Teaching & Learning


Gaining Fellowship makes me feel appreciated for my teaching contribution: Michelle Shipworth

Michelle Shipworth, Lecturer from Bartlett School of Environment and Energy and Resources, shares her experience of the Senior Fellow Pathway and how it helped her meet like-minded colleagues.


9 April 2019

Which Arena pathway did you follow?

Arena Open and then the dedicated route for Senior Fellow.

Dedicated support for Senior Fellows 

UCL Arena provide dedicated support for UCL staff applying for Senior Fellow.

Attend four bespoke sessions to receive guidance on each step of your application.

Beginning with one compulsory introductory session, you are welcome to attend the remainder of the sessions as required. Further information and booking details can be found here. 

What was your motivation?

To gain formal recognition for the quality and quantity of work I have been doing for many years, both teaching and supporting teaching.

What was the most useful element?

I attended all of the SFHEA pathway sessions.

This was the first time this series was run at UCL and I found the sessions incredibly helpful and supportive. Jason Davies from UCL Arena Centre used a range of strategies to help us understand the Higher Education Academy (HEA) requirements and develop our own applications.

It was also lovely to meet many like-minded colleagues from across UCL and realise just how many of the colleagues in my own department were passionate about quality teaching.

How has it changed your support for teaching, or teaching?

Because I feel appreciated for my teaching contribution, I now find myself even more committed to high quality teaching and helping my colleagues to develop their own teaching.

How do you think your students have benefited from you taking part?

The SFHEA pathway sessions were very practical, helping us to interpret the HEA requirements and demonstrate them in our own work.

This has clear analogies with how I teach one of my modules and it underscored for me the importance of building in time for students to join the dots between theory and practice.

I am now building in more time into my seminars for students to engage deeply with how to use the material in their own assignments.

When did you this?

Summer 2018

How much of a commitment was it for you?

It was rather more time consuming than I expected. The process involves writing case studies to show examples of your work. I had to:

  • build up the examples of my work, including ferreting around for evidence of impact
  • tie these examples tightly into the HEA requirement
  • transform everything I had written into a reflective writing style.

Although it took more time than I expected, the process was far more rewarding than I had anticipated.

Michelle's top tips for applying for Fellowship

  1. Plan your time effectively: it was more time consuming than I expected!
  2. Attend UCL Arena Centre sessions: it was lovely to meet like-minded people and reflect on what I had achieved with teaching.