Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence

2023 Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Teaching Excellence Information Sessions - registrations now open!

The Stephen Cole the Elder Award for Excellence, are awarded to the University’s highest achievers in teaching, support of teaching, and supervisory practices, and recognise the contributions made to student learning by both academic and professional staff.

Whether you are ready to apply in 2023, or would like to prepare yourself for a future application, this one hour, lunchtime  session will provide:

  • advice on selection criteria and eligibility
  • advice on generating, collating and presenting evidence to best demonstrate your impact
  • information on writing for this particular genre
  • important tips on aspects of a winning submission

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

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.

These awards 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 are 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.

Read about the 2022 recipients of the Stephen Cole the Elder award.

 

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 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 2022 Guidelines document.

Prizes

Up to four Stephen Cole the Elder Awards for Excellence will be offered in 2022, and recipients will be awarded $8,000 (payment made via staff project codes, not as a cash payment).

Vice-Chancellor and President’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

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 $2,000 in prize money.

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


Information for applicants

The following information is also outlined in the 2022 Guidelines document.  Please also feel free to contact the Teaching Excellence team for information and/or support with your submission.

  • 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 (full time equivalent) at the University of Adelaide.
    • 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

    • 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.

    Team submissions

     

    • Team submissions can only include members with a contribution of 10 per cent or higher. This means that the maximum number of team members is 10.
    • No member of the team should have been awarded a Stephen Cole award within the past five years.
    • The ‘team lead’ should submit the application.  This person should be the staff member with the greatest level of contribution, or the highest joint contribution. This person will need to meet all other eligibility criteria (length of employment).
    • Nominators should mention that they are nominating for the team, but note who the team lead is. Nominations for individuals can not be accepted for team submissions.
    • Team submissions must be accompanied by a 'team statement of contribution', which is restricted to one A4 page and should include:
      • Name and indication of the percentage contribution of each team member (in order from highest to lowest). Note that team members are required to have a contribution of 10 per cent or higher, with a maximum of 10 team members.
      • An explanation of the role of each team member
  • The nomination process

    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.

    Nominations have now closed for 2022 submissions.

  • Resources for applicants

    2022 Workshop 

    2022 online presentation (Zoom recording)

    2022 PowerPoint slides

    Mentors

    Depending on their availability, you can also be matched with a mentor (previous recipient) who can review your submission and provide editing advice. 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 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. Statement of contribution (no more than one page) - for team submissions only

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

    Application Form

    Your application must be submitted via an online form. 

    Please ensure you have prepared all the required documentation PRIOR to completing the form, as any progress can not be saved.

    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).

    Examples of supporting materials could include, testimonials (letters), employer feedback, SELT data, unsolicited feedback (in the form of an email etc.), teaching materials, photographs, printed articles, survey results

  • 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 consider:

    • 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