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How to approach applying for Principal Fellowship

16 Apr 2019 | Professor Sally Bradley Professor Sally Bradley, Advance HE Academic Lead for Professional Learning and Development, offers advice on how to approach applying for Principal Fellowship.

When you’ve completed the Fellowship Category tool and it has come out positively toward Principal Fellowship, what’s next?

Getting started

Think through the interventions you have made as a strategic leader of learning and teaching. It’s not job titles or roles but the things you have instigated, the things which have happened because you have been the driving force. You are looking for between 10 and 20 interventions, which have taken place over the last five years. A Principal Fellowship application is looking at currency of practice, as well as a sustained record of strategic leadership. 

Consider scope 

As a Principal Fellow, you are looking for interventions which have had a wide reach, either institution-wide or beyond your immediate discipline within your institution. Or perhaps you have made a strategic impact within your discipline outside your institution, perhaps with a professional body – it still needs to be in relation to learning and teaching and it still needs to be strategic. 

What does success look like?

How do you know that policy, or strategy, has made a difference to the student experience, to reward and recognise quality teaching or the academic practice of others? Do you know who is using your model?  The measures of success could be qualitative or quantitative, but you need to know it has made a positive impact. 

Time is ticking

The next challenge is time. As a strategic leader, where do you find the time to write about yourself? It will feel self-indulgent. Can you create some dedicated time to write a reflection on your own practice? It will be easy to write what you have done because you have already thought about those 10 to 20 interventions. The next step is to consider the why? What was the driver behind your intervention, what was the pedagogical model?  And how do you know they have worked?

If time is your biggest challenge, then think about a writing retreat with Advance HE. It’s an invaluable opportunity to escape life’s interruptions and progress with your application. You get dedicated time and space to reflect and write, one-to-one support and a review of your draft. 

View the events calendar to find out the dates for the next Principal Fellow Writing Retreats


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