Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence

The Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence are the University of Adelaide’s premier learning and teaching awards.

They recognise the contributions made to student learning by both academic and professional staff, and reward the University’s highest achievers in teaching, support of teaching, and supervisory practices.  

All applications for Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence will be assessed by a Selection Panel convened by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) on the evidence provided in support of the criteria for each category. The application must demonstrate that the contribution has been sustained for a period of no less than three years.

The Stephen Cole the Elder Awards were established through bequest made to the University of Adelaide by a descendant of Stephen Cole the Elder, pioneer South Australian colonist. The Stephen Cole the Elder Awards were first presented in 1991.

Key dates

Award categories

  • Excellence in Teaching and Support for Learning
  • Excellence in the Leadership, Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
  • Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice

It is anticipated that at least one award will be made in each of the three categories; however, the Selection Panel reserves the right to award in fewer in than three categories should the selection criteria not be met.

Detailed information on each of the three categories, along with the selection criteria, is outlined in the 2021 Guidelines document.

Prizes

Up to four Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence will be offered in 2021, and recipients will be awarded $8,000 (payment made via staff project codes, not as a cash payment).

Each year, one application may also be selected to receive the Vice-Chancellor and President’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and will receive an additional $2000 in prize money.

All applications must be supported by a formal nomination. Both individuals and teams may be nominated in any category.

PLEASE NOTE:  A copy of your most recent SELT results, from the past two years will be obtained and supplied to the selection committee, who will include this in their assessment of your application.

Information for applicants

The following information is also outlined in the 2021 Guidelines document.  Please also feel free to contact the Teaching Excellence team for information and/or support with your submission.

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  • Eligibility

    Please ensure you read and understand all the eligibility requirements listed below:

    • Applications are open to all academic and professional staff members,  including clinical, affiliate and adjunct title holders
    • Staff must have been employed for a minimum of three years at the University of Adelaide
    • Both individual and team applications are encouraged - however, ALL team members must meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Recipients of a Stephen Cole Award are eligible to re-apply five years after receiving the Award.
    • All applicants for a Stephen Cole Award must have the support of a formal nomination, which must come from managers, senior managers, and educational leaders, including Deans, Directors, Postgraduate Coordinators, Heads of School/Discipline, and Faculty/School Managers.  These people must be in a supervisory role to the applicant and not a work colleague or student.
    • HDR Supervisory Practice applications are restricted to applicants who are categorised as either a Mentor or Principal Supervisor A in the SCRS. 
    • HDR Supervisors assigned to the Category of Principal Supervisor C who satisfy the minimum three year employment requirement may also apply.
    • Applicants must be able to demonstrate at least 3 years of continued teaching excellence, supported by a variety of solid evidence
  • The nomination process

    Nominations are now closed for the 2021 season.

    All Stephen Cole applications require the support of a formal nomination.

    Nominations are invited from Executive Deans, Dean of Graduate Studies, Associate/Deputy Deans, HDR Convenors, Postgraduate Coordinators, Heads of School/Discipline, Faculty/School Managers, and Directors.

    Nominators are required to complete a nomination form which includes a brief (100 word) statement in support of their nominee.

  • Resources for applicants

    2021 Workshop Slides

    View the slides from the August workshop

    Mentors

    Depending on their availability, you can also be matched with a mentor (previous recipient) who can review your submission and provide editing advise. Please contact us to find out more.

    View former winning submissions

    A selection of previous applications are available for viewing.

  • Your application

    Each application for a Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence in Teaching must include the following FIVE elements:

    1. Online application form (including details of two referees and a 75 word summary) 
    2. Written statement (no more than eight pages, minimum 11pt font) addressing the selection criteria.
    3. Curriculum vitae (no more than four pages)
    4. Optional supporting materials
    5. Endorsement contact information

    Detailed information about each of these four steps is located in the Guidelines document.

    Application Form

    This year your application must be submitted via an online form.  We will then write to your nominated endorser to ensure your application has been officially endorsed.  Applications without endorsement will not be submitted to the selection panel.

    Written Statement

    The written statement is the central element of the application. It provides the opportunity for candidates to describe their activities and achievements, and specifically address the selection criteria for the relevant category. The written statement should written by the applicant/s, and the majority of the written statement should be devoted to addressing each of the selection criteria for your category in turn. The application should demonstrate a reflective approach, in which the applicant/s not only describe the nature of the activities, but demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the impact that the activities have had on student learning.

    Your written statement can be a maximum of eight pages, with a minimum font size of 11pt Calibri or Arial.

    Written applications must address the selection criteria outlined the guidelines document.

    Don't forget to check out our Resources for Applicants page, where you can view successful applications and receive tips and tricks for collecting evidence and how to write reflectively.

    Curriculum vitae

    The curriculum vitae should outline the applicant’s educational qualifications, career history, and roles and responsibilities in learning and teaching and/or supervisory practice. The curriculum vitae is limited to four A4 pages for nominations from individuals. Teams may extend this limit, but a limit of one extra page per team member is recommended.

    Optional supporting materials

    Selection is based primarily on the written statement addressing the selection criteria. However, applicants may include selected teaching materials that are explicitly discussed within the written statement. Printed supporting material should be included in the application package (maximum four pages); digital material should be accessible via URL links within the written statement (maximum four links).

    Endorsement

    The completed application must have the endorsement of one of the following: Executive Dean, Dean of Graduate Studies, HDR Convenor, Postgraduate Coordinator, Associate/Deputy Dean, Head of School, Head of Department/Discipline, Faculty Manager, or Line Manager.

    The Teaching Excellence team will contact the person you elect to endorse your application, so please ensure that they are aware of your request and that they have been provided with a copy of your written statement in preparation for our request.

  • Selection Criteria

    All applications for Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence will be assessed by a Selection Panel convened by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) on the evidence provided in support of the criteria for each category. The application must demonstrate that the contribution has been sustained for a period of no less than three years.

    In assessing applications against the selection criteria, the Selection Panel will take into account:

    • the extent to which the claims for excellence are supported by formal and informal evaluation
    • the extent to which the approaches and activities described enhance the student learning experience
    • the extent of creativity, imagination or innovation represented by the application, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments.
  • HDR Supervisory Practice Category

    Applicants in this category are required to supply a copy of their individual supervision dashboard from the Supervisor Classification and Reporting System (SCRS). Applicants are also encouraged to consider the following sources of evidence, in addition to those listed above:

    • Examiners’ reports which reflect on the quality of the theses submitted under their supervision, together with an indication of any Doctoral or Master by Research medals and/or Dean’s Commendations for HDR Thesis Excellence awarded.
    • HDR publications and career outcomes

Previous recipients

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  • Vice-Chancellors award for excellence recipients

    Year Name Area
    2020 Associate Professor Lyndsey Collins-Praino Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    2019 Dr Beth Loveys and Dr Karina Riggs (team) School of Agriculture, Food and Wine,
    Faculty of Sciences
    2018 Associate Professor Elizabeth Koch Elder Conservatorium of Music,
    Faculty of Arts
    2017 Professor Peter Hill School of Animal and Veterinary Science,
    Faculty of Sciences
    2016 Professor Michael Liebelt Faculty of ECMS
  • 2020 recipients

    Name Area Award
    Dr Benito Cao School of Social Sciences,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in Teaching and the Support for Learning
    Associate Professor Lyndsey Collins-Praino

    Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

    Excellence in Teaching and the Support for Learning

    Associate Professor Melissa Nursey-Bray School of Social Science, Faculty of Arts Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
    Professor Amanda Page Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Science Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
  • 2019 recipients

    Name Area Award
    Dr Hong Cai School of Social Sciences,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in Teaching
    Dr Frank Donnelly School of Nursing,
    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    Excellence in the Leadership.
    Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
    Dr Karina Riggs and
    Dr Beth Loveys (team)
    School of Agriculture, Food and Wine,
    Faculty of Sciences
    Excellence in the Leadership.
    Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
    Dr Susan Hemer School of Social Sciences,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
  • 2018 recipients

    Name Area Award
    Associate Professor Corinna Van Den Heuvel Adelaide Medical School,
    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    Excellence in the Leadership,
    Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
    Associate Professor Elizabeth Koch Elder Conservatorium of Music,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in Teaching and Support for Learning
    Dr Claudia Szabo School of Computer Science,
    Faculty of ECMS
    Excellence in Teaching and Support for Learning
    Professor Christophe Fumeaux School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
    Faculty of ECMS
    Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
  • 2017 recipients

    Name Area Award
    Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk School of Humanities,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
    Associate Professor Cathy Snelling and Associate Professor Sophie Karanicolas Adelaide Dental School,
    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    Excellence in the Leadership,
    Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
    Professor Peter Hill School of Animal and Veterinary Science,
    Faculty of Sciences
    Excellence in Teaching and Support for Learning
  • 2016 recipients

    Name Area Award
    Professor Gordon Howarth School of Animal and Veterinary Science,
    Faculty of Sciences
    Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
    Professor Megan Lewis School of Biological Sciences,
    Faculty of Sciences
    Excellence in HDR Supervisory Practice
    Professor Michael Liebelt School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering,
    Faculty of ECMS
    Excellence in the Leadership,
    Support and Enhancement of Teaching Practice
    Dr Joy McEntee School of Humanities,
    Faculty of Arts
    Excellence in Teaching and Support for Learning