The Early Career ATE give recognition to individuals and teams renowned for excellence in teaching and who have made a broad and deep contribution to enhancing the quality of learning and teaching at The University of Queensland within the first 5 years of their teaching career.

One (1) Early Career ATE may be granted each year at the discretion of the University Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee. The recipient will be awarded a certificate and a grant of $5,000.

There is no limit to the number of commendations that may be awarded.

Key dates

ActionDue date
Expressions of interest close29 April 2024
Full applications close26 July 2024
UQ awards ceremony28 October 2024


General eligibility

  • Application is open to academic staff with teaching or teaching/research appointments.
  • Applicants must have ordinarily a minimum of 2 years of academic teaching-related employment at The University of Queensland, with no more than 5 years’ experience teaching in higher education (from the starting date of teaching to the date of submission of the expression of interest).

    Career interruptions such as periods of unemployment, parental leave, or medical conditions may be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact to discuss.

    Note: peer tutoring as an undergraduate student will not count in the 5 years in higher education teaching. However, teaching undertaken as a PhD candidate (for example, casual appointments as a tutor) will count towards the 5 years’ higher education teaching experience. 
  • Both individual and team applications are accepted. All teams must provide a team name.
  • An application which is considered to be more closely aligned with the criteria for a Citation may be referred to the COCSL Selection Committee for consideration in the same year.
  • A winner of a University of Queensland ATE may not be the recipient of a University of Queensland COCSL in the same year unless they form part of a team application and are not the lead applicant. 

Eligibility of previous recipients

  • Winners of the University's ATE are not eligible to reapply, with the exception of: 
    • Previous recipients of ATE are eligible to reapply for an award if they form part of a team application and were not the lead applicant; the team application should not substantially replicate the original award. 
    • Members of teams that have received awards are eligible to reapply; the application should not substantially replicate the original award. 
  • Previous University of Queensland Citation and/or AAUT Citation winners are eligible to apply for an ATE. 
  • A winner of an AAUT Early Career ATE may apply for a University of Queensland Early Career ATE if they have not been a previous recipient. 
  • Previous AAUT ATE and University of Queensland ATE recipients are not eligible to reapply. 

Please note, previous recipients of a University Early Career ATE are eligible to reapply in the Awards for Teaching Excellence 5 years after receiving an Early Career award.

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Assessment criteria

Early Career ATE expressions of interest and applications will be assessed on the evidence provided in response to the following four criteria, which will be given equal consideration by the Shortlisting Committee and Selection Committee:  

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

This may include:

  • Fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning
  • Participating in effective and empathetic guidance and advice for students
  • Assisting students from equity and other demographic subgroups to participate and achieve success in their courses
  • Encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching
  • Inspiring and motivating students through effective communication, presentation and interpersonal skills
  • Enabling others to enhance their approaches to learning and teaching
  • Developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning. 

2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field.

This may include:

  • Developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for student learning
  • Implementing research-led approaches to learning and teaching
  • 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
  • Providing support to those involved in the development of curricula and resources
  • Contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources. 

3. Effective assessment practices that bring about improvements in student learning, may have a focus on academic integrity or digital solutions, or any assessment strategies that bring about change.

This may include:

  • Showing advanced skills in assessment/alternative assessment practices
  • Using a variety of assessment strategies to bring about change 
  • Adapting assessment methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles 
  • Contributing professional expertise to the field of assessment in order to improve program design and delivery
  • Dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through assessment 
  • Evaluating the quality of the assessment practices.

4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

This may include:

  • Participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching
  • Innovations in service and support for students
  • Coordination, management and leadership of courses and student learning
  • Conducting and publishing research related to teaching
  • Demonstrating leadership through activities that have broad influence on the 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
  • Influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education. 

Evidencing your contribution

In assessing expressions of interest and applications against the four criteria, the Shortlisting Committee and Selection Committee will take the following into account: 

  • Impact on student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience for a period of no less than two years, not including time take for development or trial of any activity which must be demonstrated in student testimonial, student improvement in results over time, and/or strong SECaT results.

  • Recognition gained from colleagues, the University, and/or the broader community.

  • Creativity, imagination or innovation shown, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-based developments.

  • Scholarly literature on teaching and learning drawn on to inform the development of initiatives, programs and/or practice. 

The case made needs to be supported by a diverse range of evidence. It's recommended that qualitative and quantitative data are from an extensive range of formal and informal sources including the your self-reflection, student learning, student experience and evidence of institutional, peer, and stakeholder interactions.

Student voices, through examples and quotations, can convey a cogent account of their experiences.

Your career stage in Early Career ATE expressions of interest and applications will be considered, and all applications will be assessed relative to opportunity. You can attach a brief summary (max 200 words) of any factors you would like taken into consideration by the committee.

Refer to the information session resources: Addressing a Learning Challenge (PDF, 165.5 KB) and Evidence for your application (PDF, 107.1 KB) when drafting an expression of interest or full application.

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How to apply

Expression of Interest (EOI)

You must submit your Expression of Interest and Summary of Evidence by 5pm, 29 April 2024.

The EOI online form will prompt you for the following information:

  • Application form:
    • applicant details including name, school, faculty, email and team details (if applicable)
    • category of award
    • synopsis (200 words)
    • overview of your teaching and its context (max. 300 words).
  • File uploads:
    • summary of evidence addressing all 4 assessment criteria provided in dot point format (maximum one A4 page)
    • Reference list on a separate page (n.b. this is not your publication history, and should only include a list of the works cited in your EOI). 
    • SECaT Teaching Summary Report for the last 3 years (i.e., if applying in 2024, this report must provide data for 2021, 2022 and 2023). You can also include a short explanation appended to and supporting this document if desired.


A Shortlisting Committee will appraise expressions of interest according to the published criteria, and will invite eligible applicants to provide a detailed application by 26 July 2024.

To download previous ATE applications, browse through our Exemplar award application library (staff login required).

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a workshop facilitated by ITaLI where advice and guidance will be given on the format and content of their ATE application.

A Selection Committee will appraise applications according to the published criteria and make recommendations for awarding commendations and citations to the University Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Committee for approval.

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Workshops and information sessions

1:1 Consultations

Applicants who need 1:1 support are recommended to request a consultation with ITaLI staff. 

Information session

8 April 2024 at 10am, 17-202 (Learning Innovation Building)

This session will provide an overview of the Teaching and Learning Award schemes offered at UQ, and tips for structuring an effective expression of interest.

Register for the session

Writing a Teaching and Learning Award application workshop

This session is open to shortlisted applicants only, and will be held in June.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide applicants with guidance on the format and content of their application and discuss tips for a successful application.

Mentored award writing session

This session is open to shortlisted applicants only, and will be held in July.

The purpose of this session is to provide applicants with time and space to work on their draft application, with ITaLI staff and previous UQ award winners available to provide advice and clarification.

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Previous ATE award winners

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