Inspiring Excellence Awards

Recognises and celebrates a University Academic and Professional staff member for outstanding contributions as a mentor, involving: a record of effective mentoring, exceptional skills in the provision of support and the sharing of knowledge and respect for the development of colleagues as individuals.

The University Inspiring Excellence Award is awarded under two categories:

Academic Inspiring Excellence Award

Awarded to an academic who has provided dedicated and valuable support to foster and develop the careers of other academics through their active and skilled participation in a University mentoring program(s).

The successful recipient will demonstrate dedication and excellence in two or more of the following:

  • A sustained record of effective mentoring
  • Exceptional skills in the provision of support and the sharing of knowledge
  • Generously sharing their valuable expertise and time
  • Positively and respectfully supporting colleagues in development of their confidence, skills and/or knowledge
  • Guiding their mentee(s) towards achievement of specific goals on their path to excellence in research, teaching and/or engagement

Nominations must include minimum three references from academic mentees. Mentees must be current University of Newcastle staff members. Note that excellence in mentoring and supervising PhD or HDR students is recognised within the Research Excellence award. The reference should define the performance of the nominated mentor in relation to the criteria - max 250 words each reference. Please attach the references to the nomination form.

Note: Nominations will be strengthened if the mentor has demonstrated excellence through one of the University’s mentoring programs such as Research Advantage.

Professional Staff Inspiring Excellence Award

Awarded to a professional staff member who has provided dedicated and valuable support to foster and develop the careers of other staff members through their active and skilled participation in a University mentoring program(s). Has displayed outstanding passion and commitment in mentoring professionals at a level above and beyond normal job requirements and expectations.

The successful recipient will demonstrate dedication and excellence in two or more of the following:

  • Demonstrates commitment to mentoring professional staff and acts as a positive role model, developing trust and respect with the mentee
  • Assists with a plan to guide the mentee’s future career path, including defining the purpose of the mentoring and the development of any career goals
  • Facilitates the process of a mentee in acquiring the skills and resources needed to succeed as a professional who is making a significant contribution to the University of Newcastle. This may include developing focus areas such as improving effective communication, dealing with workplace challenges, organising work/life balance, increasing self-confidence and gaining leadership skills
  • Acts as a good sounding board and advisor to mentees to improve networks, remove barriers to career development, navigate difficult situations in the workplace such as managing conflict, and addressing social inclusion barriers such as diversity and equity.

    Nominations must include minimum two references from mentees. The reference should define the performance of the nominated mentor in relation to the criteria - max 250 words each reference.

Eligibility and How to Nominate

As a staff member, you can nominate an individual or a team for a University of Newcastle Excellence Award.

Self-nominations are permitted, but nominees are responsible for informing their supervisor about the nomination detail before a nomination is submitted.

All University of Newcastle employees are eligible to be nominated, including professional staff (casual, fixed-term and ongoing) and academic staff (continuing, fixed-term, conjoint and sessional). Staff employed by an agency do not fall within the eligibility requirements.

Depending on the quality of the nominations, one award winner may be selected for each award sub-category. Subject to the quality of the nominations for a category, an award may not be made. Depending on the award category, you may choose to nominate an individual, or a team.

Individual nominations (where applicable)
You may choose to tell the person that you are nominating them before submitting your nomination. However, all nominees will be advised of their nomination via email once all submissions are received.

Team nominations (where applicate)
Team nominations would not normally exceed 8 members unless exceptional circumstances apply. You must advise team leaders of the nomination before you submit it to ensure that team composition and contributions are accurately reflected. A team member may be defined as someone who has made a significant contribution. Prize money for team awards will be distributed equally amongst all team members.

Re-nominations
A nominee or recipient of a University of Newcastle Excellence Award cannot be the recipient of an individual award in two consecutive years for the same or substantially similar achievement.

Awards ceremony and prizes
All finalists are invited to attend the annual awards ceremony, where the award winners are announced. Award winners receive a certificate of recognition, a trophy and monetary award prize.

Monetary award prizes are $1,000 for individuals and 2,000 for teams (shared equally amongst all team members) which must be collected through salary payment. The exception is the Values Award, which is a $2,500 award prize awarded to an individual or team (shared equally) and must be used for professional development within 12 months of receipt of the award, unless otherwise approved. Relevant taxation and superannuation arrangements apply to one-off salary payments.

Any award recipient who is no longer employed by the University at the time of the announcement of the awards will not be entitled to an award prize.

You will be prompted to upload a Word document version of the completed template before you submit the nomination.

After clicking on the ‘nominate now’ link, you will be taken to an online form, where you will be asked to input:

  1. Your full name and email
  2. The nominee/s name, email, College/Division. For team nominations, details will need to be provided for all team members.
  3. A 75 word succinct overview of the nomination, including
  • a description of the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity
  • how this outstanding and exceptional achievement or success exceeds normal expectations of performance.
  1. Your responses to the selection criteria (max 500 words) with the exception of:
    - Values Awards max 750 word,
    - Teaching Excellence Awards see specific application request available in the nomination form,
    -  Inspiring Excellence Award see specific application request available in the nomination form.

    The nomination response document should be prepared in a word document and uploaded as a Word or PDF file with the following document name: Nominee Full Name (or Team leader name)_Award name
    e.g. Joe Smith_Teaching Excellence Award

Your response should include:

  • the contribution, initiative, program, project or activity; and
  • how this significant and outstanding achievement addresses the award-specific criteria listed in the nomination from template
Nominations for the 2021 Excellence Awards are now closed!

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.