08: QAES Staff Recruitment & Development

Michael Cleary-Gaffney
Michael Cleary-Gaffney
  • Updated

8      Staff Recruitment and Development 8-1

8.1       Recruitment Policy_ 8-1

8.1.1       Introduction_ 8-1

8.1.2       Equal Opportunities 8-1

8.1.3       Data Protection_ 8-2

8.2       Induction Programme_ 8-2

8.2.1       Faculty/Associate Faculty Induction_ 8-2

8.3       Promotion and Progression_ 8-2

8.3.1       Administrative Staff 8-3

8.3.2       Teaching Staff (Faculty) 8-3

8.4       Career and Employment Development Plan_ 8-10

8.4.1       Introduction_ 8-10

8.4.2       Main Features 8-10

8.5       Educational Assistance Policy_ 8-10

8.5.1       Application Procedure for Educational Assistance 8-11

8.5.2       PhD Support 8-12

8.5.3       Other  Supports 8-12

8.5.4       Cessation of Funding_ 8-13

8.5.5       Study Leave 8-13

8.5.6       Exam Leave 8-13

8.5.7       Conferring Leave 8-13

8.5.8       Sabbatical Leave 8-14

8.6       Leave for Conferences and External Training events_ 8-14

8.6.1       Applying for Leave for Conferences/ External Training Courses 8-14

8.7       Teaching Fellowship Scheme_ 8-14

8.7.1       The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy 8-14

8.7.2       Key Elements of the Scheme 8-15

8.7.3       The Role of the Teaching Fellow_ 8-15

8.7.4       Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (2018-2022) 8-16

8.8       President’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Mission of NCI 8-16

8.8.1       Selection Process 8-17

8.8.2       President’s award for Distinguished Teaching_ 8-18

8.8.3       President’s Award for Assessment Innovation_ 8-18

8.8.4       President’s Award for Contribution to Research_ 8-19

8.8.5       President’s Award for Contribution to the Student Experience 8-20




8.1     Recruitment Policy

8.1.1     Introduction

The National College of Ireland (NCI) aims to attract and select high-calibre applicants who will perform effectively in their role, further the College’s mission, live by its values and contribute to the achievement of the College’s strategic goals and objectives. The requirements of current legislation have been considered in developing this policy.

When recruiting academic staff, the College pays particular attention to ensuring that applicants have a full knowledge and understanding of the subject they will be teaching and that they have the skills and experience to transmit knowledge and understanding effectively to students in a range of teaching contexts.  The types and levels of skills, knowledge and experience expected for lecturing roles are set out in the Appointment Criteria for Faculty.

Staff involved in the recruitment process are required to operate by the procedures set out in this policy document and to comply with other related policies on equal opportunities, the employment of near relatives / close acquaintances, and employment of people with disabilities. Therefore, it will help ensure that discrimination does not occur either during the recruitment process or in the terms and conditions offered to prospective employees.


8.1.2     Equal Opportunities

NCI is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the introduction and development of employment policies, procedures and practices which do not discriminate on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the traveller community.

The College’s aim is to promote equality of employment opportunities by ensuring that all employment practices operate on the basis of the relevant qualifications, merit, abilities and potential of individuals and are free from any criteria which cannot be justified by the demands of the post. Merit recruitment and selection processes may be defined as being:

  • Open - any person who feels that they meet the requirements of the post may apply.
  • Competitive - all applicants are assessed comparatively and against the specification for the post.
  • Performance-based – assessment of an individual’s skills and experience for the post.

The College will make every effort to ensure that no irrelevant or unnecessary obstacles prevent candidates from diverse backgrounds from entering the recruitment process and will make every effort to ensure that the special needs of job applicants with disabilities will be met as far as practicable during the selection process. Promotion and progression criteria and procedures have been developed by NCI and are outlined in Section 8.3 below. These have been designed to ensure that selection decisions are also merit based.

Whilst it is recognised that responsibility for ensuring the provision of equality of opportunity rests primarily with the College as an employer, it is also recognised that individual employees acting on behalf of the College have responsibilities, in law and in regard to the College's policy, for assisting in the prevention of unfair discrimination.

8.1.3     Data Protection

All applications are kept confidential and will be held by the Human Resources (HR) Department in compliance with current data protection legislation.


8.2     Induction Programme


All new employees of the College will have an induction programme with a member of the HR Office. Induction will normally take place within the first week of employment. Key to this programme will be the provision of materials outlining the mission, vision and ethos of the College. These materials should be provided to the employee in advance of their commencement date.  During induction, the employee will have the opportunity to learn about the College’s vision and mission.  They will also receive information on all aspects of working within the College and will have the opportunity to voice any queries which were not covered in the interview or in the employee’s contract of employment.


8.2.1     Faculty/Associate Faculty Induction


New faculty are provided with a tailored one day induction programme at the beginning of each semester. The agenda for this induction normally includes overviews of the following areas;-

Student Support Services

IT Services

Library & Information Services

Quality Assurance policies and procedures

Learning Teaching and Assessment

This induction is supported by the faculty handbook and the continuing professional development programmes as described in Chapter 5, 5.9


8.3     Promotion and Progression

Promotional opportunities can arise when an existing position is vacated and is being filled by the College, when new positions are created in response to increasing student numbers and/or when changes are made to the College’s organisational structure. Administrative and academic staff can apply for promotional opportunities that arise through advertised vacancies on the basis that they meet the criteria outlined for the role. Applicants are expected to demonstrate how they meet the criteria for the role and any qualifications required.


New and vacant posts that are being filled will be advertised on the College’s website.  Employees who are interested in applying for an advertised position should follow the instructions detailed on the job vacancy. Internal applicants will have their applications processed in the same way as individuals who apply externally. New and vacant positions may be advertised in other media when factors such as seniority of the position and potential size of applicant pool are taken into account. Any specific queries regarding job advertisements should be directed to the HR Department.


Progression opportunities can arise for administrative staff when the scope and level of responsibilities in their existing roles increase appreciably.  In the case of Academic Staff, the criteria for the different lecturing positions are outlined in the Appointments Criteria for Faculty (see Section below).  



8.3.1     Administrative Staff    Progression

Employees whose responsibilities have changed and increased significantly can apply for progression to a higher level grade.  Upgrades are conditional on there being sufficient funding resources to support the upgrade. Employees should advise their Line Manager/Director of Department/ Dean of School of their intention to apply for an upgrade and discuss their application with them before submitting their application formally.


Written applications for progression are to be submitted to the Director of Human Resources bearing in mind the factors that will be assessed. These include:


  • A widening in the range of the responsibilities undertaken by the applicant;
  • An increase in the level of responsibility attaching to the position; and
  • An increase in budget levels being managed that could arise from new cost centres being set up with an appreciable increase in the amount of the budget being managed.


Where there has been an increase in workload but there has been no change in the type or level of responsibilities being undertaken, an upgrade may not be merited and it may be more appropriate to look at an increase in salary or an increase in staffing levels in this scenario. 


Applicants should also be able to demonstrate how their experience and qualifications (professional and/or academic) equips them for the higher level position.


8.3.2     Teaching Staff (Faculty)

Appointment of staff to a programme is made by the Dean of School or delegated to the appropriate Vice Dean.


Progression for faculty is dependent on the availability of funds within the College’s annual budget, the academic structure and student numbers. In addition, the College may also have to take account of any staff complements or other inter-grade ratios which may be imposed by outside statutory authorities. Where conditions support the creation of new Senior Lecturer positions, they will be advertised.


Applicants should advise their Dean of School of their intention to submit an application for progression and discuss their application with them before submitting it formally. Written applications for progression are to be submitted to the Director of Human Resources bearing in mind the factors to be assessed. Applicants are expected to outline how they meet the criteria for the higher level position and submit any evidence that supports their application, i.e. research undertaken, qualifications achieved, student survey feedback, etc.


The Appointment Criteria for Faculty outlines the areas in which Faculty are expected to demonstrate expertise.  It also sets out the type of experience and level of competence expected at Senior Lecturer, Lecturer II and Lecturer I positions. The normal grade of academic staff is Lecturer II.  However, vacated Lecturer II posts may revert to Lecturer I status.    Professional Development Opportunities

The Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CRILT) coordinates the professional development opportunities offered to all teaching staff at NCI. CRILT is also responsible for implementing the ‘Accomplished Teacher’ framework, which allows teaching staff to determine their success against  indicators outlined in Figure 8.1 below.




Competency 1

Teaching Effectiveness

Teaching strategies in practice



Teaching strategies comparison and analysis



Teaching design – making learning happen



Teaching Effectiveness Portfolio

Competency 2

Personal Growth and Adaptability in Teaching

Scholarly reflection on practice



Engaging in teaching enhancement workshops



Engaging in peer mentoring and similar collegiate process



Personal Growth and Adaptability Portfolio

Competency 3


Student engagement practices



Inclusive teaching



Sensitivity to needs assessments



Student-Centeredness Portfolio

Competency 4

Digital Capacity

Use of digital environments to support learning



Use of digital tools to support teaching



Capacity for live on-line teaching



Digital Capacity Portfolio

Competency 5

Assessment Competence

Knowledge and application of assessment principles



Knowledge and application of assessment design



Use of feedback and assessment for learning



Assessment Competence Portfolio

Competency 6

How College Works/ College Competence

Knowledge and application of policies and procedures



Knowledge and application of mission and values



Capacity to enhance student learning experiences in NCI



College Competence Portfolio


Fig. 8.1 – Accomplished Teacher Framework


The dedicated teaching enhancement resource on the College’s VLE provides staff with scholarly articles and self-reflective exercises in each of the six competencies. A staff member’s proficiency in these competencies is determined by their engagement with the online learning resources and their completion of assigned activities and self-reflective exercises. Please refer to Chapter 5 (Section 5.4) for further information about the professional development opportunities available to staff in the area of teaching, learning and assessment.     Appointment Criteria for Faculty 

The following are intended as a guideline.  It is not essential that candidates meet all the criteria designated for the particular Lecturer grade.   Depending on the requirements of the position, certain criteria may be more important than others.   The distinction between essential and desirable criteria will be stated in the advertisement for the position, applied in the screening process for applicants and used in the assessment criteria for candidates who are interviewed.



Senior Lecturer

Lecturer II

Lecturer I


  • Academic
  • Professional


PhD completed

Advanced membership of professional body and/or learned societies


Masters (taught or by research)

Membership of a professional body and/or learned society

Masters (taught or by research)

Membership of a professional body desirable

Scholarship of Research

Successful Masters and PhD supervision

Successful research funds bids

Significant publications output


Pursuing PhD

Publications record

Applied for research funding

Potential for research and


Scholarship of Learning & Teaching


Demonstrate excellence in teaching or potential for excellence

Significant evidence of innovation in learning & teaching

Evidence of integration of research into learning & teaching

Leadership in the development of learning & teaching


Evidence of innovation in learning & teaching

Contribution to the development of learning and teaching

Range of teaching experience

Depth of understanding of impact of curriculum design and delivery for student success

Could have teaching experience

Scholarship of Application (includes consultancy)


Entrepreneurship etc.


Development of workplace learning

Evidence of design and delivery of programmes of learning in the workplace

Evidence of organisational consultancy projects

Evidence of engagement with strategic planning and implementation in their field


Track record of successful application and evaluation of the use of learning models and concepts

Contribution to the development of workplace learning

Evidence of having applied learning models and concepts in a workplace or other setting

Scholarship of Curriculum Development and Improvement


Design of programmes across a range of disciplines



Scholarship of Curriculum Development and Improvement


Design of programmes across a range of disciplines

Leadership of successful development of new programmes

Leadership of the College’s relationship with professional bodies



Demonstrated leadership in the review of programmes (Quality & Standards)

Significant contribution to the development of the subject within a range of programmes across all levels

Member of programme development team and has designed specific modules

Module leadership

Has embedded quality processes in their academic practice


Contributes to the subject in a number of areas.

Understanding awareness and appreciation of academic quality and standards in a HE context





Participating or potential to participate in the development of the subject field within the broader curriculum

Professional & Academic Standing and Experience

Evidence of leadership or contributing to a professional body or association

Conference presentations

External examinerships etc

Evidence of continuing professional development and certification

Networked with external subject specialists

Active participation in professional or academic events outside academic institution or workplace.

Teaching Experience

Has lectured successfully at postgraduate level

Successful delivery of training at middle/senior management level

Excellent student survey feedback

Evidence of successful lecturing of a range of undergraduate or professional programmes

Delivered training and learning programmes extensively within an organisation

Above average feedback in student surveys


Ability and potential to be successful on delivering the curriculum

Positive feedback in student surveys

Contribution to Programme /Subject

Leadership of major academic programmes

Leadership of significant subject field identified by the College

Course director

Module leadership

Contribution to subject area

Course leadership for cohorts or levels of programmes

Module leadership or potential

Potential to contribute to subject

Contribution to success of the College

Membership of committees, groups, production of papers, involvement in promotional events

Mentor and foster the development of academic colleagues

Membership of committees, groups, production of papers, involvement in promotional events

Mentor and provide guidance/support to academic colleagues

Membership of committees, groups, production of papers, involvement in promotional events


8.4     Career and Employment Development Plan

8.4.1     Introduction

The success of the College depends on the abilities and commitment of its staff and the way in which they are able to use their skills to meet the changing needs of the organisation. It is in everyone's interest that potential is developed to its full and all staff are prepared to meet the challenges presented by change.


The Career and Employee Development Plan is a means by which interests and talents are identified. In identifying a Career and Employee Development Plan, a review form is utilised and discussed with the Line Manager. It can help foster and enhance the performance of the individual member of staff and provides a basis for the individual's career development plan. It also provides an opportunity for each staff member to contribute his/her ideas and to participate in the development of future strategy.


The basic principles of the Scheme apply to all permanent part-time, permanent full-time and full-time fixed-term contract staff of the College. It is intended to:


  • Review achievements and performance over the preceding period
  • Discuss the priorities and establish targets for the next period
  • Devise a plan which is supported by the College for the development of the individual and the achievement of the targets
  • Agree how the plan is to be implemented


Review the implementation of the plan, monitor its success and make amendments as necessary.


8.4.2     Main Features

While a meeting will normally be held annually it is recognised that some objectives might relate to a longer period and are subject to biennial review according to the individual’s and College’s requirements. A primary focus of the scheme is the agreement of objectives for the future period. These objectives will be appropriate to the individual’s post/role, e.g. administration, teaching, management, research, and external activities. The individual’s achievements will be recorded. The material is open in that there is nothing written about a member of staff during the process that cannot be seen by her/him. Documents will be retained by both parties. The meetings will be conducted by the relevant Dean of School or Line Manager or their nominee. The process will be undertaken via a meeting between the Dean of School or Line Manager or their nominee.



8.5     Educational Assistance Policy

The College encourages staff to undertake further education that is relevant to their role in the College or contributes to the strategic, operational or academic needs of the College. This policy sets out the guidelines on the funding of educational programmes by NCI.  Funding for educational programmes is at the discretion of the College.


To qualify for funding:

  1. Staff should have passed their probationary period.
  2. Normally, for post graduate qualifications, staff will have completed one year’s service.
  3. Funding will be available primarily to undertake NCI courses.
  4. When undertaking an NCI programme, full-time members of staff will qualify for a full refund of their fees; part-time staff will qualify to have a refund of 50% of their fees or a % that is pro-rata to their full-time hours (whichever is greater) and Associate Faculty will qualify for a refund of 50% of their fees.
  5. Staff, including Associate Faculty on contract, for whom the Post Graduate Diploma or the Masters in Teaching and Learning is considered relevant are encouraged to undertake these programmes. Where considered relevant, a full refund of fees will be given to staff and Associate Faculty who undertake either of these programmes. Staff and Associate Faculty who wish to undertake modules of this programme and not the full programme can do so for free.
  6. In certain circumstances, the College may pay fees for staff to undertake a course outside of NCI provided the course is relevant to their employment with NCI and/or contributes to the strategic, operational or academic needs of the College; a similar course is not available in NCI or there are valid reasons why the course cannot be undertaken in NCI.
  7. Fees for staff members on fixed term contracts will be refunded in line with their contract duration and as set out in the table below for those working on a part-time fixed-term contract.
  8. Where a number of staff wish to undertake the same programme in a particular year or where the overall number seeking funding is high, the College may place a cap on the number who qualify for funding.

In summary, staff can qualify for a refund of fees as follows:





Associate Faculty on Contract

Post Grad/MA in Learning & Teaching

100% refund

100% refund

100% refund

NCI Programmes

100% refund

50% refunded or % pro-rata (whichever is greater).

50% refund



8.5.1     Application Procedure for Educational Assistance

  1. Staff wishing to undertake an educational programme or course should first discuss the proposed programme/course with their Line Manager/Dean. Any course should be mutually beneficial to the development of the individual, the department/school and NCI. 
  2. The staff member needs to complete and sign the ‘Application for Educational Assistance’ form.
  3. If supporting the application, the Line Manager/Dean should sign the application form.
  4. The staff member then gives the signed, completed application form together with all supporting course documentation including costs to the Director of HR.
  5. The Director of HR will liaise with Finance where necessary.


8.5.2     PhD Support

Because of the financial outlay involved, staff wishing to pursue a PhD qualification should discuss their plans with their Dean of School/Head of Function at the outset.  The initial discussion should encompass the proposed areas of research, options around where the PhD will be undertaken (preferably in Ireland), their supervisor and likely duration.


When the exploratory phase has been completed and clarity has emerged on future direction, in advance of a commitment being entered into, staff will submit a written research proposal to the Dean of School/Head of Function outlining the research area and topic, the academic institution, their supervisor, expected duration, and any other supports required such as time-off.  The approval of the Dean of School/Head of Function is necessary before any arrangement is entered into. 


Staff undertaking an NCI PhD that is considered relevant for their role will be eligible for 100% funding.  With effect from 1st January 2014, full-time staff undertaking a PhD at another institution that is relevant to their NCI role can expect to have 100% of their fees refunded.  Part-time staff undertaking a PhD at another institution that is relevant to their NCI role can expect to have 50% of their fees refunded or a % that is pro-rata to their full time hours (whichever is greater).  Associate Faculty undertaking a PhD at another institution must be lecturing a minimum of 10 hours per week in two academic semesters to qualify for funding 


Depending on the College’s financial position or if the number of applicants for PhD funding in a given year is high, a cap on the numbers of applicants who will PhD receive funding may be put in place by the College. 


PhD funding will be for a defined period of time – 3 years for a full-time PhD and 5 years for a part-time PhD. An annual progress report will be required from the PhD supervisor.   Continuation of funding will be dependent of receipt of a report from the PhD Supervisor and will be at the discretion of the Dean of School/Head of Function. It will be required that the report demonstrates that progress towards completion continues to be made and that this progress is deemed satisfactory by the Dean of School/Head of Function. Any additional supports, financial or otherwise, are at the discretion of the Dean of School/Head of Function.


8.5.3     Other  Supports

Staff undertaking an NCI course can get course books on loan from the Library. Books must be returned to the Library.  Staff also have access to online resources and databases.  Expensive course materials (if not already in stock in the Library) are not covered under this policy. Repeat examination fees, deferral examination fees, travel expenses and other course materials are not covered by the terms of the policy. Course study and any assignments must be completed outside a staff member’s core working hours.  Work must not suffer as a result of undertaking the course of study.


8.5.4     Cessation of Funding

Any educational assistance funding may be ceased, further funding refused, advance or outstanding fees recouped, if:


  1. the staff member’s conduct or performance falls below NCI’s expectations
  2. the staff member withdraws from a course of study before completing it
  3. the staff member does not attend for their exams
  4. the staff member does not pass their exams
  5. the staff member does not make a realistic effort in the view of the Line Manager/Dean, e.g. does not attend lectures.
  6. If satisfactory progress is not being made towards PhD completion.

A full refund of all fees paid by the College will be sought if the staff member leaves the College before the course is completed.   After completing the course, a % refund will be required if the staff member leaves the College in the timescales below:


Departure from NCI                                                   Reimbursement Amount

During the course                                                       100%

Within 1-6 months of completing the course 100%

Within 7-12 months of completing the course           50%

Within 13-18 months of completing the course         25%

After 18 months of completing the course                0%


In such instances, the relevant amount may be deducted from the final salary payment, or a cheque for the appropriate amount must be submitted to the HR Department one month prior to the leaving date.


8.5.5     Study Leave

Study leave is only available for programmes approved under NCI’s Educational Assistance Policy.  Applications for study leave should be submitted through Core HR to the relevant Line Manager/Dean at least two months in advance.  Leave is subject to work commitments.

The allocation of study leave for the first sitting of exams is one day per subject.    Up to a maximum of 5 days study leave can be granted in a calendar year depending on the level of the course and its duration.  No study leave is granted for repeat exams.


8.5.6     Exam Leave

Exam leave is only available for programmes approved under NCI’s Educational Assistance Policy.  Applications for exam leave should be submitted through Core HR to the relevant Line Manager/Dean at least two months in advance.  Staff will be granted time off to sit their examination – morning or afternoon whichever is relevant.  Where an exam takes place outside of working hours there is no entitlement to time off to sit the exam. There is no exam leave entitlement for repeat examinations.


8.5.7     Conferring Leave

For courses outside NCI where Educational Assistance has been approved, leave will be given for the staff member’s conferring.


8.5.8     Sabbatical Leave

Unpaid sabbatical leave may be granted to faculty members to complete research projects, initiate new research or to experience practice in education, industry, research or teaching.  Applications for unpaid sabbatical leave (which should contain a detailed proposal as to the reason for application, duration of leave and research plan) should be submitted to the Dean of School for approval at least one year in advance of the proposed sabbatical.  The decision by the Dean of School (whether positive, negative or modified), will be advised to the staff member within one month.  

The staff member’s progress during leave shall be monitored by the Dean of School.  Subject to pension trustee approval mechanisms may be put in place to ensure continuity of pension entitlements provided that there is no extra cost to the College e.g. the staff member must pay the College’s portion of the contribution in addition to his/her own contribution.

Academic staff members can apply for unpaid sabbatical leave provided they have completed a minimum of 5 years continuous service with the College.  This may be reviewed in exceptional circumstances.  On approval, Sabbatical Leave should not exceed the maximum of 1 year for every 6 years of service. After completion of sabbatical leave the staff member will normally be required to return to the College for at least a time period equal to the duration of the sabbatical leave.



8.6     Leave for Conferences and External Training events

All permanent full and part-time staff are entitled to leave the College for the purposes of College business or to attend conferences or external training courses. Employees must receive prior approval from their Line Manager before such leave may be granted. The reasons for the business trip or training course must be directly relevant to the employee’s position within the College. Leave to attend business meetings and attend external events, such as training courses is normally granted.



8.6.1     Applying for Leave for Conferences/ External Training Courses

Applications for leave for conferences or training courses should be made as early as possible through Core HR and any relevant documentation should be given to the employee’s Line Manager. The employee will be notified as to whether leave has been granted within 5 working days.


8.7     Teaching Fellowship Scheme

8.7.1     The Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

In its five year (2007 – 2012) strategic plan, the College committed to providing a ‘high quality, innovative and supportive learning environment’. It also identified ‘scholarship’ and the ‘pursuit, discovery and application of knowledge’ as key values. The notion of scholarship embraces not only the activities associated with discipline research but also the pursuit and application of knowledge that supports the delivery of the curriculum and student learning. The College’s Learning, Teaching & Assessment Strategy sets out the priorities and related recommendations that foster a continuous process of development and improvement in these key areas. The strategy is explicit in its intention to encourage, recognise and reward scholarly and excellent teaching.


In support of this objective, the College has put in place a Teaching Fellowship Scheme.

The objectives of the Scheme are to:


  • Acknowledge, recognise and promote excellence in teaching.
  • Allow academic staff and student support staff to undertake a period of development work.
  • Support specific projects in teaching
  • Support the achievement of the priorities identified in the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy and the implementation of its recommendations.


8.7.2     Key Elements of the Scheme

Duration of Teaching Fellowship Status (TFS)

Successful applicants for TFS will be granted the title of Teaching Fellow and paid an honorarium for a period of five years, following which an individual may apply for an additional five years.


Financial Reward

An honorarium of €3000 annually will be awarded to successful applicants, subject to their continued and agreed contribution to improving the quality of teaching within the College.



The Teaching Fellowship Scheme is open to all academic staff (including Associate Faculty who will be rewarded on a pro-rata basis) and the student support staff who can demonstrate proven excellence in teaching and learning support, as assessed against the criteria set for the Scheme and as evidenced through the assessment process. The number of teaching fellowships that will be awarded in a particular year will be advised annually in September. The application process will take place in May and awards will be advised in June/July. For the first year of the Scheme’s operation (2008/09) two Teaching Fellowships may be awarded subject to the selection process.


8.7.3     The Role of the Teaching Fellow

Teaching Fellows will have demonstrated that they have contributed to the development of good practice in learning, teaching and assessment in their subject area or area of specialism. In addition, s/he will identify actions and develop a plan to enhance these areas in their subject group or the wider faculty, whether in their School or across the College.


There are two dimensions to being a Teaching Fellow:


  1. Demonstrating existing practice and supporting it with evidence.
  2. Applying your expertise, experience and knowledge to the wider benefit of your colleagues, students and the College.


Academic staff in the Schools who are awarded a Teaching Fellowship will have account taken of their Teaching Fellow activities when workloads are being determined as part of discussions on their Balanced Workload. The Director of Student Services will discuss the time requirements for these activities with Student Support staff.



8.7.4     Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (2018-2022)

NCI’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (2018-2022) reaffirms the College’s commitment to the Teaching Fellowship Scheme as it states appointing a number of teaching fellows as core strategic objectives. NCI aims to appoint teaching fellows in the following areas:


  • Inclusive teaching
  • STEM subjects
  • Assessment design and innovation
  • Technology enhanced learning
  • Curriculum development


It is envisaged that a teaching fellow can assume responsibility in more than one of the above areas. By conducting research in these areas, teaching fellows will play a key role in realising some of the objectives outlined in the 2018-22 strategy, such as, establishing guidelines on evidence-based best-practices for teaching in specific subject areas; extending blended learning options across all programmes; reform of assessment procedures to ensure transparent marking schemes are accessible for learners and peer-review of marking is more consistently adhered to; and developing pedagogical design guidelines for all teaching spaces and learning activities. 


Please refer to Chapter 5 (Section 5.1) for further information om NCI’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy (2018-2022).   



8.8     President’s Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the Mission of NCI

The President’s Awards applications open in Spring each year with submission taking place prior to summer break. There are four awards with separate application forms and criteria for each:


  • President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • President’s Award for Assessment Innovation
  • President’s Award for Contribution to Research
  • President’s Award for Student Experience


The Awards are presented at the conferring ceremonies in November following their announcement at the mid-year meeting of all staff at the end of the academic year (usually in early June. The goal of the awards is to encourage recognition of achievement across the areas of teaching, assessment, contribution to research and enhancement of student experience.


The awards are open to all staff – full-time and part-time and from all areas of activity. Each award has its own criteria for judgement but overall, the following five criteria will stand to assess the eligibility of the application:



Exceptional achievements that are over and above normal role of recipient.


New achievements initiated largely within the previous academic year

Mission aligned

Achievements that made a positive contribution to the student experience and/or the mission of NCI.


Achievements that improve the capacity or effectiveness of the college and are sustainable


Achievements that are largely due to the effort and contribution of a single individual or team or department.

8.8.1     Selection Process

  • Nominations will open each year in May with the end of June as the final deadline for submissions.
  • Candidates may self-nominate or be nominated by a colleague.
  • The President will appoint a short-listing committee and for judging. The committee will be five people including the President (chair) and drawn from a wide spectrum of college staff.
  • There will be a short-listing process based on the five criteria above and specific award criteria.
  • The top applications from the shortlisting process will be invited to make a presentation to the committee.
  • The committee will select the award winners based on the criteria for each award and the above criteria.
  • All applicants will be entitled to feedback and to see their criteria scores.
  • There will normally be four President’s Awards each year – however the committee may decide to award fewer than this number or (in exceptional circumstances) one extra award.


The President’s Award will comprise of three parts:

  • A medal or trophy
  • The name of the person/team on the Wall of Recognition
  • A Voucher for €400


Once a recipient receives an individual award they shall not be eligible for an award for the subsequent year only (this restriction does not apply to team awards or to the Research award).


The awards recognise achievements in all aspects of college life and are therefore open to those involved in administration, teaching, research, student supports, student services, ELI, library and functions such as finance, marketing, HR, IT, international, facilities, careers, admissions, registry, exams etc. This list is not exhaustive; it is intended to demonstrate the wide range of areas from which applications are encouraged


8.8.2     President’s award for Distinguished Teaching

The Distinguished Teaching Award recognises individual members of staff for their teaching. It will be awarded for teaching that goes beyond the minimum requirement and which contributes to sustained excellence in teaching and pedagogy. It will recognise teaching that incites intellectual curiosity in students, inspires colleagues, and makes students aware of relationships between academic theory and the world outside. The award is open to anyone involved in teaching in NCI, whether full-time or part-time, and includes all those who work to support student learning.    Qualities that this Award Seeks to Promote 

The award seeks to encourage and acclaim the following qualities in teaching and supporting the learning of others:

  • Innovation in relation to teaching
  • Overall contribution to the mission of NCI
  • Excellence in scholarship through the integration of teaching, subject knowledge and research
  • Recognition and respect for learner diversity and individual needs
  • Significant outcomes in student learning    Criteria for the Award

The award is for distinguished teaching that addresses the above qualities. The award is to recognise faculty members who have established an innovative record of teaching excellence.


  • Innovative methods of transferring subject knowledge to students.
  • Stimulation of further research in the field of study.
  • Sustained contribution to enhance student learning (evidence of enhancement useful here).
  • Effective design and redesign of courses.
  • Ability to inspire in students independent and original thinking; evidence of peer to peer learning.
  • Enthusiasm and vitality in learning and teaching.
  • Innovation in guidance and supervision of student research projects, both undergraduate and graduate.
  • New approaches to faculty/student dialogue.
  • Ability to relate with and respond to a diverse student body.
  • Research on third level teaching and teaching methods.
  • Other contributions to teaching relevant to this award.


8.8.3     President’s Award for Assessment Innovation

The purpose of this award is to encourage and recognise achievement in the development of new practices that improve learning assessment in National College of Ireland.


Assessment is an important driver and determinant of learning, providing the impetus for a continuous cycle of improvement in teaching and learning for all programmes in NCI. This award recognises our student-centred approach to learning, teaching and assessment, noting that assessment and teaching as interconnected and are closely aligned to learning outcomes.    Qualities that this Award Seeks to Promote 

The President’s Award for Assessment Innovation strives to advocate and recognize.

  • Assessment that is well aligned to intended learning outcomes
  • Assessment that facilitates and guide student learning
  • Assessment that recognise the use of technology
  • Assessment that take account of the individual needs of students
  • Assessment that are fair, reliable and practical
  • Assessment that promote increased levels of learner engagement
  • Innovation in assessment research and methodologies.    Criteria for the Award

  • The award is for the assessment innovation that addresses the qualities as indicated above.
  • The award may be granted for any form of assessment of NCI programmes – formative or summative, continuous or end stage, high-stakes or low-stakes.
  • The award is for the design and implementation of assessment – an idea or research alone is not sufficient there must be evidence of carrying these into practice.
  • The award is for ‘innovation’ in assessment meaning that the approach needs be novel in design and application.
  • The innovation in practice must have taken place within the previous two academic years.
  • The assessment innovation must recognise quality and regulatory policies.

Student feedback on assessment methods may be considered as part of the submission.


8.8.4     President’s Award for Contribution to Research

This award is to encourage and recognise staff contributions to research at NCI. Research at National College of Ireland is regarded as a core activity embedded in the academic culture and contributing to the overall mission of the College. This award provides a formal recognition of the research activities carried out by staff.    Qualities that this Award Seeks to Promote 

The President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research will be given for the contribution, qualities and actions of the recipient in relation to any combination of the following:

  • Providing research leadership to colleagues and peers; defining research agendas; leadership and coordination of research proposals; management of research projects.
  • Fostering and promoting research, through number of tenders and research proposals submitted, secured and total amount of funding secured.
  • Conducting research, the scholarship and quality of the research including theoretical foundations, depth and rigor of method and reporting, delivery and management of research projects.
  • Producing research output, number, type, prestige and ranking of publications; number, prestige and ranking of conference presentations, key note speeches/lectures and other research outputs.
  • Creating impact and contribution to relevant field such as education, community, industry, business, professional organisations etc. Relevance and contribution to the overall mission and strategic goals of the College; application of research to policy and practice, engagement in networks and communities and enhancement of the reputation of NCI in the field of research are criteria for consideration here.    Criteria for the Award

The award is for an outstanding contribution to research that addresses the qualities as indicated above.

  • ‘Outstanding’ contribution that is over and above the normal everyday fulfilment of duties
  • Research profile in addition to a specific initiative associated with that person.
  • Relevance and contribution of the research to the overall mission and strategic goals of the college.


Note: Recipients can reapply in subsequent years for the award. However, contributions that have been recognised as part of a previous successful application will not be considered in future awards.



8.8.5     President’s Award for Contribution to the Student Experience

The purpose of this award is to encourage and recognise contributions to enhance and support student experience at NCI. Student experience is central to our mission in the college and everyone who works for NCI is either directly or indirectly contributing to the capacity of our students to succeed and fulfil their potential. This award is intended to acclaim an outstanding contribution by an individual or team to enhancement of the experience. In this, we recognize that factors influencing the success of student experience are not confined to academic teaching, they are to be found in, in all functional areas of the college and throughout the span of the student relationship with College.    Qualities that this Award Seeks to Promote 

The President’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Experience will seek to recognise contribution, qualities and actions of the recipient in relation to:


  • Enabling students to get the most out of their college experience
  • Promoting a diverse and multi-cultural student environment
  • Helping students to cope with the challenges of college life
  • Supporting students in their learning
  • Effective and appropriate communication with students
  • Promoting a sense of place and identity with college mission
  • Contributing to overall student well-being
  • Innovation in student services and student supports    Criteria for the Award

  • Introduction of new and innovative student experiences.

Feedback from students may be provided as part of the material submitted. 

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