AAUT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) were established in 1997 by the Australian Government to celebrate and reward excellence in university teaching. Since then, with an honour roll that includes many highly respected and celebrated members of the sector, the Australian Awards for University Teaching have become a valued form of recognition for university educators Australia wide. The Awards recognise the impact that educators have on the learning and teaching experiences and outcomes of university students. They celebrate and reward programs that support students and enhance learning. They promote excellence in learning and teaching in all aspects of higher education. Recipients, with the support of their institutions, contribute to systemic change in learning and teaching through the ongoing sharing and dissemination of knowledge.

The AAUT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (Citations) recognise and reward the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning in higher education. A Citation is awarded to an individual or team (i.e. academic staff, general staff, sessional staff or institutional associates) who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning, in a specific area of responsibility over a sustained period. Citations provide an opportunity for distinctive institutional missions, values and priorities in learning and teaching to be recognised and are awarded for a range of contributions to student learning, both direct and indirect.

See our previous AAUT recipients and applicants talk about their teaching.




Nominations must relate to outstanding contributions to student learning in higher education and must be supported by the nominating institution. Nomination is open to academic, general and sessional staff, and institutional associates (full-time or fractional, continuing or contract) at eligible institutions.


Team nominations can only include members with a contribution of 10 per cent or higher. This means that the maximum number of team members is 10 either from the same institution or collaborating institutions. All members of the team must be employed by an eligible institution.

Early career

Nominees with no more than five years’ experience teaching in a higher education institution may apply for an Early Career Citation. The five years can be non-sequential and must be counted on a semester basis. This includes all tutoring and part-time teaching. 

Past recipients

Individual Citation recipients are not eligible for individual Citation renomination within five years of receiving a Citation (i.e., if a recipient in 2013, they are not eligible to reapply until 2018). The nomination should not substantially replicate the original nomination.

Previous recipients of Citations are eligible to renominate within five years of receiving the Citation if they form part of a team nomination and are not the lead nominee. The team nomination should not substantially replicate the original nomination.

A past recipient of a Teaching or Program Award (including Carrick, ALTC or OLT Award) can only nominate for a Citation if they form part of a team nomination and are not the lead nominee.



ANU may nominate up to six individuals or teams for the AAUT Citations. The ANU Promoting Excellence team will nominate individuals or teams from the recipients and applicants for the ANU Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Education. Nominees may be included in only one nomination in any year, unless the nominee is part of a team nomination and is not the lead nominee.



  1. Nomination form
  2. Claims against Assessment Criteria, plus Citation, Overview, and References (4 pages)
  3. Team Statement of Contribution (1 page)
  4. Two Letters of Reference (1 page each)
  5. Photograph

1. Nomination form

The nomination form reports administrative information and includes a declaration from the nominee and institution. The form acts as a cover sheet for the nomination. The completed nomination must be signed by the Vice-Chancellor / Chief Executive Officer or their nominated delegate.

2. Claims against assessment criteria

This component is limited to four A4 pages and describes the nominee’s contribution to student learning in line with the selected criterion, providing evidence to support claims. It should comprise the following elements presented in order.


Up to 25 words, which includes the discipline or field of work and the distinctive contribution of the nominee or team. The concise Citation description must be:

  • written in the third person
  • avoid jargon and use plain English
  • should inform the broadest possible audience about the work of the nominee.


An overview of the contribution and its context.


Statement addressing the assessment criteria, including criterion headings, providing evidence of the contribution and resulting impact on student learning.

1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.

This may include:

  • Fostering student development by stimulating curiosity and independence in learning.
  • Participating in effective and empathetic guidance and advice for students.
  • Assisting students from equity and other demographic subgroups to participate and achieve success in their courses.
  • Encouraging student engagement through the enthusiasm shown for learning and teaching.
  • Inspiring and motivating students through effective communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Enabling others to enhance their approaches to learning and teaching.
  • Developing and/or integrating assessment strategies to enhance student learning.

2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field.


This may include

  • Developing and presenting coherent and imaginative resources for student learning.
  • Implementing research-led approaches to learning and teaching.
  • Demonstrating up-to-date knowledge of the field of study in the design of the curriculum and the creation of resources for learning.
  • Communicating clear objectives and expectations for student learning.
  • Providing support to those involved in the development of curricula and resources.
  • Contributing professional expertise to enhance curriculum or resources.

3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning.


Evaluation comprises making judgements about the quality of programs and activities that are part of the academic, cultural and social experience of higher education. This may include:

  • Showing advanced skills in evaluation and reflective practice.
  • Using a variety of evaluation strategies to bring about change.
  • Adapting evaluation methods to different contexts and diverse student needs and learning styles.
  • Contributing professional expertise to the field of evaluation in order to improve program design and delivery.
  • Dissemination and embedding of good practice identified through evaluation.

*Please note that evaluation practices do not include student assessment.


4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience.

This may include:

  • Participating in and contributing to professional activities related to learning and teaching.
  • Innovations in service and support for students; coordination, management and leadership of courses and studentlearning.
  • Conducting and publishing research related toteaching.
  • Demonstrating leadership through activities that have broad influence on the profession.
  • Providing innovative learning and teaching for different contexts, including technology enhanced environments, for large and small class sizes and/or to meet the needs of a diverse student cohort.
  • Influencing the overall academic, social and cultural experience of higher education.

    Reference list

    Nominees should use their preferred recognised reference style throughout and include a reference list within the four pages. Links to reference lists online will not be reviewed by assessors.


    3. Statement of contribution (team nominations)

    Team nominations must complete one A4 page that consists of the following:

    • Name and indication of the percentage contribution of each team members (in order from highest to lowest). Note that team members are required to have a contribution of 10 per cent or higher.
    • An explanation of the role of each team member
    • Maximum number of team members is 10 either from the same institution or different institutions.

    Team nomination requirements are as follows:

    • A team lead for the purposes of the nomination is to be identified
    • Team must have a team name as listed in the nomination form
    • For publication purposes, titles and names stated in the team statement must be the same as listed on the nomination form
    • If the team consists of members from different institutions, clearly state the representative institution on the nomination form and the Team lead’s institution will submit the entire nomination on behalf of the team.

    Team nominations must include one A4 page which explains the role and indicates the percentage contribution of team members (limited to team members with 10 per cent or higher), in addition to the team information included within the nomination form.


    4. Letters of reference

    Two letters of reference, of no more than one A4 page each, are to be provided by referees able to comment on the contribution to student learning against the assessment criteria. References should demonstrate familiarity with the contribution and context, providing endorsement of the claims and additional evidence relating to context, merit and impact on students. Where possible, at least one referee should be qualified to comment on the broader impact of nominee’s contribution based on relevant professional or personal expertise and standing.


    References should:

    • Include one referee who is the head of the Team Leader’s faculty, department, school or administrative unit or higher level.
    • For team nominations, apply to the team not individual team members
    • Include a statement acknowledging the referee’s acceptance of the Privacy Notice in the nomination form, e.g.‘I accept the Privacy Notice provided by the nominee.'
    • Be signed – electronic signatures are accepted
    • Be on institutional letterhead
    • Body text – Font must be Arial or Calibri regular 11 (narrow fonts must not be used)


    5. Digital photograph

    A formal digital photograph of the individual nominee or team must be submitted with each nomination, in line with the following specifications:

    • colour photo with a white background
    • image resolution of 300 dpi (at least 1 MB)
    • JPEG file.

    If the nomination is successful, digital photographs are used for publication purposes, including the awards booklets, the department’s website and other promotional materials. The photographs should therefore be of the best possible quality and include all members of a team nomination. Low quality photographs will not be accepted. Where possible, the Promoting Excellence team will arrange for the photo to be taken by ANU Photography.



    Applications will be submitted to the Awards Portal by the AAUT Institutional Contact Officer by 10 December 2018.




    All nominations will be assessed on the evidence provided in response to the selected assessment criteria:

    1. Approaches to teaching and the support of learning that influence, motivate and inspire students to learn.
    2. Development of curricula, resources or services that reflect a command of the field.
    3. Evaluation practices that bring about improvements in teaching and learning.
    4. Innovation, leadership or scholarship that has influenced and enhanced learning and teaching and/or the student experience

    Assessment will also be based on the extent to which nominees show evidence that their contribution has:

    • Influenced student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience.
    • Gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, and/or the broader community.
    • Been sustained for a period of no less than three years (two years for early career), not including time taken for development or trial of any activity.
    • Claims for excellence that are supported by formal and informalevaluation.
    • Shown creativity, imagination or innovation, irrespective of whether the approach involves traditional learning environments or technology-baseddevelopments.
    • Information contained in student data or institutional student surveys, references, and selected teaching materials submitted by nominee.

    In assessing the evidence supporting Early Career nominations, consideration will be given to the career stage of the nominee.


    ANU Citations Committee

    The Committee will meet to review current draft applications 2-3 weeks before the due submission date.