Award Winners

Collaborative Awards for Teaching Excellence

Lancaster University Guidance

The Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) celebrates collaborative work in teaching and learning and looks to capture the creative and innovative practice that positively impacts on the student experience. 

The benefits of winning the Award are wide ranging and include providing teams with national recognition and profile of their collaborative work.

Our Lancaster University Learning Development team won this accolade in 2022.

Inclusivity and Eligibility: CATE is inclusive, and we actively encourage applications from teams of academic and/or professional services colleagues engaged in teaching and supporting learning.

Competitive Process: CATE operates as a competition, with nominations undergoing thorough review by members of the broader higher education community. The awards process is coordinated by Advance HE

Award Frequency: Approximately 16 awards are granted annually, underscoring the significance and selectivity of this prestigious recognition. Each institution can only nominate one team to be considered for the award.

If you are selected as Lancaster University’s CATE nomination your team will have the opportunity to showcase your team’s outstanding contributions to the student learning experience and contribute to the national focus on teaching and learning excellence.

Applications for 2025 are now open.  

The process is as follows:  

Stage 1: Internal applications deadline 12 noon 16th April 2024 - use the "NTFS-CATE" link below.  

Stage 1 outcomes and Lancaster University CATE nominee informed June 2024  

Stage 2: Nominee final deadline one month before CATE deadline: to be confirmed but based on past deadlines it is likely to be March 2025. 

Eligibility information for potential CATE team applications

  1. Those within the team can be in any role that contributes to the enhancement of teaching and learning.
  2. Colleagues working at an overseas campus, whilst contracted to HE providers in the UK, are eligible to be part of the team.
  3. Student members of the team are actively encouraged and can be studying or in a representative role.
  4. The team leader may not have an active application for NTFS running at the same time as an application for CATE.

Potential CATE teams are invited to submit expressions of interest to NTFS-CATE

Teams will be required to prepare and submit the following documentation:

  1. 2025 CATE Stage 1 Template against the criteria detailed in the Award Criteria tab, up to 2500 words - please see the CATE 2024 Guidance Notes.(2025 Guidance notes will be made available when published by Advance HE)
  2. A list of all team members with their job titles and an indication of their active role in the team.

In writing against each criterion, it is important to demonstrate direct engagement with students. Although there is no requirement for students to be members of the team, a team should clearly demonstrate how students are directly engaged in their work. Teams should also highlight how they work together as a team and what innovative, inclusive, and excellent practices they have led within their own organisational setting and potentially beyond.

You may find it helpful to review previous winners on the Advance HE website in thinking about your own team’s approach and impact.

Claims will be assessed by the panel on the evidence provided in the application in relation to each of the two criteria below. These criteria are identical to those used by the national award process.

Teams need to submit their draft for consideration by the Lancaster selection panel. An internal selection panel, chaired by our PVC in Education, will review all eligible CATE proposals and agree on the institutional nomination. The selection panel can include senior academics, Associate Deans for Teaching, previous NTFS and CATE winners and CEDA. Only one team per institution, per year may be put forward for a CATE award.

Preparation and submission of full CATE claim to Advance HE

Please note that the process and dates for 2025 award claims will be subject to the national awards scheme and timetable. The information below is based on the Advanced HE 2024 application round and is provided to give an indication of the requirements, but might be subject to change.

The Lancaster CATE team selected for nomination by the institution will be asked to submit a final version of their claim, in line with Advance HE formatting guidance. A final version of the application and all additional submission requirements must be completed in advance of the national deadline.

The team will be required to complete:

  • Claim: A statement of how the nominated team demonstrates outstanding impact in relation to the award criteria (maximum total of 3500) plus an overarching Context Statement (up to 300 words) and a Reference List.
  • Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form: an online form completed by the team leader.

Claims are also accompanied by a signed Institutional Statement of Support.

Support from CEDA is available to Lancaster nominees throughout the process. Additionally, external peer support and critical friendship will be made available for nominees in the development of their claim.

CATE claims are judged rigorously by a national panel of peers from across the sector, and evaluated on the strength of evidence in meeting the set criteria.

Criterion 1: Excellence in the team’s collaborative approach

Evidence of excellence in the team’s approach to working collaboratively; commensurate with their context and the opportunities afforded by it. This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of excellence in terms of:

  • having a clear set of aims, objectives and rationale for the team’s approach and how the group constitutes a team and developed as a team;
  • demonstrating direct engagement of students within or with the team;
  • illustrating how the team has contributed to wider thematic and sector priorities, for example, assessment and feedback; retention, employability, staff development; students as partners; technology and social media;
  • working collaboratively with a range of stakeholder groups;
  • embedding practices across different programmes, disciplines, campuses or institutions;
  • being flexible and creative in working to address unanticipated situations or events;
  • measuring the impact or outcomes of collaborative work.

Criterion 2: Excellence in the impact of collaborative working

Evidence of the team having a demonstrable impact on teaching and learning beyond their immediate academic or professional area. This may, for example, be demonstrated by providing evidence of the:

  • reach of the team’s work;
  • benefit or value derived from working as a team;
  • impact of supporting colleagues and/or influencing support for student learning;
  • impact on student learning or outcomes;
  • impact of any outcomes/outputs of collaborative work.

Value, reach and impact 

Reviewers will be looking for evidence of value, reach and impact to be demonstrated in the evidence within the narrative presented by the team. Please note that the two award criteria above are given equal consideration in the assessment process and weighted equally in the overall score.

CATE Workshop

CEDA will be running a workshop ‘Is CATE right for you? ‘ where you will be given the opportunity to learn more about the criteria for the award, with the aim of helping you decide if you would like to apply this year or next.

Book workshop

‘Is applying for CATE right for you’? 27th Feb 2024 9.30am - 10.30am online

If your application is successful and your team is Lancaster University’s nominee, then we shall be in touch about how best to support you.

Advance HE also have a range of resources to support CATE nominations.