Recognising Teaching Excellence: Awards, Grants and Promotions

Outstanding teaching by those in the University of Sydney community is recognised in many ways.

Teaching Awards

Teaching awards provide another way for outstanding teaching to be recognised. Awards are offered by the Faculties, the University, and the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT), as well as other groups, such as those below. Anybody interested in applying for a teaching award is encouraged to take part in the Educational Innovation workshops for prospective applicants.

The EI offers a range of activities to support staff in applying for these awards and provides advice to intending applicants. The application processes for the teaching awards and grants are managed by the EI.

The Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding and Innovative Contributions to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Strategy

This award seeks to promote, recognise and reward outstanding and innovative contributions to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy at the University of Sydney.It is awarded by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services).The award is open to Indigenous and non-Indigenous staff of the University. Nominees must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to the University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander strategy. The award is for the sum of $10,000.

The 2015 Vice-Chancellor’s prize has been jointly awarded to Caroline Marin-Edwards from Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS) and to Tanya Mitchell from the Sydney Law School. Both recipients showed passion and dedication to implementing aspects of the strategy in their respective areas. Ms Marin’s involvement in events such as the Vivid Festivals not only showcased Indigenous art on campus but also considerably strengthened relationships with the University’s local Aboriginal groups and communities.
Ms Mitchell’s tireless work saw a full curriculum review for cultural competence carried out across the Law School focussing on Indigenous knowledge and understanding, and creating a teaching environment built on respect and trust.

The University Co-op Excellence in Teaching and Community Award

The purpose of this award is to promote, recognise and reward teaching practices that offer a fulfilling and well-rounded student-centred experience, including access to academic and support resources and appreciation of the University of Sydney community.

NSW Quality Teaching Awards

The Quality Teaching Awards are open to permanent, part-time and casual government and non-government pre-school, early childhood, primary, secondary, university, TAFE and community education teachers. The awards are conducted by the Australian College of Educators, a national professional association, and presented by the NSW Minister for Education and Training. The Quality Teaching Awards recognise and applaud accomplished teaching practice through a rigorous process involving referees’ reports, professional learning portfolios and workplace visits.
View the Guidelines for the awards including application forms.

The Business- Higher Education Round Table Awards

B-HERT Awards were established in 1998 to recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between business and higher education in the fields of research & development and education & training. The objective of the program is to highlight at a national level the benefits of such collaboration and enhance links between industry and universities.  The Awards are designed to recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between one or more higher education institutions and one or more industry partners. In this regard industry is defined broadly as publicly and privately owned companies, associations and recognised community and welfare organisations. The underpinning interaction must be a true collaboration above and beyond what would normally be expected as part of routine activities. All parties must be actively involved and contributing, having a relationship well beyond a commercial or service delivery arrangement.  Further information.


A range of university and national competitive grants and fellowships are available to university staff who wish to pursue particular projects related to teaching development. There are internal grants and a series of grants, secondments and fellowships offered by the Office for Learnng and Teaching.


The academic promotion process at Sydney builds in the requirement that in order to be promoted – even on a Research Focused pathway – an applicant must demonstrate Superior achievements in teaching. There is also the option of being promoted at all levels (including to Professor) on the Education Focused pathway, primarily on the basis of a staff member’s exceptional teaching. The EI team offers support to applicants in preparing a convincing promotion case for teaching.