A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) academic has been recognised for her excellence in higher education teaching.

Dr Emma Gillaspy, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Care, has today, 6 August, been announced as a new National Teaching Fellow (NTF).

Advance HE’s National Teaching Fellowship Scheme showcases the outstanding impact of individuals and teams who teach or support learning in UK higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share the learning from their practice.

She said: “I’m ‘chuffed to bits’ to receive this amazing award. It’s such an honour to join the wonderful NTF community. I’m looking forward to learning how this landmark moment will help me in driving further transformation of higher education through developing self-determined learners. I couldn’t have achieved this without the support of my fantastic academic network, friends and family.”

Emma, from Littleborough, is already a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is an academic developer and executive coach at UCLan, supporting academic staff in finding their unique paths to teaching excellence and working to improve the student experience and transform curricula.

Prior to joining UCLan, she worked in a similar role at the University of Salford and facilitated postgraduate and postdoctoral education for early career researchers at the University of Manchester as Vitae North West Hub Manager.

Before moving into the field of academic and researcher development, Emma worked in the NHS as a clinical molecular geneticist following her PhD studying the genetics of osteoarthritis.

She is one of 56 higher education professionals from around the country who have been awarded this prestigious Fellowship.

Alison Johns, Advance HE Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am sure I am joined by the entire sector in congratulating the 2020 NTFS awardees. All of the winners should be extremely proud of their achievement of what are prestigious, national teaching awards. Their work epitomises the outstanding commitment to teaching in the UK higher education sector, which this year has been more demanding than ever before. Well done to each and every one of them.

“On the 20th anniversary of the National Teaching Fellowship Scheme, we really wanted to celebrate the diversity of the outstanding individuals teaching or supporting teaching, and focused on applicants’ impact on equality and diversity issues in the Awards process. We will continue this focus in the years to come as we ensure that the awards reflect the diversity of academics and teachers across the sector.”