The Graduate Teaching Associates (GTA) program is designed to foster the next generation of great teachers.

If you have any questions about other professional learning opportunities that you may undertake, please refer to the Teaching career development web page for more information about our programs.

About the GTA program

The GTA program provides participants with the knowledge and practical skills to build a successful teaching career in higher education.

It aims to develop the participants' understanding and skills in:

  • how students learn
  • developing a Teaching Philosophy
  • lesson planning
  • motivating and engaging students
  • managing group dynamics
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • assessing, marking and moderation
  • face-to-face teaching and active teaching strategies
  • eLearning and technological aids
  • UQ policies regarding teaching and learning
  • peer review and educational evaluation.

The GTA program is a free initiative. The program focuses on teaching in online, blended and face-to-face environments and aims to develop and improve the teaching practices of participants.

The program is generally offered twice a year (once per semester) and enrolments are capped at 60 participants.

Program participants are expected to:

  • attend the workshops hosted by the teaching team
  • complete the online modules, along with relevant quizzes and practical implementation activities 
  • observe and reflect upon three teaching sessions delivered by academics
  • attend professional development activities delivered to academics in the faculty
  • receive mentoring
  • commit to developing a final portfolio. 

Time commitment

Participants engage with six modules which are supported by a workshop series and supplemented with independtly completed learning activities. 

Past participants have confirmed that they spent between 2 and 6 hours per week engaging in components of the program for its duration. Some weeks this time commitment was less, and some weeks were at the upper end of that range. 

Participation in all learning activities including the submission of these learning activities by set deadlines is necessary to successfully complete the program and to be invited to submit an application to become an Associate Fellow of HEA (Higher Education Academy).

Benefits for tutors

  • development of knowledge and skills to advance in their future teaching careers
  • development of a portfolio to evidence teaching experience
  • invitation to submit an application to become an Associate Fellow of HEA (Higher Education Academy).

Benefits for lecturers

After completing the GTA program, participants are equipped to:

  • provide high-quality, high-impact teaching relief for teaching and research academics.
  • support academics with increasing student cohort size
  • provide extra resources to help with integration of knowledge and use of new technologies.


Please complete the online application form by 16 February 2024.

Apply Now

Late applications will not be accepted.

Eligibility criteria

Please be aware that GTA Program applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • have a paid teaching position with approximately 25 contact hours confirmed across the course of the relevant semester (an average of 1-2 contact hours per week is generally sufficient to meet the requirements of the program)
  • have previously completed or close to completing a formal program of tutor training such as Tutors@UQ or an equivalent faculty or school-based tutor training program at UQ or elsewhere
  • have obtained the course coordinator’s permission to participate in the GTA program
  • have access to a teaching and learning academic who can be their mentor 
  • have the time to complete the program (e.g. no long overseas absences; not writing up their thesis in case of PhD students)
  • are a university graduate with a desire to teach in higher education.

If you do not meet all eligibility criteria, your application may not be approved.

A note for applicants working in the Gross Anatomy Facility (GAF)

GTA program participants tutoring anatomy in the GAF are required to be supported by a School of Biomedical Sciences anatomy academic as their Course Coordinator, and must obtain Anatomy Teaching and Research Management Committee RA2 approval for the work (including Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research and GTA peer reviews).

If you are planning on making peer observations in the GAF, you must:

  1. Submit and hold RA2 approval.
  2. Ensure your GTA Mentor or Course Coordinator is an anatomy staff member with current GAF access rights.
  3. Ensure your peer observer is an authorized person to be present in the GAF & holds current and fully completed GAF induction training. Non-authorized persons are not permitted in the GAF.
  4. Ensure GAF activities and procedures are not posted or discussed online in any format.
  5. Ensure your GTA reports maintain donor confidentiality and do not include sensitive information relating to anatomical specimens.
  6. If you plan on publishing your GTA work, you must submit your application as a fully-fledged research project (includes the additional requirement of obtaining ethical approval from the Research Ethics Office). Please note that the GTA program requirements do not require you to formally publish any aspect of your engagement with the program’s activities.

The required RA2 form is available via the SBMS website: and should be submitted in its completed state to the GAF Manager ( for consideration.


If you have any questions regarding your suitability or any other aspects of your application, please contact or register for a 1:1 consultation.

GTA Program applicants are required to demonstrate that they have permission from a course coordinator of a course in which they will be teaching while engaged in the GTA program. This permission is required because some of the program activities will come to affect the way that they teach into the course.

The GTA program is intended to enhance the participant’s teaching practice. It is not intended to alter the student learning experience or impose additional work on course coordinators, or the students enrolled in their courses. The program is designed to support participants to reflect on their teaching in light of evidence-informed practices that they may not have considered, may not be aware of, or which spark additional insights. It is not intended to engage participants in a deep investigation of the impact of their teaching practice or to “experiment” on the student cohort. It is primarily an introspective and peer-assisted investigation into one’s own practice in light of contemporary theory and research of what constitutes effective teaching practice. The GTA program provides participants with an opportunity to implement their learning from the program into their practice and to gather generalised feedback about the effectiveness of those practices.

If this leaves you wondering “What is the scope of my support for my tutor’s participation in the program?”, please read through some of the FAQs outlined below:

In designing and implementing a lesson plan, learning resource or activity, specifically, how will this manifest, if at all, in the tutorial-setting?

For most tutors across the university, there is an expectation that they would translate the learning outcomes for a particular section of student engagement with the discipline into a learning activity. In the case of a tutorial in the humanities or social sciences, for example, this could take the form of a group discussion or group activity or an individual response to a homework assignment that is then shared with a small group and then with the larger group. Regardless of the activity, there is an expectation that the tutor would enter the class (whether face to face or online) with some degree of preparation and clearly articulated outcomes in mind and that in-class activities would be purposefully designed with student learning as a clear outcome.

As part of the GTA program, we introduce participants to different types of teaching approaches and strategies that can be used in small group learning environments that are grounded in principles of educational theory and evidence of successful practice. We talk through different ways to plan for those activities and strategies to encourage productive student engagement.

As course coordinator, your role would be to provide oversight so that the plans that your tutors devise meet your curriculum intentions. Some course coordinators provide guidance and advice and act as mentors, providing feedback or observing classes. Others do nothing more than skim through a plan to make sure that the activity planned meets intentions. Some participants devise a plan, but the class is not appropriate for implementing that plan, and course coordinators may just provide some insights as to what might work and what might not. The level of engagement and action is entirely up to you.

What does ‘engage with peer observation’ mean? And does such observation take place in tutorial-settings?

All participants in the GTA engage with the observation of a class (some observe a lecture offered by the course coordinator or a peer tutor or participate in an observation organised via the Open Class Scheme). They also have their teaching observed by a peer. A tutor might have a peer (usually someone from the current cohort) come in and observe how they conduct a tutorial. This could be online or face to face. Course coordinators do not have to be the peer observer, although you may choose to take on this role.

What are scope and procedures for gathering “evaluation data from students that may include a survey, focus group, or observation”?

Most GTA participants request a SETutor for their classes. We also introduce participants to strategies for collecting informal feedback from their students, including in-class strategies like the 3,2,1 technique, the muddiest point or similar—strategies that are not overly demanding but still give some important feedback.

Some participants are really motivated by the activity and have been known to work with co-participants to develop focus group protocols or surveys. We recommend that those that do want to do this kind of evaluation check-in with their course coordinators to get permission for running these kinds of activities before they do anything with students. Some course coordinators have embraced this activity going on to gain ethics approvals and have gone on to publish and present findings.

Other course coordinators limit the engagement to SETutors but may help GTA participants unpack the feedback. There is no expectation that GTA participants conduct surveys or conduct any form of deeper investigation (although if they do, it would usually be for their students only, and only with your support and permission).

There is an expectation that they would get some feedback on their teaching practices, but that doesn’t have to come  from students and does not have to be via a survey. We talk through a range of different strategies to do this: some are active interventions,  some passive,  but all only conducted with your approval.

The participants are requested to share the peer review protocols and data collection templates with you, once the course materials have been shared with you.

GTA participants are not required to conducted in depth studies or publish from their teaching – which would require seeking ethics approval.

Applicants who have questions about the GTA program may schedule an appointment for a 15 minute Zoom Consultation to discuss with one of the ITaLI Team.

Book a consultation

Do I need a mentor in the program?
Yes. Your mentor should be a faculty-based HEA Fellow who will work with you to help you critically review and evaluate your learning and teaching practice against the standards and criteria for professional recognition and help you select relevant examples of evidence for your application.

If you would like to approach a HEA Fellow who has previously completed the GTA program, please contact for further advice.

Why does my course coordinator need to certify my application?
Your application is required to demonstrate that you have the support of your course coordinator (i.e. the coordinator of the course that you are teaching in to). They are required to confirm their permission for your participation, as some of the program activities will come to affect the way that you teach into the course.

Is there any flexibility in the number of teaching contact hours I am required to have to participate in the program?
In order to confidently complete the series of activities associated with the GTA program, we find that a minimum of 25 hours of teaching over the course of the semester is required. However, if your appointment is for slightly less than this, we welcome your application. If your appointment is voluntary, for less than half this number of contact hours – or if your teaching will occur only over a two week period at one point in the semester, you will have difficulty completing the components of the program. We would encourage you to take this program at another time.