Teaching Awards 2020. Nominations open 4-28 May.

Introduction to the Awards


The Students’ Union and The Students’ Guild have co-hosted the student-led Teaching Awards for the last 11 years to provide all students with the ability to reward and to recognise members of University staff who have demonstrated exceptional teaching, research and support, and facilitate the promotion of best practice from across the University.

Whether it’s a lecturer who inspires and engages you through their innovative approach to education, a lab technician or teaching administrator who helps to make your time at Exeter great, a staff member whose guidance and concern for your welfare has been exceptional, or anyone who has gone the extra mile to help you reach your full potential, we want to hear from you!

Please note these awards are open to nomimations from Exeter students only

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Award Categories

All students can nominate staff in the following categories:


Outstanding Pastoral Support

The person who encourages you to achieve your best results possible, a true pastoral guide to your academic achievement.

Staff you might nominate: Personal Tutor, PhD Mentor, Peer Support; this includes support from PGT and PGR students for undergraduates in taught programmes.



Inspirational Teaching

The teacher who encourages you to go beyond your limits and engages you in a subject at a level which you didn’t expect.

Staff you might nominate: Lecturer, Seminar Leader (includes PhD students who are teaching assistants and lab techs) – anyone who teaches, including specialist delivery like the Researcher Development programme for PhD students.



Outstanding Supervisor

The Supervisor who engages your interest in research methods or research topics beyond the level you expected to achieve.

Staff you might nominate: Supervisors of research projects at every level, including Dissertations at undergraduate and masters level, and Thesis work at PhD.



"College Star" Award

The staff member in your discipline or academic College or Hub service who remembers your name, has a smile for you and keeps you going when the going gets tough!

Staff you might nominate: Any staff, in any function including teaching and administrative. This award is for any University staff member who gives localised service which enables students to really get the most out of their education experience.



“Extra Mile” Award

Any member of staff across the entire organisation who has gone the “extra mile” to make a major difference to your individual student experience.

Staff you might nominate: The person who ‘saved’ your degree! Any staff, in any function including teaching and administrative, and the two Students’ Unions, without whom you would have considered binning the whole thing off.



We expect to be able to short-list for a winner of each Award category from each academic college; including the Doctoral College. The “Extra Mile” Award will be short-listed by campus for Penryn, Streatham and St Luke’s.

Example Nominations

"Every lecture is delivered with humor and with clear enthusiasm and deep insight into the topic area. Lectures are full of small interesting and/or funny anecdotes which are much appreciated after a long day and make for an excellent lecturing style. This has made A a very approachable lecturer and this is reflected in his thoroughness in answering students' questions within lectures and via email. Lectures also have lot of current and up to date research, some of which has been conducted by UofE, allowing us to sample more of what research is conducted here. The practical classes allow students to engage with a wide variety of techniques in experimental evolution and the assessments encourage, not only scientific writing (lab report) but also original thought (experiment design) which is imperative for careers in academia."
"As a minority student, I found S's teaching refreshing as she goes out of her way to diversify the curriculum, which is normally highly rooted in western and male scholarship. S goes the extra mile to use literature by female academics and most importantly, she encourages and welcomes differing schools of thought which are not western. For example, we she showed a film screening which celebrated African feminist agency- an often overlooked narrative. As a black female student, it was inspiring to see women like myself participate in political agency which I have often attributed to white feminism. I am deeply appreciative of S for integrating minority and gender inclusive narratives in the curriculum."
"X always gives lectures with a lot of enthusiasm and passion, which is very inspiring. He likes to get us engaged by asking us questions, and to add to the purely technical content of the lectures by giving us extra information on the background and application of renewable energy or engineering. These are things that wouldn't be considered "needed for the exam" but that give us a greater understanding of the context of what we are studying. He also always brings his "toys", which I haven't seen any other lecturer ever do. These are generally his children's toys, or objects he has found or engineering gadgets, and he uses them to demonstrate what we are studying, eg, model cars and a track with a full loop to show us centripetal forces. He always openly tries to get us to engage with it, and get us interested in just looking around and finding any engineering feat exciting. He also checks that we understand rather than just learn. It seems his main purpose is to make engineers out of us, not to simply give us lectures, and he achieves that by his contagious enthusiasm and constant comparison to real-life situations. A lecture with X is never boring, even if the material has been covered before."
"In his module, X has made academic research approachable, understandable and exciting throughout each of his lectures. Every hypothesis and theory is illustrated with examples from current research, such as the theories behind ageing e.g. Disposable soma, mutation accumulation ect. Examples in lectures are also fully and clearly explained, with great enthusiasm which solidates our understanding. Extra papers are provided on ELE for further reading and he actively encourages students to use these to find more papers themselves (e.g. through WebofKnowledge). We are also encouraged to critically analyse the current research area, e.g, the need for more longitudinal studies/non-model organisms in ageing research, which brings in skills from other modules (critical thinking). As we have to write a Press Release for the main assignment, we are able to go through a singular current and relevant research article in great depth and synthesise it into an understandable journal piece- this skill is further transferable for scientific communications in research careers. Overall, through his application and utilisation of current research within his lectures, X has provided his students with transferable skills across all modules- most importantly critical and original thinking which is invaluable for a scientific career- and has imbued students with the enthusiasm to engage with research within and outside of their degree."