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Celebrating teaching excellence

Q & A with Dr Jo Smedley (Principal Fellow)

30 April 2020
Dr Jo Smedley, Tutor

Name:  Dr Jo Smedley, Principal Fellow

Job title/Role: 

School/College:  Continuing and Professional Education

When did you become a Principal Fellow? 2013

Why did you decide to apply for an Advance HE Fellowship?
I wanted to demonstrate my experience from a National perspective in a currency that was understood inside and outside my University.

How has being a Fellow had an impact on what you do?
It has linked me into a network of PFHEA colleagues with similar experiences of learning and teaching projects and developments which has enabled several consultancy opportunities. It has also provided opportunities for mentoring colleagues at my own and in other Universities in their UKPSF submissions.  I am also an External Reviewer on panels for two Universities.

How do you envisage being a Principal Fellow/National Teaching Fellow impacting on your future and any upcoming projects/work?
I would expect to continue to link with PFHEA colleagues to develop individual and collaborative developments.  Our online learning and teaching world provides a rich opportunity for creative developments – the invaluable network of experience, support and will be an important feature of this.  I also intend to continue to support and mentor colleagues as they progress their UKPSF submissions at whatever level and encourage a continuing professional  development focus as a stabilising endeavour in our changing times.

What advice would you give to colleagues thinking of applying for Principal Fellowship or National Teaching Fellowship?
Yes you can!  That said it’s important that full understanding of what Principal Fellowship is (and also what it isn’t!) and the application process is gathered before time is spent writing any application.  So many times, I’ve seen applications put together with mis-understood expectations in mind – only for submission to cause issues for the reviewing panel in explaining outcomes to applicants.  The non-hierarchical philosophy of the UKPSF is a particularly challenging aspect but one which also offers collaborative opportunities enabling new links to be made across subjects, organisational levels and experience.  So, be clear about why you’re applying, reflect whether you have the appropriate experience and get a stock of chocolate (or whatever your “treat to me” is!)  …….and then just do it 😊

Find out more about Senior and Principal Fellowship and how to apply 

Find out more about our National Teaching Fellows and how to apply  

You can also visit the Advance HE website or email us 

Keen an eye on the blog for more profiles on our current Senior and Principal Fellows and National Teaching Fellows. 


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