National 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. The AAUT recognise quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning, demonstrating excellence in higher education learning and teaching. Recipients, with the support of their institutions, further contribute to systemic change in learning and teaching through the ongoing sharing and dissemination of knowledge.

Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning recognise and reward the diversity of contributions made by individuals and teams to the quality of student learning. Up to 150 Citations, valued at $10,000 each, are awarded to eligible staff who have made a significant contribution to the quality of student learning in a specific area of resonsibility over a sustained period.


To recognise the contribution that individuals and teams make to enhance student learning outcomes and encourage continued excellence in learning and teaching.

ANU YouTube: Promoting Excellence playlist

See previous ANU recipients and applicants for the national awards 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.

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.  

Previous recipients

Individual Citation recipients are not eligible for individual Citation renomination within five years of receiving a Citation (i.e., if a recipient in 2015, they are not eligible to reapply until 2020).

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 recipient of a Teaching or Program Award (including OLT, ALTC and Carrick Awards) can only nominate if they form part of a team nomination but 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.





Application components

(See component details below)

  1. Nomination form
  2. Claims against the assessment criteria: citation, overview, statement addressing 1 criterion, and reference list (4 pages total)
  3. Statement of contribution (team nominations)
  4. Letters of references: 2 signed references (one page each)
  5. Digital photograph


Applications must be submitted to the AAUT Awards Portal by the AAUT Institutional Contact Officer, by Wednesday 10 May 2017, 5pm.

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 the 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.


Addresses the assessment criteria (including criterion heading) and 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 comprises making judgements about the quality of programs and activities that are part of the academic, cultural and social experience of higher education.


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.

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 student learning.
  • Conducting and publishing research related to teaching.
  • 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 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 references, of no more than one A4 page each, are to be provided by referees able to comment on the nominee’s contribution to student learning against the selected criterion.

References should:

  • Include one referee who is the head of the nominee’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 referee’s acceptance of the Privacy Notice in the nomination form, e.g. ‘I accept the Privacy Notice provided by the nominee.
  • References must be signed – electronic signatures are accepted.

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
  • white background
  • head and shoulders only
  • image resolution of 300 dpi (approximately 10 cm by 10 cm and the size of the file must be at least 1 MB)
  • JPEG file.

If the nomination is successful, digital photographs are used for publication purposes, including 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.

Should the nomination be successful, the citation description will be used in communications regarding the recipient’s success, for instance in the ceremony program, on the department’s website and in archival information.


Assessors are likely to be drawn from cognate disciplines and learning and teaching specialisations, therefore it should not be presumed they have detailed knowledge of the discipline.



Assessment criteria

Nominations will be assessed on evidence provided in relation to the selected criterion:

  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

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

  1. influenced student learning, student engagement or the overall student experience
  2. gained recognition from fellow staff, the institution, and/or the broader community
  3. 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.

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 to the Department of Education and Training.

AAUT Assessment reports

Nominees are advised to contact the Promoting Excellence team for copies of previous years' AAUT Assessment Reports.


Awards money

The Award monies are granted and disbursed to the recipient’s institution to be spent within three years to:

  • provide resources to support the award recipient’s teaching or activities related to the award
  • assist the individual or team to disseminate and embed good practice in learning and teaching within their institution and across the sector more broadly.

The award money is intended to be used to build on the success of the work that the recipient has been recognised for. The expenditure should contribute to improving the teaching and learning outcomes in Australian higher education.