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Policy on XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards

to take effect from AY2023/24

INTRODUCTION

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) recognises and greatly appreciates the contributions from all staff to the delivery of education. To show this appreciation in tangible ways, XJTLU rewards the efforts of a community of highly-committed members of staff and students through the scheme of XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards. These awards will be presented annually to those staff and students who have made outstanding achievements in the key areas of learning and teaching, research and impact, and teaching-related support.

 

CATEGORIES OF AWARD

• All-Round Academic Excellence Award: This category bestows significant prestige and honor on academic staff whose excellence is all-round and spans both learning and teaching as well as research and/or scholarship at XJTLU. Consideration will be given to those staff members who make major contributions to scholarship and the advancement of teaching practices, demonstrate positive impacts on the student experience in learning, generate extraordinary research outputs, and devote themselves to the nurturing of early career researchers. The award recognises the sustained success of members of academic staff who have been continuously dedicated to the intellectual and personal development of students, and of peers and who have catalysed positive institutional change in alignment with the strategic directions of the university.

• Teaching Excellence Award: This category recognises excellence in teaching practices in XJTLU that reflect the highest standards in pedagogy, as evidenced by a record of outstanding teaching effectiveness within and outside the classroom (face-to-face and/or online). Nominations are invited for individuals who demonstrate the ability to inspire, promote, and sustain the intellectual development of students, develop approaches to assessment that bring about improvements in student performance, foster critical thinking and independent inquiry amongst students, and organise scholarly activities that are conducive to the enhancement of learning and teaching in the wider academic community of the university.

• Teaching Innovation Award: This category recognises innovations in teaching and learning that are facilitated by new technologies or by radical shifts in curriculum development which improve student engagement in their learning process. Innovation is defined as advanced and forward-looking practice that has not previously been experienced or created at XJTLU. It involves the introduction of new ideas that are ahead of current thinking. Nominations are invited for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to innovative educational practices, either within module delivery or as a broader approach. This award seeks to honour those academic staff who have transformed traditional teaching methods and inspired new or more effective ways of learning in imaginative ways and with great passion.

• Research Excellence Award: This category recognises staff excellence with respect to research, including research impact and research outputs. Research achievements are recognised in terms of outputs that are demonstrably significant both within and beyond national boundaries and so bring international esteem within the nominee’s discipline. This notion of outputs includes all research-led published works, and extends to include research-related knowledge transfer, research-derived innovations in the social and economic spheres, as well as pro-active engagement with industry through collaborative partnerships leading to the effective and sustained creation of research ecosystems and collaborative ventures.

To better acknowledge and appreciate the valuable contributions of early-career researchers in XJTLU, a dedicated Early-Career Researcher Award is established in parallel with the Research Excellence Award. This award should have distinct criteria for evaluation, which can be found in Appendix "Awards Criteria".

• Research Supervision Award: This category recognises outstanding supervisory support for PhD researchers and/or postdoctoral researchers that empowers and enables exceptional engagement in developing high-quality supervisory practice and research supervision leadership at XJTLU. Research supervision is recognised here in terms of sustained academic training in research methods and project design, academic coaching, the sustained delivery of inspirational leadership for PhD students and/or postdoctoral researchers and best practice demonstrations of innovative supervisory practices and approaches within the academic units and in the wider academic community of the university.

• Teaching Technician Award: This category recognises the contributions of teaching technicians to the delivery of high-quality teaching and honours the provision of outstanding mentoring support to students at XJTLU which accelerates and facilitates student learning through excellence in instruction.

• Teaching Assistant Award: This category recognises the contributions of Masters/PhD students who serve as teaching assistants to the delivery of high-quality teaching and honours the provision of outstanding mentoring support to students at XJTLU which accelerates and facilitates student learning through excellence in instruction.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Nominations are invited on behalf of:
• Full-time academic staff from all Schools, Academies, Teaching Centres, Research Institutes and Centres, and other academic units of the University;
• Full-time professional services staff of the University (Teaching Technician Award);
• Full-time Master or PhD students of the University (Teaching Assistant Award).

To be eligible for the Early-Career Researcher Award, academic staff should normally have obtained their highest degree within the past five years and have not yet reached the academic designation of 'Associate Professor' or equivalent. When a candidate’s career was interrupted by non-academic engagements, the time requirement since the completion of the highest degree could be extended accordingly.

Nominations may only be accepted for one category of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards for any individual nominee in any year. Staff or students who have previously received a XJTLU Academic Excellence Award or Learning and Teaching Award are eligible to be nominated again three years after receiving the award.

 

NOMINATION PROCESS

All XJTLU staff can make one nomination for each category of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards; however, self-nomination is not permitted.

Students via student-staff liaison committees or other representative groups can make one nomination for each category of the awards. Nominations submitted by individual students will not be accepted.

Nominations should be initiated within academic units, and every unit takes the responsibility to set up and implement their internal review and selection process. Each academic unit can decide and make one nomination for any category of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards. The nominations received from academic units will be considered by the Uuniversity Awards Panel for selection of university-level winners.

Academic units should also establish their procedures in such a way that their “School/Academy Recognition Scheme for Educational Excellence” is aligned with the framework of the University-level awards and that their implementation process for the nominations follow the University guidelines.

Nominations from academic units should be made using the nomination form which can be found in the Appendix. The completed form, together with all relevant supporting evidence, should be sent to the Academic Affairs and Systems Office via AEA@xjtlu.edu.cn by the specified deadline.

 

TIMELINE

The deadline for nominations from academic units to the University is in the second semester of each Academic Year, which will be planned and announced by the Academic Affairs and Systems Office at the beginning of Semester 2.

The internal review and selection process within academic units should normally be concluded within Semester 1 so as to ensure an accurate connection with the timeline for selection of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards at the university level.

 

EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS

A University Awards Panel will be convened by the Academic Affairs and Systems Office in consultation with the Vice President of Academic Affairs to consider the nominations received from academic units. The Panel will normally consist of:

• Vice President of Academic Affairs (Chair)
• AVP-Education (Co-Chair)
• AVP-Research and Impact (Co-Chair)
• Chief Officer of Ecology
• Chief Officer of Education
• CAA Director (or nominee)
• A Senior Staff Member from EDU, Academy of Future Educations
• A former winner of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards or Learning and Teaching Awards
• A student representative
• Member of Professional Services staff from the Academic Affairs and Systems Office (Secretary)

The awards panel will meet and consider all written nominations received from academic units, and agree one University Winner for each category of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards. Other nominees will also receive recognition under respective award categories.

The Chair of the University Awards Panel, with support from the Secretary, will be responsible for informing all nominees of the outcomes.

 

AWARDING AND CEREMONY

The University Winners of the XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards will each receive a trophy and a certificate; other nominees will also receive a certificate. All winners will be invited to attend the celebratory event(s) organized by the university for award presentations.

The list of winners of XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards will be approved by the University Senior Management Team and announced to the whole XJTLU community at the earliest opportunity.


Appendix:

1. Awards Criteria
2. XJTLU Academic Excellence Awards Nomination Form

 

(Last Review Date: 16 Jan 2024)

 

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