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Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Guidelines

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) This document provides guidance and further explanation in relation to the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards in:

  1. Excellence in Teaching (Please refer to the Teaching Awards Policy and Procedures)
  2. Excellence in Professional Service
  3. Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision
  4. Excellence in Research (Please refer to the Research Awards Policy and Guidelines)
  5. Excellence as an Early Career Research (Please refer to the Research Awards Policy and Guidelines)
  6. Excellence in University Engagement and Sustainability
  7. Excellence in Leadership

(2) The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Policy, Teaching Awards Policy and Procedures and Research Awards Policy and Guidelines.

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Section 2 - Definitions

(3) Nil.

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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(4) Refer to the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Policy.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(5) Nil.

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Section 5 - Guidelines

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Nominator(s)

(6) The nominator's responsibilities are to:

  1. ensure that the proposed nominee is willing to accept nomination;
  2. complete the nomination form;
  3. ensure in advance that the relevant Dean/Executive Director/Director/Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Vice-President/Pro Vice-Chancellor/unit head is willing and able to support the nomination, and co-ordinate the process to obtain this signed endorsement of the final session;
  4. if required, seek support and advice in preparing the submission from the nominee and others who are familiar with the nominees work and/or with the processes of the award scheme;
  5. gather and assemble all parts of the submission; and
  6. copy and send the submission to the contact officer by the stated deadline.

Nominee(s)

(7) The nominee's responsibilities are to:

  1. decide whether to accept nomination; and
  2. if required, provide information to the nominator in the preparation of the submission.

(8) For nominees who are teams, one person must be designated as the team leader and this person's responsibilities are:

  1. to ensure all members of the team are willing to be listed as members of the team submission;
  2. gather signatures from all listed team members indicating their permission to be included;
  3. serve as the contact point between the Office of Human Resources and the team members; and
  4. ensure all members of the team are kept informed of progress with the submission.

Nominations for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision

(9) In regards to the category Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision the following applies:

  1. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Engagement, Development and International to make call for Nominations to Deans, Directors, Research Institutes and Directors, University Research Centres, asking them to forward their nominations to the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation.
  2. Once received the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation will be required to request the quantitative data for the nominee on their HDR Supervision from Graduate Research School advising the date the data required to enable the initial nominees and their quantitative date to be considered by the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation in consultation with the Deans. Data required will be a check that the nominee is qualified on the Graduate Supervisor Register and their Research Activity including Research Income, Research Publication Points and HDR Completions and Overdue Completions for the last five years which can be checked on the web by the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation).
  3. The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation will review the data in conjunction with the School Deans and Directors, Research Institutes to decide on a shortlist of applicants. Following the meeting the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation will contact the short-listed applicants to see if they will accept the nomination.
  4. If nominees accept the nomination they will be required to prepare the standard nomination form with a maximum of 500 words in total in the two comment areas of the form. They will be required to submit their nomination together with supporting documentation by the main awards deadline.
  5. Supporting documentation as described in (d) must include:
    1. Information on postgraduate employment of completed HDR candidates
    2. Statement of Supervision Philosophy

Office of Human Resources

(10) The Office of Human Resources responsibilities are to:

  1. liaise with Finance Office to establish annual budget and allocation to each award category;
  2. determine whether any themes are recommended for each year;
  3. liaise with the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement in order to establish Award Panels;
  4. announce call for nominations;
  5. promulgate policy and nomination processes;
  6. receive and process nominations;
  7. forward nominations received to Award Panels via the relevant Award Panel secretary;
  8. notify winners and their Dean/Executive Dean/Director/Pro Vice-Chancellor;
  9. liaise with Office of Marketing and Communication to publicise outcomes; and
  10. manage budget distributions to winners, and receive acquittals.

Award Panels

(11) The Award Panel's responsibilities are to:

  1. consider nominations and make recommendations; and
  2. make further enquiries were necessary, ensuring that enquiries are of a factual nature of the nomination, and not personal enquiries of the nominee, respecting the privacy of the nominee.

School Deans, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Vice-Presidents, Pro Vice-Chancellors, Executive Directors, Directors

(12) The relevant Dean, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Executive Director, and Director is responsible to:

  1. endorse nominations; and
  2. approve expenditures against Award budgets ensuring compliance with relevant University policies/procedures.

Part B - Preparation of the Submission

(13) Nominators are encouraged to begin preparing the submission as early as possible, and to seek feedback from colleagues and/or staff in support units of the University.

Part C - Description of each Award Category

(14) Each category of the Awards is self- explanatory, however listed below is some information that may assist nominees and nominators to decide which category would be appropriate.

Teaching Award

(15) Please refer to the Teaching Awards Procedures for all information on the application and submission process for this award.

Professional Service Award

(16) This Award is broad and general and can apply to almost all staff in the University. While both academic and professional staff can be nominated in this category, the majority of nominees tend to be professional staff, as there are other categories more applicable to academic staff.

(17) Staff who have made significant contribution to the effective operation of university administration, and who can demonstrate a consistently outstanding level of quality operation should consider nomination in this category. Clients of the nominee to whom excellent service has been consistently provided to, can include students, external stakeholders of the university and other staff.

(18) Staff who have introduced an innovative idea, detailing the impact on the University.

(19) A strong commitment to the University's values especially those of equity will also be favourably viewed.

Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision Award

(20) The purpose of this Award is to recognise contributions to higher degree research students candidature through development, leadership and demonstrated outcomes in the arena of postgraduate research training and supervision at the University, Regional, National and International levels.

Excellence in Research Award (Researcher of the Year)

(21) This Award is for research undertaken by an academic staff member or team that is considered outstanding research and acknowledges the very best research achievement at University with demonstrable impact outcomes which extend beyond the institution.

Excellence as an Early Career Researcher Award

(22) This supports the outstanding research undertaken by an early career researcher.

University Engagement and Sustainability

(23) This category highlights the importance of the University's activities in outreach, engagement and sustainability. It encourages activities and programs that demonstrate the impact on the University, community and business.

Excellence in Leadership

(24) This Award is to recognise outstanding capabilities in Leadership across the University. Amongst other things, it recognises excellence in rising to challenges and the demonstration of high ethical and professional standards.

Part D - Supporting Evidence

(25) Documentary evidence is necessary to support nominations. Generally, documentary evidence is required to be current (one to three years). For all Award categories, the following key and other supporting evidence can be given to support nominations.

(26) Key forms of documentary evidence of positive outcomes:

  1. Benchmarking services against external providers of similar services (for example, in other universities).
  2. Additional letters of support
  3. Testimonials
  4. A short curriculum vitae
  5. Client satisfaction surveys.
  6. Feedback from student cohorts or other recipients of initiatives supporting claims of positive outcomes, gathered from whole cohort or group (rather than selected individual testimonial) through formal surveys, focus groups, interviews, etc.
  7. Outcomes of student learning, for example, grades, examiners' reports, etc.
  8. Comparisons of experience, results, etc. between pre-intervention and post-intervention.
  9. Improvements in achieving key performance indicators, for example, retention and progression rates of students.
  10. Peer review feedback on processes developed or documentary materials produced.
  11. Evidence of uptake by others of the nominees' initiatives.
  12. Public recognition of excellence, for example prizes and awards received, refereed conference presentations and publications both nationally and internationally, features in broadcast media, and so on.

(27) Other supporting documentary evidence of positive outcomes:

  1. Individual testimonials from students, staff, community members, etc.
  2. Evidence of targeted mentoring and leadership of others, for example through providing development and networking opportunities to others relevant to the area.
  3. Documentary materials produced as part of an initiative.
  4. Invitations to disseminate outcomes of initiatives to colleagues within or beyond the initiating individual or team.

(28) Documentary evidence specifically for the Postgraduate Research Supervision and Training Award include:

  1. contribution to research higher degree student's learning through candidacy;
  2. outcomes of performance as a supervisor of research including, outstanding examiners reports of student work and completion of students in minimum or near minimum time;
  3. public recognition of research student work during candidacy including refereed conference presentations, publications, prizes and awards;
  4. leadership and contribution toward the development of a research culture within an academic unit, University Research Centre or University Research Group with particular emphasis on inclusion of research higher degree students;
  5. contribution to the development of research training and postgraduate supervision processes within the University; and
  6. contribution to the development of learning opportunities for higher degree research students with emphasis on innovative approaches to research training and supervision.

Part E - Expenditure and Acquittal

(29) Examples of reasonable expenditure of the award include:

(30) Note: Equipment or other materials purchased from the Award remain the property of the University.

  1. Further professional development of individuals, for example:
    1. costs (for example travel, accommodation, registration fees) associated with attendance at a conference or other professional gathering;
    2. costs of attendance at training and development programs (for example residential organisational development and leadership programs);
    3. attendance at external workshops or seminars not usually conducted by units within the University and that are relevant to the needs of the University.
      1. Contribution towards the purchase of equipment, including texts and electronic equipment useful to the completion of their professional studies.
      2. Costs associated with visits to industrial, professional or educational establishments.
  2. Further development of project initiatives acknowledged by the Award, for example:
    1. minor equipment or other materials related to project initiative(s)
    2. funds towards the employment of casual staff to undertake specific project development work
  3. Donation to registered charity
  4. Contribution to superannuation

(31) Award funds are normally expected to be spent within one calendar year from receipt of funds. Under certain circumstances, where there is reasonable justification, recipients may formally request in writing for an extension for a specified period in which funds may be spent. Requests should be sent to the Manager, HR Projects and Operations, who will seek approval from the Vice-President, People and Advancement.

Part F - Enquiries and Submission of Applications

(32) Submissions must be lodged via email to vcxawards@westernsydney.edu.au by the closing date.