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Institute Fellows

We are delighted to be working with our inaugural Fellows on a range of projects and activities.  

[Information on the application process for our 2021/2022 Institute Fellowships can be found after our Fellows' profiles below]

Jennie Blake, Learning Development Manager, The University of Manchester Library

Photo of Jennie Blake

Jennie has been working in education for over twenty-five years, teaching in schools and universities in the US and UK. At Manchester, Jennie led on the development of the Library’s My Learning Essentials, and she contributes to university-wide work around teaching, curriculum design and student engagement. She is particularly interested in how curriculum design and pedagogy can address inequality and enable student success.

Jennie is a National Teaching Fellow (NTF) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Find out more about Jennie's ITL project

Steven Broom, Lecturer / Admissions and Outreach Tutor, School of Natural Sciences

Photo of Steven Broom

Steven is a Lecturer and Admissions Lead in the Department of Mathematics. He spent several years in the Sixth Form College sector as a teacher and manager, followed by a period as an indpendent education consultant. He moved to the University as Mathematics Admissions and Outreach lead, a role which has allowed him to travel around the UK and beyond talking to prospective students about the advantages of taking Maths further.

Steven has designed and implemented a 'Consolidation' course to provide additional support to those Mathematics Undergraduates who will most benefit from it. He is hoping to develop this approach further through his ITL project.

Find out more about Steven's ITL project

Dr Maria Canal, Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences

Photo of Maria Canal

Maria is a Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences and Neuroscience Programme Director. As such, she has been involved in a range of teaching, learning and student experience activities. Maria also contributes more widely to the development of teaching and learning, through her work as External Examiner at Liverpool John Moores University and Membership Secretary and Trustee of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

Maria is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Find out more about Maria's ITL project

Sally Hickson, Deputy Head of Student Operations, School of Health Sciences

Photo of Sally Hickson

Sally has worked in the School of Health Sciences since 1999. Since studying her Masters and further PGCert she has developed a keen interest in curriculum design with a particular focus on assessment and tries to keep up to date with the latest thinking and literature. Sally works with colleagues from many programmes on their curriculum design projects and co-chairs the Assessment and Feedback Effective Practice Hub in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.  

Sally is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).

Find out more about Sally's ITL project


Dr Jennifer O'Brien, Senior Lecturer, School of Environment, Education and Development

Photo of Jennifer O'Brien

Jen believes that our students are a 40,000 strong potential force for change who want to make a difference.  Jen is a Senior Lecturer and teaching and scholarship academic in Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development. Stemming from her interdisciplinary research into sustainable development, Jen is particularly interested in the intersection between innovative pedagogy and applied research and how that can be translated into ethical, empowering learning to affect positive change.


Find out more about Jen's ITL project

John Owen, Lecturer, School of Health Sciences

Photo of John Owen

John Owen is a Lecturer in Technology-Enhanced Learning in a team of health professionals and data scientists, developing interdisciplinary and innovative methods to teaching and research.

He has a background in teaching multimedia computing, educational development and technology-enhanced learning, with extensive experience in the development, implementation and evaluation of online and blended learning.

John is currently working with several student-staff partnership projects, applying his Micro-sprint approach to enhance team productivity and improve project outcomes.

Find out more about John's ITL project

Prof David Schultz, Professor, School of Natural Sciences

Photo of David Schultz

David Schultz is a Professor of Synoptic Meteorology within the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. He is the author of the award-winning Eloquent Science: A Practical Guide to Becoming a Better Writer, Speaker, and Atmospheric Scientist and has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles on meteorological research, weather forecasting, scientific publishing, and education.

David is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) and twice winner of the Teaching Excellence Award.


Find out more about David's ITL project

Dr Nick Weise, Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences

Photo of Nick Weise

Nick is a Lecturer in the School of Natural Sciences and a Departmental Academic Lead for Teaching & Learning Enhancement. He has been involved in a range of teaching, learning and student experience activities, including peer-assisted study sessions, undergraduate lecturing and tutorials, postgraduate researcher development, academic and staff training, professional accreditation assessment, pastoral care (residences) and welfare support (athletic union).

Nick is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).


Find out more about Nick's ITL project

Recruitment - 2021/2022 Institute Fellowships

Applications are now open for our 2021/2022 cohort of Institute Fellowships; all applications must be submitted by the deadline on Monday 19th April in order to be considered. These Fellowships are open to Academic and Professional Services colleagues across the University, and offer the opportunity to work on a project to enhance teaching and learning, working in partnership with students to bring about positive change that can be embedded across the University.

We held information sessions in March in which colleagues could find out more about what the Fellowships involve and what we're looking for in projects for the upcoming year; these included advice on developing your application.  We're keen that all colleagues be able to access this information even if unable to attend a session, so have added the full slides below along with answers to all session FAQs where this information is not covered in the slides.  If you have further questions, contact the Institute team on  


Below we have provided answers to the frequently asked questions from our information sessions in March 2021.


How many Institute Fellowships are available this year?

For 2021/2022 we are looking for around 5 Fellowship projects. 

If I'm interested in more than one project area can I submit more than one application?

We would recommend that you focus on one project / application - working through your ideas to identify what would make for your strongest proposal at this time - but you could give an indication that you are also interested in other themes.

Is it better to have a proposal that's broad or better to be more focused (for example, what if I'm interested in several project areas under the two main themes)?

We will be considering specific, focused projects that can be developed and delivered to bring impact for our students, so a focused application is important.  However, you can demonstrate your interest in a broader area if you are motivated by possibilities across a theme of work; for example, you may wish to outline your interest and motivation across a wider aspect of work, before focusing the application on a specific project that you would like to propose for a 2021/22 Fellowship. 

What if I think I have a good idea and some thoughts on how it may be delivered, but I'm not sure who I need to involve at every step?

The Institute team will work with all Fellows to help them to develop and deliver their projects successfully; this includes linking Fellows up with colleagues and student partners across the University who can offer advice, contribute to their project and/or help them to embed outputs and impact. We will also work flexibly with you where projects evolve or have to change focus slightly due to wider circumstances (this was very much the case for some of our inaugural Fellows in 2020/21!).

Can we submit joint applications, whether from the same School/Service or from different areas?

Certainly - joint projects are welcome (however please note that the total project funds will remain the same, with the £10,000 buyout in this case being split between the relevant Schools/Services).

What about international collaborations?

We can't easily transfer buyout funding outside the University but we welcome international engagement. If you have specific ideas on this and would like to discuss how to make them work contact the Institute team on

Am I eligible for a Fellowship?

In most cases, successful applicants must hold a permanent staff contract with the University or be on a fixed-term staff contract up to or beyond the end of the Fellowship term (June 2022). However, if you are interested in applying and have different contractual arrangements with the University please get in touch with the Institute team on to discuss your circumstances and eligibility.  Please note that this is not a salaried position.

Can I apply if I have more of a research background than a teaching background?

Yes, this is fine: as long as your project is teaching-focused, if you believe it can have a positive impact on our students and their learning we'd like to hear from you.

Do I need to work on a project from September 2021 to June 2022 or can I complete it in a shorter timeframe?

We are happy to work flexibly with Fellows according to their project focus, workload and circumstances. The Fellowship is offered as a 0.2 FTE contract which can be viewed as an average time commitment, and in some cases Fellows will condense their project work into a shorter timeframe; if you would like to discuss any specific timeline possibilities contact the Institute team on

If I am currently in a part-time role, is it possible for my School/Service to use the buyout funds to add extra hours to my working week?

Yes, if this is agreed between you and your School / Service; the best way for the 'buyout' funds to be used to give you the space to work on your project must be discussed and agreed with your Head of School / Service / appropriate manager.

How can I fit this into my workload?

It is important to have a discussion as early as possible with your Head of School or equivalent in order to work through how the 'buyout' funds may best enable you to be able to work on your project, and you will need to include confirmation of their support when submitting your Fellowship application. From an Institute perspective, we can work with you flexibly if there will be different times when you are doing more or less on your project - see answer above on completing in a shorter timeframe for further details.

What are the outputs a project must deliver? Are there minimum expectations, for example publication?

We don't have expectations of a specific output that all projects must produce; this will depend on the nature of your project and the best way to embed, share and disseminate the potential impact of your Fellowship activities. For some this might involve publication - and we can link you up with colleagues experienced in the scholarship of teaching if this is something in which you would like some development and support - or may involve specific outputs in terms of resources to support teaching and learning, training or workshops for colleagues/students or something else entirely, depending on what is appropriate for your project.

What does the student partner internship (SPI role) involve in terms of hours, pay and training given?

We provide an induction for the Student Partner Interns (SPIs), check in with them regularly and provide ongoing support and training throughout the Fellowship term. They are employed on a 0.2 FTE basis at an hourly rate of £10.08; as with Fellows, rather than a fixed 7 hours per week this might work flexibly as an average time commitment over the course of your project by agreement between you and your project SPI as appropriate. You will usually have a change of SPI in Semester 2, which will help bring a fresh perspective and further development.  If you have any questions regarding SPIs or how the current student partners have found the experience, feel free to get in touch with our student partnership team on  You can also find out more on the student partner programme pages.  

Are there student partners across all departments, and is it just for undergraduates or postgraduates too?

We have student partners from across the University, from UG through to PG from all Faculties. Far from being UG-only, we are currently recruiting and seeing quite a high number of engaged PGT/PGR students applying!

Is it ok if working with student partners will be a new experience for me?

Absolutely - we can advise you on how to establish a productive and meaningful working relationship with student partners if this is new to you.  

Do I need to find my own student partner if my Fellowship application is successful?

We match you to a Student Partner Intern (SPI) from our pool of student partners; it's really helpful if you can let us know of any skills, interests and experiences that would it would be particularly valuable for your SPI to bring to the project.

Do the student partners need to be current students or can recent graduates also be involved?

Your Student Partner Interns (SPIs) will need to be current students; we will be recruiting them and will work with you to pair SPIs with your project. However, for some projects wider consultation or collaboration with recent graduates would be great, and if this is valuable for your project we can link you up with Alumni Relations.

How does this Fellowship fit in with going for FHEA accreditation, NIHR Advanced Fellowships or other 'fellowships'?

This is a different opportunity to the Fellowship of the HEA; our LEAP programme supports University colleagues in going for all four levels of this AdvanceHE accreditation, and you can find out more about this on our LEAP pages.  The Institute Fellowships are internal, project-based, fixed-term teaching fellowships.  If you are selected for an Institute Fellowship and would like to go for an AdvanceHE/HEA Fellowship (or go for a higher level than that already held) we can also offer support with this. 

Institute Fellowships are also a separate opportunity to other fellowships such as NIHR Advanced Fellowships; Institute Fellowships are teaching, rather than research, fellowships. 

When do applications open?

We are currently finalising recruitment processes and hope to be able to call for applications in late March. Once open, the application process will be announced on this page as well as on the TALON yammer group and other comms channels.

If my application is not successful can I apply again in the future?

Yes, absolutely. If you are not selected as an Institute Fellow this year we look forward to hearing from you again in the future, and please do look out for other opportunities to work with the ITL on teaching and learning enhancement.