National Teaching Fellow status for Biosciences professor

September 12th, 2017

A colleague from the School of Biosciences has been awarded National Teaching Fellow Status in this year’s Higher Education Academy (HEA) National Teaching Fellowships.

The prestigious accolade was awarded to Dr Fiona McCullough in recognition of her outstanding work in dietetics training and development for healthcare professionals.

National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) are selected from across mission groups and from a broad range of subject areas. The NTFs were nominated by their institutions with submissions being required to show evidence of three criteria: individual excellence, raising the profile of excellence and developing excellence.

Dr McCullough and her team delivered the first programme of postgraduate dietetics education in 2006, when ad hoc study days for clinical educators were delivered to help support and enhance the quality of placement provision.

In 2008, a post-registration skills-based training funding route was made available for registered healthcare professionals wanting to continue their learning journey. This helped to fund a regional portfolio of flexible learning opportunities including stand-alone study days, 20 credit M-level modules and degree awards. The outcome was a bespoke “pick and mix of CPD” for each dietitian, a career development resource that is unique to the East Midlands.

Dr McCullough said: “I was absolutely delighted to receive this award and consider this a very special milestone for the fantastic team that I am part of, as well as being an external quality kite mark for our programme. Demand for the training has spread rapidly due to the reputation for high quality teaching and effective applied learning, and it is now used by full time national and international students, as well as local ones. Forty full time students have now successfully completed the full time MSc programme. The international graduates are now pushing up standards in healthcare and dietetic practice in at least 10 countries across the world. We are very proud of the fact that dietetics at Nottingham is recognised as a strong and unique brand.”

HEA Chief Executive, Professor Stephanie Marshall, said, “A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education. These awards represent a fantastic achievement by all 55 new NTFs. I am sure the whole sector joins me in applauding them in their success.

“The new NTFs represent some of the very best teaching in higher education and I am sure they will inspire others as we share their innovative practice and ideas across the sector. The UK is justifiably proud of its higher education sector and its reputation is enhanced by the examples of excellent teaching highlighted by these awards.”

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