Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE)

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) was introduced in 2016 to complement the longstanding National Teaching Fellowship Scheme that recognises individual excellence. The CATE recognises that team/collaborative teaching and working are important to many aspects of our work. The new award celebrates collaborative learning and teaching initiatives that impact positively on the student experience in creative and innovative ways. Each University can enter one team/collaboration a year.


The application process

Any team/collaboration can apply. The 2016 short-listed teams illustrates the breadth of activity that the CATE is celebrating. The claim process is in two phases:

Stage 1:
Teams, supported by their institutions, submit an application to the HEA (one application per institution).

The HEA invites applicants to write a claim that outlines the focus of and rationale for their team work/collaboration and to explain why it was the team work/collaboration that enabled the success of its outputs/creative problem-solving. Applicants also submit two forms of evidence that support their claims of impact and effectiveness. These should demonstrate how the collaborative work has impacted on student learning at an institutional/discipline level.

Stage 2:
30 Institutions are long-listed from Stage 1 and invited to submit a Stage 2 application.

Teams outline a proposed plan that will build on and disseminate the team’s work. The dissemination activity should foster the adoption of the team’s excellent practice beyond the team. The plan should also demonstrate how the team collects evidence of the impact of their work and how it will /could be effectively embedded in the sector, nationally and internationally.

A shortlist of 15 teams from Stage 2 will be invited to an awards evening where 6 prizes of £15K will be awarded. Winners are expected to use their award money to disseminate their excellent practice and to demonstrate how their work has/can impact on the sector.

Why the CATE is important

The CATE encourages the sector to make visible and recognise the valuable contribution that team and collaborative working makes to the student learning experience. Winning a CATE is powerful recognition of individual excellence. It is a widely understood scheme that reflects positively both on the winners and the University they work for.

How CELT can help

The first step is to let us know you are interested in the scheme! Building the evidence for a claim can take a couple of years – so let us help you early on to think about the focus of your evolving claim. You can also make a submission to the annual USW Team Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Assessment awards. The application process uses the CATE criteria and can be a useful way to start writing about your practice and its impact.

Working with your HOLTSE, Head of Learning and Teaching, Head of Support Service etc, CELT run workshops and writing retreats and offer 1:1 support to help you build your claim. The USW NTFS/CATE development programme offers opportunities to connect with others in USW, to undertake small enquiry projects and deepen your interest in teaching ideas and practices.

How you can get involved

  • To register your interest and join the USW CATE programme please contact and speak to your local HOLSTE/Head of Learning and Teaching/Head of Support Service.
  • To find out about forthcoming workshops please view the CELT Events page.
  • Read more about the TELTA Awards.
  • For further information about the CATE please visit the HEA website