Emerging Teaching Scholar Award Tips for Successful Award Packages

AACP Resource

Tips for Successful Award Packages

NEW: To facilitate the review process, an application template is now available!  This file can be filled in with an applicant's personal information.

Overall Organization

Provide a brief summary of take-home points in the beginning or at the end of each section of the narrative
  • Think about the reviewer. They are reading several long packages. Up front or concluding summaries help provide the reader with a synopsis of why you think you met the expectations of the award and can help guide the reader when reviewing the narrative
Use headings to demonstrate to the reader where you’re addressing the award criteria
  • This helps in writing the package to ensure you are addressing the areas that are being reviewed. In addition, you don’t want reviewers missing information because it was hidden in the narrative. For example, if you want to talk about innovation or impact, a section heading can help make that section stand out versus having it embedded within another section.
Use tables and graphs to summarize, when appropriate
  • Tables and graphs can summarize a lot of information succinctly. It allows the reader to see trends over time. Are you getting better course evaluations over time? Is your number  of publications increasing over time?
Tell the reader how to interpret the results…don’t let them guess
  • Writing so the reader understands is challenging – we all bring own biases when reading. Help the readers by identifying major take away points.
Write a narrative with reflection, interpretation and evidence; don’t rehash your CV
  • Write a compelling narrative that shows thoughtfulness and evidence. Tell the story of your experience and substantiate your points.  We may all believe learning should be fun, but do you have evidence to prove that you do that? And be specific: “I off-load content to allow students to self-pace their learning. Self-pacing helps students learn more efficiently (Smith et al, 2010).”
Help the reader navigate the document
  • Don’t submit excessively long applications. Successful application packages in recent years were between 50 and 75 pages. Use Word or Adobe to make bookmarks or a table of contents with links. Make sure to double check that your bookmarks are accurate and work. Some readers also may prefer artifacts at the end of the document so they can read the narratives straight through – much like when submitting a manuscript - all the tables and figures at the end.
Follow the instructions
  • The instructions are in place to make the review process as easy as possible. Please follow the word limits (3000 for the narrative). Please include all the information (Demographics, CV, etc)

Excellence in Teaching

Describe the breadth and depth of your teaching experience
  • Make sure to discuss different types of teaching methodologies you employ and how this has changed over time. What settings do you teach in? What type of learners do you work with?
Demonstrate your growth as a teacher over time
  • Describe trends in quantitative data and/or qualitative feedback from learners

Scholarly Teaching

Evidence-based teaching
  • Highlight examples of using data from the literature and your own observations and data from assessments and evaluations to identify and close learning gaps


Separate out SOTL research versus other venues (clinical research, foundational science research, etc)
  • Often applicants have publications from various scholarly pursuits. As such, it is important to highlight those directly influencing the award.


​​​​​​​Carefully select high quality artifacts that support your narrative 
  • Consider the impact and quality of each artifact submitted, and the variety of the artifact evidence as a whole.  Avoid bombarding the reviewer with large files of untabulated objective data (e.g., provide summary and benchmarking data for student teaching evaluations as opposed to raw data alone).  Limit letters of support or testimonials.  
​​​​​​​It is not necessary to submit raw student evaluation reports
  • Student evaluation reports are lengthy and difficult to review. Instead, summarize student evaluation data in graphs or tables and include how many students (% response) completed evaluations. Graphic presentation helps to highlight trends over time  Similarly, consider pulling out some qualitative feedback indicative of your teaching excellence or scholarly teaching rather than including all comments
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Consider the scope of scholarly work
  • Preference should be given to scholarly work with national/ international audiences for publications, presentations, and peer review.