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Excellence Awards Procedures

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(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’s Award 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 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 nominee’s 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 Human Resources 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 Human Resources

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

  1. liaise with the Finance Office to establish the annual budget allocation to each award category;
  2. determine whether any themes are recommended for each year;
  3. 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 (DVC) office.
  4. announce the call for nominations;
  5. promulgate policy and nomination processes;
  6. receive and process nominations;
  7. forward nominations received to Excellence Award Panel via the relevant Excellence Award Panel support officer; 
  8. notify winners and their University Executive sponsor;
  9. arrange publicising of outcomes; and
  10. manage budget distributions to winners and receive acquittals.

Excellence Award Panel

(9) The Excellence Award 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 Award Panels have a minimum of five and a maximum of seven members.

(11) Vice-Chancellor's Award Panels include:

  1. External member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President (Chair);
  2. Senior academic and professional staff with the relevant expertise.

(12) Teaching Excellence Award Panels include:

  1. External member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President (Chair);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic and/or nominee;
  3. Two School Deans nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic;
  4. Additional member from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Academic Division if required;
  5. The panel will recommend one of the Teaching Excellence Award winners for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award – Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year Award replaces the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award.

(13) Research Award Panels include:

  1. External member nominated by the Vice-Chancellor and President (Chair);
  2. Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International and/or nominee;
  3. School Dean nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International;
  4. Institute Director nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International;
  5. Additional member of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International Division if required.

(14) The College Awards Panel includes both College and external members with the relevant expertise and familiarity with the operations of The College.

(15) Where panel members are unavailable, the Vice-Chancellor and President or Vice-President, People and Advancement, will approve substitute members.

Executive Sponsor

(16) 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 each Excellence Award Category

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

(17) The Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching 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.

(18) The Teaching Excellence Awards Panel recommends one of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award winner for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award. The Teacher of the Year Award replaces the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award.

(19) 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 Excellence in Professional Service Award

(20) This Award is a broad category which can apply to all eligible staff in the University and may be awarded to an individual or a team. 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.

(21) 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.

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

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

(23) 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. This category is awarded to individuals only.

(24) 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 and state date the data is required. Such data should include the nominees’s:
    1. verification of 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 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.

(25) 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.
    1. Supporting documentation must include:
      1. Information on postgraduate employment of completed HDR candidates;
      2. Statement of Supervision Philosophy [maximum 200 words];
      3. Two written testimonials from completed HDR candidates;
      4. Details where they assisted in the integration of students into the wider research community; and
      5. Evidence of relevant research outputs, collaborations with public and involving supervised candidates.
    2. Additional documentation required includes:
      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, 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.

(26) 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 has:

  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 University Research Plan.

Vice-Chancellor's University Engagement and Sustainability Award

(27) 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.

(28) 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 Excellence in Leadership Award 

(29) This Award recognises an individual’s outstanding leadership capabilities including excellence in 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.

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

(31) 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

(32) This Award is for research undertaken by an academic staff member that is considered an outstanding researcher and is available to individuals only. It acknowledges the very best research achievement at the University with demonstrable impact outcomes which extend beyond the institution.

(33) 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 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 Award for Excellence – Early Career Researcher Award

(34) This Award recognises the outstanding research undertaken by an early career researcher and is available to individuals only.

(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 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) 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.

(38) 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 (Research and Innovation) Research Excellence through Partnership Award

(39) 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. This award is available to both individuals and groups.

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

(41) Nominees must address the following criteria for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Awards Panel’s assessment:

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University's current Research 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 (Research and Innovation) Excellence in a Research Interdisciplinary Group Award

(42) 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 Plan.

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

  1. Demonstrate how the research is aligned with the University's current Research 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 of 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 (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Awards

(44) The selection criteria for the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Excellence) in Teaching Awards aligns with those specified by the Australian Government’s Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

(45) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Awards will 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

(46) Where an award is not provided for a particular focus area, the award may be provided to an alternate focus area.

(47) Nominees must address the following four criteria:

  1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire student 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.

(48) In assessing nominations, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) 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 (Academic) Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award

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

(50) Two of the eight awards will be targeted for sessional staff.

(51) 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.  This may include:
    1. fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning;
    2. participating in effective and empathetic guidance and advice for students, assisting students from equity and other demographic sub-groups to participate and achieve success in their courses;
    3. encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching, inspiring and motivating students through effective communication, presentation and interpersonal skills;
    4. enabling others to enhance their approaches to learning and teaching; and 
    5. developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning.
  2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of this field. This may include:
    1. developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for student learning, implementing research-led approaches to learning and teaching;
    2. demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the design of the curriculum and the creation of resources for learning, communicating clear objectives and expectations for student learning;
    3. providing support to those involved in the development of curricula and resources; and
    4. contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources.
  3. Evaluation practices tht 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. This may include:
    1. showing advanced skills in evaluation and reflective practice, using a variety of evaluation strategies to bring about change;
    2. adapting evaluation methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles;
    3. contributing professional expertise to the field of evaluation in order to improve program design and delivery; and
    4. the dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through evaluation.
  4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship tht has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience. This may include:
    1. participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching, innovations in service and support for students;
    2. coordination, management and leadership of courses and student learning, conducting and publishing research related to teaching;
    3. demonstrating leadership through activities that have broad influence on profession, providing innovative learning and teaching for different contexts, including technology enhanced environments, for large and small class sizes and/or to meet the needs of a diverse student cohort; and
    4. influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education.

(52) The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence Awards Panel will consider each nomination on the extent to which it shows evidence tht 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).

(53) Nominees for a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award must prepare a concise (maximum 25 words) citation which describes the nominee’s distinctive contribution. Each citation is unique and reflects the diversity of ways in which the nominee contributes to excellent learning and teaching, including contributions from sessional staff.

(54) Nominees may apply for a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award or a Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning Award but not for both awards in the same year.

Part C - Nomination Process

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

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

(57) 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.

(58) Documentary evidence is necessary to support nominations. 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.

(59) 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, and so on.

(60) 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.

(61) Nominees for a Teaching Excellence Award must submit two of the three following supporting materials:

  1. a three-minute video (which could include footage of the nominee talking about their program, their teaching philosophy or interviews with students);
  2. website (URL); and/or
  3. ten pages of printed teaching material in PDF format.

(62) While assessment of a nomination for Excellence in Research Awards is based primarily on their written statement, nominees can choose to submit two of the following supporting materials:

  1. a three-minute video (which would include footage of the nominee talking about their research program or demonstrating the impact and outcomes of their research);
  2. website (URL); and/or
  3. five pages of printed research material in PDF format.

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

Part D - Award Prizes

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

(65) Highly commended recipients will receive a framed certificate.

(66) The prizes for each category of award covered in these procedures are provided in Table 1.

Table 1: Award Prizes

Award
Maximum Number and Amount for Individual Award
Maximum Number and Amount for
Team Award
Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching – Teacher of the Year Award
1 x $4,000 or
1 x $6,000 teams of 2 or
$8,000 teams of 3 or more
Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Professional Service Award
1 x $4,000
1 x $6,000 team of 2 or
$8,000 team of 3 or more
Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision Award
1 x $4,000
No Team Award
Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in University Engagement and Sustainability Award
1 Staff x $4,000
1 Student x $4,000
1 x Staff $6,000 team of 2
0r $8,000 team of 3 or more

1 x Student $6,000 team of 2 or $8,000 team of 3 or more
Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award
1 x Academic Staff $4,000
1 x Professional Staff
No Team Award
Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence in Research – Researcher of the Year Award
1 x $4,000
No Team Award
Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for Excellence – Early Career Researcher Award
1 x $4,000
No Team Award
The College Award for Excellence
1 x $4,000 or
1 x $6,000 team of 2 or
$8,000 team of 3 or more
Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research and Innovation) Research Excellence through Partnership Award
1 x $4,000 or
1 x $6,000 team of 2 or $8,000 team of 3 or more
Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research and Innovation) Excellence in a Research Interdisciplinary Team Award
No Individual Award
1 x $6,000 team of 2 or $8,000 team of 3 or more
Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Academic) Excellence in Teaching Award
4 x $3,000 or
4 x $3,000 teams
Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Academic) Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning Award
8 x $2,000 or
8 x $2000

Part E - Expenditure and Acquittal

(67) 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. Cost 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.
  5. Donations to registered charity; and
  6. Contribution to superannuation.

(68) 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-Chancellor and President.

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