Before Starting Your Application

Before starting to write your application, there are some eligibility criteria to consider.

  • Are you currently an ANU employee and will continue to be for at least another 2 months?
  • Can you commit to upholding the HEA Code of Practice?
  • Have you considered how you can contribute to the EFS as a mentor and assessor?
  • Have you undertaken relevant Professional Development?
Do you have two referees?

You will need two referees who can “authenticate” your practice (i.e. corroborate what you have written in your application) but the referees you might choose to support you in applying for a job may not be the most suited to confirming and commenting on your teaching practice.

Think about referees before you start your application, so that if necessary you can ask colleagues to “watch you teach” or review your teaching materials while you are still writing your application.

One referee should ideally be an EFS fellow, and these colleagues may become part of an important network as you move into the EFS. You can identify fellows in your College or School on the current fellows page.

If your teaching was mainly done outside ANU, you can use an external referee, but do talk to an EFS mentor before finalising your request and application.

You will be able to access a referee form (Word document) relevant to your category of fellowship. Please send this to your referees, preferably with a final draft of your application. They should send the completed form back to you, and then you can include both referee reports in your complete application (a single PDF).

What should you remember to include?

There are many forms of “teaching and learning” activities in higher education. You might have been involved in class or online teaching, tutoring, developing curricula or teaching materials, formative or summative assessment, pedagogical research in higher education, or designing and delivering workshops for students or academics. Although “learners” in the context of a fellowship application may very well be students (undergraduate and postgraduate coursework, or higher degree research), they could also include colleagues (professional or academic staff), so feel free to reflect on your experiences involving those types of learners as well.

In your application, you need to be explicit and accurate in referencing the three dimensions of practice under the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), that is, Areas of Activity (As), Core Knowledge (Ks), and Professional Values (Vs). We expect you to be familiar with the framework and to know exactly where your experience is evidence for each dimension of practice. You cannot expect the EFS Assessors to connect the relevance of each activity or case study to the framework if you cannot.

You must make sure you are submitting a reflective narrative of your experience. Your fellowship application should not just describe what you have done, but also show that you have been able to think about why you did what you did, how you did it, what you have learnt from that experience, and the impact of that learning on your practice now and in the future.

You need to show that you are familiar with relevant literature or theory about teaching and learning in higher education. Just as you would like to be a scholarly researcher, you should be aiming to be a scholarly teacher. This means that you must be willing to seek out, and engage with, the vast literature around teaching and learning in higher education, whether it is general or more specific to your discipline. If you have never read any literature on teaching, now is the time to start! Check out the literature page for some recommendations.

What should you NOT include?

Fellowship is not about your entire experience as an academic or professional staff member. Rather, your application should focus on your role in teaching and supporting learning. Unless you can make a connection to your teaching, please do not include it in your application for the sake of “padding”.

The fellowship category that you apply for is not reflective of the length of your career or all the other things you have done in your career. For example, being a senior academic does not mean you should necessarily apply for senior fellowship (SFHEA). It is not about your title but about your own individual experiences as an educator and how you have approached teaching and supporting learning. So please check that you meet the specific Descriptor (set of criteria) of the fellowship category you are applying for.

You may have taught outside higher education or have other kinds of work experience and that is great but they should not be part of your HEA fellowship application. Only mention them (briefly) if you can make a direct connection to how they have influenced you in your work in higher education teaching and learning.

HEA fellowship is not about teaching in general. You may have come into university teaching with school teaching qualifications and years, even decades of school teaching experience. That is wonderful and those experiences undoubtedly influenced your teaching in some way, however your HEA fellowship application must be focused on your higher education teaching experience, at Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 6 or above. Therefore, you might mention your background in passing but it should not exceed more than a sentence or two.

Fellowship is awarded to the individual. While we applaud collaborative applicants, you need to be very clear in your writing about what you are claiming as your own experience. So as much as possible, give credit to your colleagues and acknowledge your collaborative works, but keep a focus on writing “I” as opposed to “we”, and consciously identify what you personally contributed in any team activity.


If you are a clinical or medical educator, then you will likely follow the Teaching in Medicine (TiM) stream so the above recommendations may not apply to you. Please contact for more information.