L-R: Kelly Preece and Professor Nicky King

Education experts awarded prestigious National Teaching Fellowships

Two education experts renowned for their innovative approaches to teaching and learning and professional development have been recognised with a prestigious national fellowship.

Professor Nicky King, Associate Dean for Education in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, and Kelly Preece, Researcher Development Manager in the University of Exeter’s Doctoral College, have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships (NTFs) by Advance HE.

They are among 50 new NTFs to be awarded to academics at UK universities for 2022, recognising the highest standards of educational and pedagogic expertise.

Nicky received her Fellowship in recognition of her advocacy for interdisciplinary science education, and compassionate leadership in education. As Chair of the Society for Natural Sciences, Nicky developed its ground-breaking accreditation framework, which embedded an interdisciplinary ethos at its heart. And as Associate Dean for Education, she has been instrumental in both the creation of new processes that enable colleagues to work across different areas of the institution, and new mechanisms to support pedagogy.

“I hope this fellowship will help me to raise the profile of interdisciplinary education and the benefits of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and curriculum development,” said Nicky. “I’m passionate about education leadership and have always striven to be a role model for the way that specialist educators can play a critical role in developing, delivering and leading innovative teaching and learning in a research-intensive university.”

Exceptional support for postgraduate researchers was the underpinning factor behind Kelly becoming the first professional services member of staff at Exeter to be awarded an NTF. The manager of the Researcher Development Programme, Kelly has introduced a range of valuable support services and resources, including her creation of a podcast for PGRs, her establishment of the Shut Up And Write scheme – which is run by PGRs for PGRs – and her support of PGR wellbeing.

“I will use my fellowship to continue to champion the importance of online and blended learning to accessibility and widening participation, and Postgraduate Researcher education and the hidden curriculum,” said Kelly. “I also hope to raise the profile of our achievements at Exeter in supporting and developing PGRs. We were delivering an online training programme for almost a decade before the pandemic, and we should be proud of our innovative practice that firmly establishes Exeter as a leader in PGR education.”

The award of the two NTFs brings the total number received by Exeter to 11.

Professor Tim Quine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), paying tribute to their achievement, said: “National Teaching Fellowships recognise the most innovative and influential educators in the country. Through their outstanding work, Kelly and Nicky are helping to ensure that the University maintains its excellent academic quality and standards and further improves the educational and student experience we offer. Crucially, they are also both standard-bearers for professional development and have had a profound impact upon their respective academic areas.”

Date: 4 August 2022