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Applying for Institute Fellowships

Applications are now open for our next cohort of Institute Fellowships

Closing date for applications:

  • Monday 13 February 2023 (11:59pm) 

All ITL Fellowships should align with one or more of Our Future Teaching and Learning strategic priorities:

  • Enhancing the quality of our teaching
  • Transformative student experiences
  • Realising students' potential
  • Education for global leadership
  • Lifelong and flexible learning

There are two additional themes this year:  

  • Enabling the student voice
  • Assessment and feedback

In addition, there will be two fellowships co-funded by the VP Research focusing on: 

  • The teaching-research nexus (research-led teaching)
  • The teaching-research nexus (teaching-led research)

The Institute of Teaching and Learning (ITL) is excited to open recruitment for our fourth cohort of ITL Fellows. These Fellowships are open to Academic, Professional and Technical Services colleagues across the University, and offer the opportunity to work on a strategically-aligned project to enhance teaching and learning, working in partnership with students to bring about positive change that can be embedded across the University.  You can find out more about our current Institute Fellows and read the reports of our inaugural cohort elsewhere on this website.  

The Fellowships will begin in September 2023 and can be structured according to either of the following models: 

  • a commitment of 0.1 FTE averaged over a 22 month Fellowship term (September 2023 to June 2025)
  • a commitment of 0.2 FTE averaged over a 10 month Fellowship term (September 2023 to June 2024)

Other Fellowship structures/timescales may be possible; alternative models should be discussed with the ITL team and/or clearly outlined in your proposal.

What you'll do as a Fellow

ITL Fellowships provide colleagues with the time, focus and support to work on a project which enhances an aspect of our teaching and learning delivery across the University. Your Fellowship project may be student-focused, or may be focused on staff support and development in a way that benefits the student experience. You will work closely with the Institute's team and its wider teaching and learning network in order to develop and deliver your project. Fellows will also be able to take up additional development opportunities and become an ongoing member of the Institute, helping to develop excellent teaching and learning practice across the University in line with Our Future's strategic goals.

You will be paired with a Student Partner Intern, who will work with you collaboratively as you plan, develop and undertake the activities of your project, providing their invaluable perspective and helping you to drive forward your project to achieve its aims and objectives.

We welcome individual and joint applications, and will offer the School/Service (or equivalent) of successful applicants £10,000 to assist with releasing them from some other commitments; Fellows will also have access to up to £2,500 for essential project-related costs. (Total amounts are per project, whether individual Fellowship or joint application, in which case the £10,000 buyout would be shared across relevant Schools/Services). As part of your Expression of Interest you must include confirmation of support from your Head of School, Director of Service or appropriate equivalent and agreement to funding and time implications. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss the implications and feasibility of undertaking an ITL Fellowship with their line manager and Head of Discipline/Department/Service before making an application, and to identify the most appropriate timescale of Fellowship for their project.


We invite applications from Academic, Professional and Technical Services colleagues from across the University. 

In order to be eligible for the Fellowship, in most cases colleagues must be on an existing permanent contract with the University or a fixed-term contract that extends up to or beyond the end of the Fellowship term; however, if you are interested in this opportunity but have different contractual arrangements with the University please contact the ITL team on to discuss your circumstances and eligibility.

Strategic themes and areas of focus for 2023

The projects undertaken by Cohort 4 Fellows should be strategically aligned with the themes for Teaching and Learning set out in Our Future:

  • Enhancing the quality of our teaching
  • Transformative student experiences
  • Realising students' potential: 'Manchester made me'
  • An education for global leadership
  • Lifelong and flexible learning

For 2023 we would particularly welcome project proposals which focus on the following four priorities:

  1. The teaching-research nexus (research-led teaching)
  2. The teaching-research nexus (teaching-led research)
  3. Enabling the student voice
  4. Assessment and feedback

Priorities 1. and 2. Exploring the teaching-research nexus

Within this year's cohort we are recruiting to two strategic ITL Fellowships to consider the relationship between research and teaching at the University of Manchester. 

The teaching-research nexus, as recently explored in a report by the British Academy (29/06/22), is often assumed to be both real and positive – but is hard to define and potentially under threat. In 2017 the Russell Group also provided a high level statement of the benefits of learning within a research-intensive environment (pdf), and in the same year Advance HE published case study examples: What does Research-Informed Teaching look like? | Advance HE (

Our own Our Future strategic plan stresses the benefits to students and staff of teaching and learning in a research-rich environment, but in rather general terms – for instance, our Teaching and Learning theme suggests that:

'Our students and staff benefit from the interaction between teaching and research; teaching-led research is as important as research-led teaching. We will go beyond students engaging with current research in the advanced stages of a degree, to integrate teaching and research at all levels. Students will encounter research leaders and be encouraged to develop and use research skills from the start…Our teaching methods and assessments will allow students to engage actively in research and critical enquiry.'

Our Research and Discovery theme mirrors the Teaching and Learning theme statement by including 'Inspiring student learning with our research-intensive environment' as one of its four priorities.

The Vice-President for Research and Vice-President for for Teaching, Learning and Students have therefore provided strategic funding for two ITL Fellows to explore this topic, one primarily through a research lens and the other through a teaching lens. These posts will run concurrently, either over one year or across two as appropriate, as per the other Fellowships in this cohort; we welcome joint proposals from colleagues examining this through a teaching and a research lens respectively, or individual applications focusing on one of these which might then be combined after the interview stage.

Applicants' ideas on the shape and aims of this project theme are welcome – we are particularly interested in:

  • reflections on the relationships between teaching and research;
  • the directionality or bi-directionality of this relationship;
  • demonstrations of the benefits and impacts their interaction brings for students and staff;
  • suggestions for how we can improve our articulation and delivery of these benefits in our Manchester context.

Previous work on this topic led to the development of a range of case-studies and videos: see Learning through research. We would like to see an update of these case-studies, and potentially the gathering and development of additional and more diverse case-studies, as one joint output of the projects.

Priority 3. Enabling the student voice

Under this theme we would welcome projects looking at, for example:

  • Peer assistant learning, peer-teaching, peer-marking
  • Engaging with diverse student groups
  • Partnership projects that directly arise from student feedback
  • Projects or structures that enable the student voice to drive positive changes
  • Building/scaffolding belonging or cohort building

Priority 4. Assessment and Feedback

Under this theme we would welcome projects looking at, for example:

  • Effective mechanisms for timely feedback and feedforward
  • Student-informed approaches for feedback
  • Robust online assessments that reduce academic malpractice
  • Authentic assessments that build employability skills

Information sessions and next steps for applications

We ran an online ITL Fellowship Information Session three times across December 2022 and January 2023 at which colleagues can find out more about what ITL Fellowships involve, what we're looking for in projects this year and hear advice on developing your application. We're keen that all colleagues be able to access this information for reference or if unable to attend a session, so after all sessions have taken place you will also be able to view the slides, along with answers to all session FAQs. Some of these are already listed below, and answers to any new queries will be added here after all sessions have taken place.

Applications will be in the form of:

  1. An Expression of Interest form (max 2-3 pages), and
  2. A focused CV (max 2 pages)

This ITL Fellowship Checklist has been created to help staff with the application process.

If you have further questions around ITL Fellowships, you can contact the Institute team on

ITL Fellowships and application process - FAQs

How do I apply for an ITL Fellowship?

Once you have read in full the details on how to apply above, please submit your application using the Expression of Interest (EoI) form (see link above) and email it as a word.docx to along with your 2-page CV.

A shortlisting panel will consider all EoIs submitted by the deadline, and candidates whose proposals are shortlisted will then be called to an interview. Interviews are likely to be scheduled for mid-late March 2023. 

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 2023 Fellowship. 

What if I think I have a good idea and a plan of 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.  You may find it helpful to outline who you see as the key stakeholders and contacts that will be important to engage in order for your project to be successful, even if they are not currently within your networks. 

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

Certainly - we really welcome joint projects (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 2024 or 2025). 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: in fact for September 2023 we are specifically looking for two posts that focus on the teaching-research nexus: one through a research lens and one through a research lens. But whether you chose to focus on this topic or one of our other strategic themes, as long as your project is teaching-focused, and you believe it can have a positive impact on our students and their learning then we'd like to hear from you.

For more context around the teaching-research nexus, please see the guidance above, and the following for context: 

Do I need to work on a project from September 2023 to June 2024 (or June 2025 at 0.1 FTE) 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 (over 10 months) or 0.1 FTE (over 22 months) contract which can be viewed as an average time commitment, and in some cases Fellows will condense their project work into a different 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?

Our colleagues in the Student Partner Programme provide an induction for the Student Partner Interns (SPIs), check in with them regularly and provide ongoing support and training throughout the Fellowship term.  In most cases SPIs are employed on a 0.2 FTE basis on a UoM grade 3 salary (spinal point 8); as with Fellows, rather than a fixed 7 hours per week this often works flexibly as an average time commitment over the course of the project by agreement between the Fellow and the project SPI as appropriate.  The SPIs often work collaboratively to design surveys and focus groups, for example, which often brings fresh perspectives 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 Partners 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 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 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?

The call for applications is open from 05 December 2022. Please use the Expression of Interest form to apply, along with a 2-page (max.) CV (see How do I apply for an ITL Fellowship? above)

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.

If you have further queries on the Fellowships or application process, please contact the ITL team at