University Teaching Awards
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John Willis Award

The John Willis Award recognises dedication to the academic and personal lives of students combined with a significant contribution to teaching and accomplishment in research.


Please complete a nomination form and send to Sarah Turpin, Learning & Teaching Enhancement Office by:

5.00 p.m on Friday 16 March 2012

Nominees must be able to demonstrate:

1. A good track record of research

2. A record of research-informed teaching

3. A strong commitment to pastoral care


The John Willis Award was established in 1994 for an academic who has demonstrated accomplishment in both dedication to the academic and personal lives of students combined with a significant contribution to teaching and accomplishment in research.

Criteria for Award

Terms approved by Senate

  1. The Award recognises accomplishment in research combined with a significant contribution to teaching including pastoral support students and PhD supervision.
  2. Eligibility for this Award is restricted to those Academics with ten or fewer years in an academic post.
  3. Previous winners of the Award will be eligible for nomination five years after the Award was made.
  4. Unsuccessful candidates may be nominated for the Award in subsequent years.
  5. Nominations for the Award may be submitted by students (graduate and undergraduate) and other members of academic staff. Nomination must be supported by evidence of dedication to students and accomplishment in research from the nominee, other staff and students.

For the research element:

Awards Committee takes a broad view of research. Nominees will be expected to convince the Awards Committee of a proven research track record, evidenced by a substantial portfolio of articles published primarily in major journals or other outputs appropriate to the discipline, such as books, book chapters, conference proceedings etc.

For the teaching element:

The candidate should be known for very good teaching or learning support which can be attested by evidence from a teaching profile or peer observation and feedback or in another form. This should include exceptional student feedback on teaching and evidence of the candidate’s commitment to pastoral care. Nominees are required to demonstrate how their research is linked to their teaching.

Nominees are required to produce a personal statement of up to 800 words in which they articulate their teaching and research philosophy and show how they provide pastoral support for their students.

Supporting statements for nominations are requested from the nominee’s Head of Department, a senior colleague (such as his or her Director of Studies) and the relevant SSLC representatives.

Background, eligibility and formal terms

Professor John Willis was a member of the Department of Mathematical Sciences for 22 years. He established an international reputation for his research in applied mathematics and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1991. He also became known throughout the University as committed to our students both in their formal education and their development as individuals.

The Award consists of a prize of £750* to the successful nominee and £1,500 to their Department (to be spent at the discretion of the successful nominee). If a joint award is made, the winners will each receive the £750 prize, but the Departmental award will be shared equally. The award will be presented at the relevant award ceremony in the Summer.

*The prize of £750 will be paid through the payroll and subject to PAYE.