The Students’ Association’s Students-Led Teaching Awards 2021: Nominations now open

Poster advertising the Teaching Awards
Image Credit: The University of Edinburgh Students’ Association

In this post, Natalie Hay and Erin Brown from Edinburgh University Students’ Association explain the nomination process, history and impact of the Students-Led Teaching Award. Nominations close on April 5…

Edinburgh University Students’ Association was the first in the UK to offer student-led Teaching Awards. Our Awards are now back for their 12th year.

Staff play a pivotal role in the student experience at the University of Edinburgh, from Lecturers and Tutors to Supervisors, Personal Tutors and Professional Services staff.

The Students’ Association’s students-led Teaching Awards provide students with a meaningful opportunity to thank staff for their hard work and celebrate the very best of teaching and support at the University of Edinburgh, something that’s more important than ever during this unprecedented academic year.

Nominations mean so much to members of staff, so we encourage students to take five minutes before nominations close on April 5 2021 to say thank you to the staff who’ve shaped their time at University so far.

The Impact of the Teaching Awards

Over the past 12 years, more than 20,000 nominations have been submitted, putting thousands of smiles on staff members’ faces. The Teaching Awards also serve to highlight and reward best practice in teaching and student support, reminding us all of the value in investing in student experience.

In 2015, a thematic analysis of Teaching Award nomination submissions was conducted, resulting in the “What does good teaching look like to students?” report, which you can read here.

Students’ nominations really do mean the world to teaching and support staff, as Dee Isaacs from Edinburgh College of Art told us.

How can students submit a nomination?

All students – whether Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught or Postgraduate Research, on-campus or online, studying full or part-time – can nominate. All staff employed by the University, salaried or hourly, can be nominated.

Students can nominate the same staff member in multiple categories or multiple staff for the same category. The categories are:

  • Outstanding Course
  • Outstanding Innovation in Digital Teaching
  • Support Staff of the Year
  • Personal Tutor of the Year
  • Outstanding Commitment to Social Justice and Sustainability
  • Student Tutor of the Year
  • Supervisor of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year

Descriptions of these categories are available on our website.

How will we celebrate together?

Once students submit a nomination, the Students’ Association email staff letting them know they have been nominated and sharing the nominator’s comments anonymously.

After such a testing year, we want to celebrate all nominees for their achievements! Keep an eye out on the Students’ Association’s social media pages and the Hybrid Teaching Exchange in 2021 to find out about our nominees and join in the celebrations.

Can I help promote the Teaching Awards?

Absolutely! Whether you’re a staff member, a student, or just passionate about great teaching we’d love for you to encourage students to submit their nominations. You can find a range of graphics for use in promotion here.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please contact us and the Students’ Association team at

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Natalie Hay

Natalie is the Academic Engagement Coordinator at Edinburgh University Students’ Association. She is the staff support for academic representatives including Programme, School and College Representatives as well as the Vice President Education. Natalie also provides support for strategic development and training relating to academic representation.

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Erin Brown

Erin is the Marketing Campaigns and Research Officer at Edinburgh University Students’ Association. She manages all marketing campaigns with an Activities, Representation & Democracy and Welfare focus.

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