Teaching Awards

Oxford Teaching Awards are given either to individuals or to teams as a public acknowledgement of excellence in teaching and learning. There are two main types of award: personal awards, and grants to fund projects aimed at improving teaching and learning. A well-considered project proposal is seen as evidence of commitment to teaching excellence. We have collected together some examples of projects that have been supported in previous years: the amounts made available for projects have varied between £1k and £5k, and potential applicants are asked to seek further advice from their divisions.

Awards may be made not only to teachers but also to other staff (for instance administrative and technical staff, and librarians) who work to support teaching. 

Teaching awards ceremony 2015

We hope you all enjoyed the Teaching Awards ceremony at Rhodes House on the evening of 23 November 2015. You can view a collection of the photographs taken at the ceremony at IWPHOTOGRAPHIC website.

If you have any queries please contact Yonas Tita

We ask that you give IWPHOTOGRAPHIC credit for any images used for publicity.

Image © iwphotographic.com

Teaching Award: project grants

Since 2007, the Teaching Awards Scheme has recognised excellence in teaching and learning on the part of staff who devise projects to support or develop new educational practice in their areas. This part of the scheme has always been very flexible but has typically offered grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 to pay for the materials, equipment, or administrative or academic support needed for the project.

Sixty projects, examples of which can be seen below, have now been supported accross the University.

Projects in:

The Humanities


  • to assist in reconfiguring the three Master's programmes offered in post-medieval British and European History
  • to engage gifted and talented children from West London in a short residential course in Oxford
  • to restructure the teaching of a 1st-year paper and to support graduate students in teaching


  • to test a short immersion course in medieval language and literature
  • to develop a series of seminars linking Middle English and Early Modern literature


  • to train students in the use of digital audio and music notation software

Oriental Studies

  • to develop IT-assisted Oriental language teaching


  • to integrate and extend academic practice development and training for graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and other early career academics in the Humanities

Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences


  • to widen participation and enthusiasm for physics amongst schoolchildren of all age groups
  • to develop web-based material to support a series of lectures on energy science and climate
  • to restructure the second year Electromagnetism course
  • the development of a revised third-year course
  • to develop 'essay' writing skills
  • to develop a group project for the second year cohort - this work to pilot an intercollegiate competition involving second year students presenting their work


  • to develop ‘Bridging the gap between A-level and university-level chemistry’, a pilot bridging course for the Long Vacation


  • to develop 3rd-year project work and to implement the transition from Maple to Matlab.

Zoology (with OUCS)

  • to develop guides and software components to help students build their own computer models of pandemics caused by fast-mutating pathogens such as the influenza virus

Medical Sciences

Preclinical Medicine

  • an investigation into the extent to which first hand experience of science influences students’ choice of degree course


  • to pilot on-line assessment in medicine using intelligent free-text recognition software.


  • to provide a companion booklet to a course in essential mathematics for new Biochemistry students and to update the booklet sent to pre-course students.


  • to support the implementation of peer observation of teaching throughout the department and to evaluate its effectiveness.


  • to enable all 5th-year medical students to have hands-on experience of clinical ultrasound using good quality machines


  • to support the design and implementation of an innovative Critical Care/Anaesthesia Simulation, to be delivered as part of the Preparing to Practice course for all final-year medical students

Social Sciences


  • to introduce moot court competitions as part of developing the Legal Research and Mooting Skills Programme

Interdisciplinary Area Studies

  • to introduce a two-day workshop to promote the intellectual development of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies shared research methods course

Queen Elizabeth House

  • to create a new option in 'Development, Environment, and Health'

Interdisciplinary doctoral training centre

  • to provide doctoral and MPhil students with unique inter-departmental advanced mixed methods training to develop skills and capabilities for designing and carrying out field-research in 'hot places', i.e. underdeveloped countries or areas in conflict
  • to provide doctoral students with professional development including skills training in academic writing and publishing relating to the writing of 'ethnographic portraits' i.e. individual stories that illuminate the complex links between contemporary global issues and everyday life experiences
  • to provide doctoral students with interdisciplinary social science qualitative training for those with an interest in using qualitative research involving visual sources (such as photography, film, or video) or items of material culture

Continuing Education

Environmental conservation

  • the development of an innovative hybrid, modular, part-time programme of postgraduate education and training in ecological survey techniques aimed at building capacity in environmental conservation practice.


  • to investigate the market potential for a course to enable adult graduates in other disciplines to access, on a part-time basis, postgraduate study and research in historical studies either for personal or career interests


  • to develop ‘Outreach teaching-materials for community-based field archaeology’


  • to develop ‘A casebook on identities and collective rights in International Human Rights Law’

Statistical analysis

  • to develop an interactive digital resource to facilitate the comprehension of statistical concepts and the interpretation of statistical results

Creative writing

  • to increase the scope of the Master of Studies in Creative Writing by adding to the course a new focus on different genres of writing

English Local and Social History

  • to develop a one-year Undergraduate Certificate in Local and Family History, exploiting to the full the Department for Continuing Education’s flexible and online learning capacity

Bodleian Libraries


  • to develop a suite of on-line tutorials in IT skills for academic use in the Department of Education