s 2020 CATE winners:  Venture Matrix

The CATE Collection: Together in Collaborative Educational Leadership (a publication examining the what, why, how and who of the CATE and aims to inspire aspiring CATE Teams or anyone interested in collaborative ways of working in higher education)

Subscribe to the Association of NTF and CATE blog (UK network – news, publications and events)