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Excellence Awards Procedures

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Section 1 - Purpose and Context

(1) These procedures provide guidance and further explanation in relation to the University's Excellence Awards.

(2) Refer to the Excellence Awards Policy for relevant definitions.

(3) These procedures should be read in conjunction with the Excellence Awards Policy and information relating to each award category provided on the University Excellence Awards webpage.

Part A - Roles and Responsibilities

Nominator(s)

(4) The nominator’s responsibilities are to:

  1. ensure that the proposed nominee(s) are willing to accept the nomination;
  2. complete the nomination form in the appropriate method as published on the University Excellence Awards webpage;
  3. where required, seek the support and endorsement of the nomination from the appropriate executive sponsor;
  4. if necessary, seek support and advice in preparing the submission from the nominee and others who are familiar with the nominees’ work and/or with the process of the award scheme;
  5. for group nominations, provide information regarding the membership of the nominated group;
  6. consolidate all parts of the submission; and
  7. submit the nomination by the published deadline.

Nominee(s)

(5) The nominees’ responsibilities are to:

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

(6) Group nominees must have a designated group leader whose responsibilities are to:

  1. assist the nominator in ensuring all members of the group are willing to be included in the nomination;
  2. assist the nominator in gathering signatures from all listed group members indicating their permission to be included;
  3. following acceptance of the nomination, serve as the contact point between the Office of People and Success and the group; and
  4. ensure all group members are kept informed of the submission’s progress.

(7) It should be noted that in some instances the nominator and nominee may be the same person.

Office of People and Success

(8) The Office of People and Success’ responsibilities are to:

  1. liaise with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor to establish the annual budget allocation to each award category;
  2. establish Vice-Chancellor Award Panels in liaison with the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement. Other Excellence Awards Panels are arranged by the office of the relevant Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Office.
  3. announce the call for nominations;
  4. promulgate policy and nomination processes;
  5. receive and process nominations (excluding Learning & Teaching nominations, refer to Learning & Teaching applications and guidelines for nomination and submission processes);
  6. check nominations for eligibility and distribute electronically to each of the Excellence Awards Panels; 
  7. post ceremony, liaise with winners for award distribution and acquittals; and
  8. arrange publicising of outcomes.

Excellence Awards Panels

(9) The Excellence Awards Panel members’ responsibilities are to:

  1. assess nominations against the specified criteria and make recommendations;
  2. make further enquiries if necessary, ensuring that enquiries are directly relevant to the award criteria and comply with privacy principles.

(10) Excellence Awards Panels have a minimum of five and a maximum of seven members, not including secretarial support.

(11) Membership of the Excellence Awards Panels is outlined in the Excellence Awards Panel Membership Schedule. Where members are unavailable, the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement will approve substitute members. Each Awards Panel will consider nominations against the specified selection criteria and will make recommendations, justified against these criteria, to the Vice-Chancellor and President. Panel members should be broadly representative of the diversity of the University community and consider gender balance in alignment with Clause 17 of the Gender Equality Procedures and Guidelines.

Executive Sponsor

(12) The Vice-Chancellor and President, as the Executive sponsor, is responsible for:

  1. endorsing nominations; and
  2. approving expenditures against Award budgets in compliance with relevant University policies and procedures.

Part B - Details and Criteria for Excellence Award Categories

(13) These procedures should be read in conjunction with the application forms and associated information for each category, as these documents contain detailed information regarding specific award criteria and requirements. Links to these documents can be found on the University Excellence Awards webpage.

Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award

(14) The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award is the premier University teaching award and may be awarded to an individual or a group. The recipient must have an exceptional record of advancing student learning, educational leadership and scholarly contribution to learning and teaching.

(15) The Teaching Excellence Awards Panel recommends one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award winners for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award.

(16) In assessing the winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award, the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Award Panel will consider:

  1. the extent to which the claims for excellence are supported by formal and informal evaluation;
  2. the extent of creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments;
  3. information contained in student data or institutional students surveys, references and selected teaching materials submitted in the nominations.

Vice-Chancellor's Service Excellence Award

(17) This category has provision for one individual and one team winner for eligible staff. 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.

(18) This Award recognises staff who have:

  1. made a significant contribution to the effective operation of University administration, and who demonstrate a consistently outstanding level of professional service to the University's students, staff or external stakeholders; or
  2. introduced an innovative idea, where the benefit to the University can be detailed and evidenced.

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

Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision Award

(20) This Award recognises contributions to Higher Degree Research (HDR) students’ candidature through development, leadership and demonstrated outcomes in the arena of postgraduate research training and supervision, at the University, regional, national and/or international levels.

(21) This category has provision for one individual winner.

(22) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International or nominee will:

  1. direct the annual call for nominations to Deans, Directors of Research Institutes and Directors of University Research Centres;
  2. request the quantitative data for nominees on their HDR Supervision from the Graduate Research School. Such data should include the nominees’:
    1. verification of current registration and qualification on the Graduate Supervisor Register; and
    2. research activity, including research income, research publication points, HDR completions and overdue completions for the last five years;
  3. review the data in conjunction with the Deans and Directors of Research Institutes and Research Centres to create a shortlist of nominees;
  4. contact the short-listed nominees to determine if they will accept the nomination and, if they will, advise the process to be followed.

(23) If nominees accept the nomination they must:

  1. complete the nomination form as directed in the published version on the University Excellence Awards webpage;
  2. submit their nomination with supporting documentation by the main awards deadline.

(24) The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Panel will assess nominations against the relevant criteria, taking into account the extent to which nominees show evidence that their contributions have:

  1. influenced research and the research culture of the University;
  2. been sustained over a period of one to three years;
  3. gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, industry, government and/or the broader community; and
  4. supported the intent of the Research Enterprise and International Plan.

Vice-Chancellor's University Engagement and Sustainability Award

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

(26) This category has provision for one individual and one team winner for staff and one individual and one team winner for students.

Vice-Chancellor's Leadership Excellence Award 

(27) This Award recognises an individual’s outstanding leadership capabilities including excellence in building and supporting diverse and inclusive teams, key aspects of personal and interpersonal skills, high ethical and professional standards, rising to challenges and the ability to work with a diverse range of people.

(28) Nominees will have demonstrated excellence in listening, linking and leading in the workplace.

(29) This category has provision for one individual winner academic and one individual winner professional.

Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Research – Researcher of the Year Award

(30) This Award is for research undertaken by an academic staff member who is considered an outstanding researcher. It acknowledges the very best research achievement at the University with demonstrable impact outcomes which extend beyond the institution.

(31) This category has provision for one individual winner.

(32) Nominees must address the following criteria for assessment, the evidence of which will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Panel:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Enterprise and International Plan and how it aligns with University Research Themes. There may be times when the nominee can argue that the research is outside the themes but is of relevant local, national or international significance.
  2. Research impact – describe the impact and benefits of:
    1. the research; and
    2. evidence of local, national and/or international recognition.
  3. Research rigour and quality – provide evidence of the sustained quality of the research and academic performance of the individual involved.
  4. Demonstrate evidence of leadership – provide evidence of how leadership has improved research culture or built relationships internal and external to the University.
  5. Demonstrate evidence of mentorship – provide evidence of mentorship activities and provide a one-page statement from a staff member to whom you provided mentorship within the last five years.

Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Research – Early Career Researcher Award

(33) This Award recognises the outstanding research undertaken by an early career researcher.

(34) This category has provision for one individual winner.

(35) Nominees must address the following criteria for assessment, the evidence of which will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards Panel:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University's current Research Enterprise and International Plan and the University Research Themes. There may be times when the nominee can argue that the research is outside the themes but is of relevant local, national or international significance.
  2. Research excellence – provide evidence of the quality of the research, including evidence that the research has been peer-reviewed and cited.
  3. Network building – demonstrate evidence of building peer and external collaboration networks, as well as evidence of community outreach as it relates to your research discipline.
  4. Potential impacts – outline the impact, or potential impact, and benefits of the research.

The College Award for Excellence

(36) This Award recognises a demonstrable commitment to continuous improvement by either an individual, project team or business unit team.

(37) This category has provision for one individual or one team winner.

(38) Nominees must address the following criteria to demonstrate outcomes above and beyond their normal operational responsibilities. Their:

  1. commitment to continuous improvement within their role at The College;
  2. contribution to College-wide (or business unit) initiatives/KPIs;
  3. contribution to positive student outcomes;
  4. demonstrated accountability, communication and collaboration in the fulfilment of their role;
  5. demonstrated high ethical and professional standards and behaviour.

(39) The types of initiatives which might warrant nomination include:

  1. excellence and innovation in design and/or delivery of teaching;
  2. implementation of new initiatives such as a new diploma;
  3. relocation or refurbishment project;
  4. student support initiative;
  5. strategic intervention, innovation and outcomes;
  6. novel approaches within a benchmarking project;
  7. streamlining procedures (with marked cost/productivity benefits).

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Research Excellence through Partnership Award

(40) This Award recognises the importance University research staff play in initiating, developing and enhancing partnerships with industry, business, government and the community. It further focuses on the multiple and significant benefits these relationships bring to the University as a whole.

(41) This category has provision for one individual or one team winner.

(42) An annual award will be presented to the successful nominees and a certificate acknowledging the collaboration will be presented to the partner.

(43) Nominees must address the following criteria for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International Awards Panel’s assessment:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University's current Research Enterprise and International Plan and how it aligns with University Research Themes. There may be times when the nominee can argue that the research is outside the Themes but is of relevant local, national or international significance.
  2. Provide evidence of the benefits for the partner organisation. The nomination should also include a supporting document, not exceeding two pages, from an external partner describing the outcomes and benefits of the partnership.
  3. Demonstrate evidence of the depth of the partnerships, communication with partners and the approach to partnership.
  4. Provide evidence of output from the partnership including publications, external research funding (including industry scholarships) and supervision of HDR candidates.
  5. Demonstrate other benefits that the partnership and the project itself brought to the University.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Group Award

(44) This Award supports the research undertaken by a group of academic staff from two or more academic units in unrelated disciplines at the University who have developed a research partnership and delivered outcomes that support the aims of the University's Research Enterprise and International Plan.

(45) This category has provision for one group winner.

(46) Nominees must address the following criteria for assessment:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University's current Research Enterprise and International Plan and the University Research Themes. There may be times when the nominee can argue that the research is outside the Themes but is of relevant local, national or international significance.
  2. Interdisciplinary – demonstrate how the research outcomes were realised as a result of the integration of two or more unrelated disciplines.
  3. Collaboration – demonstrate the evidence of teamwork across the University.
  4. Research impact – provide evidence of the outcomes of the research and the benefits or potential benefits of the collaboration to regional, national or international communities (economic, environmental or social), and any internal benefits such as sponsorship of students, or further collaborative research. Provide evidence of output from the partnership including publications, external research funding (including industry scholarships) and supervision of HDR candidates.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Excellence in Indigenous Research Award

(47) This Award is for research undertaken by an academic staff member/s that demonstrates a significant contribution to the University's Indigenous Strategy and broader Indigenous Australian society. Nominees do not have to identify as Indigenous Australian themselves.

(48) This category has provision for one individual or one group winner.

(49) Nominees must address the following criteria for assessment:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University Research Enterprise and International Plan and how it aligns with at least one of the University Research Themes.
  2. Demonstrate how the research contributes to the University's Indigenous Strategy and broader Indigenous Australian society.
  3. Research excellence – provide evidence of the quality of the research, including evidence that the research has been peer-reviewed and cited.
  4. Research rigour and quality – provide evidence of the sustained quality of the research and academic performance of the individual involved.
  5. Evidence potential impacts – outline the impact, or potential impact, and benefits of the research to Indigenous people and/or communities.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research, Enterprise and International) – Excellence in Internationalisation Award

(50) This Award recognises staff who have:

  1. made a significant contribution to international partnerships which advance the University's reputation in the world through capacity building, globalised curriculum development or delivery or innovative modes of engagement; or
  2. made a significant contribution to co-curricular activities that contribute substantially to global education and international programs; or
  3. introduced a novel initiative promoting cultural competency among students and/or staff, resulting in an outstanding level of professional service; or
  4. introduced a novel initiative promoting community-building locally or abroad with students and staff, providing support and benefit to the University and community partners.

(51) This category has provision for one individual winner.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Excellence in Teaching Awards

(52) The selection criteria for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic – Excellence in Teaching Awards aligns with those specified by the Australian Government’s Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

(53) Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic – Excellence in Teaching Awards may be awarded in the following four focus areas:

  1. Excellence in Teaching
  2. Excellence in Teaching – Partnerships
  3. Excellence in Teaching – Education for Sustainability
  4. Excellence in Teaching – Early Career Academic

(54) There is provision to award a total of four individual or team winners in this category. Where an award is not provided for a particular focus area, the award may be provided to an alternate focus area.

(55) Nominees must address the following four criteria:

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.
  2. Developing curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field.
  3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

(56) In assessing nominations, the Learning and Teaching Excellence Awards Panel will take into account:

  1. the extent to which the claims for excellence are supported by formal and informal evaluation;
  2. the extent of creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional  learning environments or technology-based developments;
  3. information contained in student data or institutional student surveys, references, and selected teaching materials submitted.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Excellence in Indigenous Teaching Award

(57) This award category is open to eligible ongoing and sessional teaching staff at both an individual and team level. Nominees do not have to identify as Indigenous Australian themselves.

(58) This category has provision for one individual or one group winner.

(59) Nominees must address the following criteria for assessment:

  1. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect embedded Indigenous knowledge and understanding in meaningful, valuable and engaging ways.
  2. Use of approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.
  3. Demonstrate with evidence the outstanding nature of contributions that have resulted in students developing a better understanding about Indigenous Australia.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) – Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award

(60) The selection criteria for the Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award aligns with those specified by the Australian Government’s Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

(61) There is provision to award a total of eight individual or team citations within this category. Two of the eight awards will be targeted for sessional staff.

(62) Nominees for the Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning Award are invited to select one of the following criteria for assessment, as appropriate for the particular contribution:

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.
  2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of this field.
  3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning. Evaluation comprises making judgements about the quality of programs and activities that are part of the academic, cultural and social experience of higher education.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

(63) The Learning and Teaching Excellence Awards Panel will consider each nomination on the extent to which it shows evidence that the nominee’s contribution has:

  1. influenced student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience;
  2. gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, and/or the broader community;
  3. been sustained for a period of no less than three years (two years for Early Career nominations).

(64) Nominees may apply for a Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic) - Excellence in Teaching Award, including the Excellence in Indigenous Teaching Award, or a Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning Award but not both levels of awards in the same year.

Part C - Nomination Process

(65) Unless a variation is detailed under the specific award heading, the following clauses regarding nominations will apply.

(66) There will be a call for nominations each year.

(67) 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.

(68) Documentary evidence is necessary to support nominations, as outlined in the relevant award application or nomination form. Generally, documentary evidence is required to be current (one to three years, although submissions may include brief background material from longer than three years ago to contextualise achievements).

(69) The following are examples of supporting evidence:

  1. Benchmarking services against external providers of similar services (for example, in other universities).
  2. Additional letters of support.
  3. Testimonials.
  4. Short curriculum vitae.
  5. Client satisfaction surveys.
  6. Feedback from student cohorts or other recipients of initiatives support 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. Comparison 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, referenced conference presentations and publications both nationally and internationally, features in broadcast media.

(70) Other supporting documentary evidence of positive outcomes are:

  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.

(71) Submissions must be lodged in accordance with published requirements and by the published closing dates.

Part D - Award Prizes

(72) Awards may be made each year for each award category to an individual and/or team, as winner or highly commended. However, an award might not be given in each category or at both levels each year.

(73) Highly commended recipients will receive a certificate.

(74) The total allocation of funds for Excellence Awards and their distribution across the Award categories will be determined on an annual basis by the Vice-Chancellor and President. These allocations are detailed in the Excellence Awards Allocation Schedule.

Part E - Expenditure and Acquittal

(75) Award funds are to be spent within the next calendar year following receipt of the award at the University's annual Excellence Awards Ceremony. 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 Associate Director, Alumni and Employer Collaboration and Partnerships who will seek approval from the Vice-Chancellor and President.

(76) Award funds can be expended as follows:

  1. to further development of the initiative(s) for which the Award has been conferred;
  2. to further professional development of the staff recipient/s;
  3. as a cash payment, paid through payroll after tax;
  4. as a contribution to superannuation;
  5. donated towards a University Community Scholarship or the University's Student Assistance Fund.

(77) In the case of group awards, all members must unanimously agree to an equal allocation to each group member when requesting expenditure as a cash payment or superannuation contribution.

(78) Examples of alternative expenditure to the receipt of a cash award include:

  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.
  2. Contribution towards the purchase of equipment, including texts and electronic equipment useful to the completion of their professional studies.
  3. Costs associated with visits to industrial, professional or educational establishments.
  4. Further development or 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.

(79) Equipment or other materials purchased from the Award remain the property of the University.