Becoming nationally recognised for teaching excellence: Reflections from winners of NTFS

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The University of Aberdeen and the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) invite you to register to attend presentations by winners of the Advance HE National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE).


The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) and the Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) are organised by Advance HE and have been running in Scotland since 2018.

The NTF Scheme celebrates and recognises individuals who have made an outstanding impact on student outcomes and the teaching profession in Higher Education (HE). The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) recognises and rewards collaborative work that has had a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning and highlights the key role of teamwork in higher education.

The NTFS and CATE are amongst the highest profile awards in the UK sector for innovation and practice in Higher Education learning and teaching. The awards are highly competitive with only a relatively small number of colleagues and teams from across the sector being awarded a NTF or CATE each year.

Presentation Outlines

Open to colleagues aspiring to achieve a NTF and/or a CATE, these one hour online presentations by the University of Aberdeen and UHI winners will explore how they approached writing their application, how they gathered and presented evidence, and aspects of  their practice that were praised or highlighted by the Advance HE reviewing panel. There will be time for questions and discussion but there will not be time to go into detail about the criteria or the institutional processes for selecting applications to take forward.  You are encouraged to explore the award criteria through the Advance HE webpages before attending the presentations and seeking guidance on respective institutional selection processes ahead or after attending the presentation(s)


Dr Leah Macaden

Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing Studies, Senior Fellow of the Advance HE and a Churchill Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. She was a Professor in Nursing at the Christian Medical College, Vellore in South India prior to moving to Scotland in 2011. Leah is passionate and committed to excellence in nurse higher education. She has received several awards throughout her career in recognition of her excellence and commitment to teaching and research including the competitive Scottish Crucible award in 2013. Her National Teaching Fellow award in 2022 whilst employed at UHI, was in recognition of her innovation and collaboration with interdisciplinary experts to co-design research integrated educational resources to support three key areas in gerontological nursing: dementia; dignity and sensory impairments with national/international significance, reach and impact. Her most recent contribution to the COVID–19 Action as a Churchill Fellow includes the first comprehensive COVID - 19 dementia education resource for blended and flexible learning in social care contexts that is attracting significant national and international interest. She has also recently been recognised as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in recognition of her leadership, strategic and innovative approach to dementia nurse higher education, workforce development in health and social care contexts in the care of older people.

Lois Gray

Educated in Zambia and Scotland, in 1985 Lois Gray graduated in Electronics, from the University of Dundee, then worked as a design engineer for Racal, where she fulfilled defence contracts in Scotland and Australia. Moving to Caithness in 2003, Lois designed battery and charger electronics at Denchi Power. In 2006 she became a lecturer with North Highland College UHI (NHC), delivering undergraduate courses for Aberdeen and the Open Universities. Promoted to Programme Leader, in 2011, Lois achieved unique distance-learning accreditation of UHI’s BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Following an MSc in Sustainable Energy Solutions, in 2015 Lois returned to industry for a year. Then, from 2016 – 2018, she led SCQF levels 5 to 10 curriculum for NHC. From 2018 – 2022, Lois was an academic lead developer for UHI, where her inclusive approach to learning, and dedication to professional development, led to her achieving a 2021 NTF award. Lois has since returned to lecturing.

Lois is a Chartered engineer, and a member of the Women’s Engineering Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Education Society. She has taught in China and mentored Bhutan female lecturers. She champions gender equality in engineering education and has recently been awarded a research grant for this.

To Book

Please register online via Eventbrite. This presentation will be delivered through Microsoft Teams, the joining link will be sent to registered participants a couple of days ahead of the presentation. Please register with an institution email address.


We want to make this a positive experience for all participants and hope we have met everyone's needs in joining this session. If you have particular access needs please contact us at so we can work together to get you as good an experience as we can.


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