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 significant impact on student outcomes and/or enabled a change in practice for colleagues at an institutional or disciplinary/professional level.

The awards were piloted in 2016 by the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) alongside the well-established National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS).  The CATE carries significant prestige and successful teams are expected to engage in the dissemination of their practice both institutionally and across the sector.

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

Although the expression of interest deadline for 2022 has now passed, we are always keen to hear at any time from teams who are interested in the CATE.

If you would like an initial conversation about your team’s work and the award process, please contact us at

Information for the 2023 submission round will be published here when available, and briefing sessions for interested staff will be held in Summer 2022.

Further information & useful links

Advance HE website – Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence

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

Advance HE – guidance for CATE team applications 2022

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

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