Recognising and rewarding teaching achivement in higher education

Commissioned by: Royal Academy of Engineering
Project conducted: ongoing from 2014

Universities across the world are engaged in a common drive to improve the quality of teaching. Central to this mission are robust frameworks for evaluating and rewarding the teaching achievements of academic staff. Dr Graham has led a ground-breaking study, commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering, to develop a new Framework that enables universities to define and evaluate teaching achievement at each stage of the academic career ladder. The design of the Framework draws on feedback from the international academic community, educational research and good practice from across the world. The Framework was evaluated and piloted by 15 major research-led universities from 12 countries, including UCL, NUS, UNSW and DTU. It is now being adopted and adopted by institutions across the world.

This document presents the Framework for use by academics seeking appointment, professional development and/or promotion. It can also be used by managers reviewing or evaluating appointment, appraisal and/or promotion cases. The document is structured around the three key questions that underpin each level of the Framework:

what is the academic’s sphere of impact in their teaching and learning activities?

what promotion criteria define the academic’s achievements in teaching and learning?

what forms of evidence can be used to demonstrate the academic’s teaching achievements?

Project publications

A number reports have been published as part of the study, to inform the design of the Framework or to support its implementation within university career development and promotion processes. A selection of these publications is provided below.


Career Framework for University Teaching: background and overview

Published in April 2018, the report provides background information on the Career Framework for University Teaching: how and why it was developed, and how it has been applied in practice. It describes the 15 university partners that have provided feedback on the Framework and case studies from how it has been used to inform change at universities from across the world.

To cite this report, please use: Graham, R. H. (2018). The Career Framework for University Teaching: background and overview. London: Royal Academy of Engineering.

Published April 2018


Information on the Framework for senior managers

This summary document is aimed at senior university managers with an interest in adopting the Framework within their institutions. It addresses the following questions:

1. Why was the Framework developed?
2. How was the Framework developed?
3. Who should be using the Framework?
4. What does the Framework provide?
5. How can the Framework be used by universitieses?

Published April 2018


Draft framework and background research

An interim version of the Career Framework for University Teaching was published in February 2016. The report also contains information about the context for the Framework’s development and the research underpinning its design.

To cite this report, please use: Graham, R. H. (2016). Does teaching advance your academic career?. London: Royal Academy of Engineering.

Published Feb 2016


Perception of academic promotion processses and the role of teaching

The study distils views and experiences from various levels of the university hierarchy to address the question, “to what extent are university promotion procedures seen to incentivise teaching achievement in higher education?”. Drawing on survey and interview evidence, it focuses on perspectives of the university promotion system among the UK engineering academic community.

To cite this report, please use: Graham, R. H. (2015). Perceptions of academic promotion processes and the role of teaching. London: Royal Academy of Engineering.

Published March 2015