The UA Teaching Academy supports a competitive Faculty Teaching Fellows Program. The program offers highly motivated educators the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of teaching and learning, do an in-depth update of one of their own courses and add to the culture of teaching excellence at The University of Alabama.

Program Description


All tenured, tenure-track and full-time non-tenure-track faculty teaching at The University of Alabama are eligible to apply.


Up to 10 faculty will be selected per program year. Each award will include the following:

  • $5,000 stipend per semester for four semesters over two years, to be paid at the completion of the work for the semester.
  • Professional development opportunities designed to deepen the participant’s understanding of teaching and learning.
  • Instructional support from the UA Teaching Academy.
  • Occasions to network with other Fellows and UATA staff.
  • Opportunities in Year 2 to provide mentorship to new Fellows.
  • Participation in the broader workings of UATA, to the extent possible.
  • Potential to serve the faculty community at The University of Alabama through work with the Teaching Academy.

Award Cycle

Awards will be made each academic year and will operate on a rolling basis. Fellowships will be awarded in the spring semester, with support beginning in the fall semester and continuing for two academic years. Fellows will be engaged in their projects during the first year and will provide mentorship to the next Faculty Teaching Fellows cohort during the second year.

Responsibilities of Faculty Teaching Fellows

Year 1 Fall Semester Responsibilities
  • Choose a course for instructional enhancement.
  • Attend regular individual consultations with an assigned instructional consultant.
  • Participate in monthly professional development sessions.
  • Develop a plan for instructional enhancement of selected course.
  • Develop a plan for data collection to document the effect of instructional enhancement.
  • Share insights and challenges with program peers.
Year 1 Spring Semester Responsibilities
  • Implement teaching enhancement in one or more courses.
  • Invite instructional consultant for observation.
  • Invite instructional consultant for focus groups with students.
  • Collect data on student learning for the course.
  • Submit midpoint and end-of-year summary reports.
  • Write a reflection document of experience during the first year and how the course will change going forward.
  • Present the enhancement and change at a year-end wrap-up event.
Year Two Fall Semester Responsibilities
  • Welcome and orient new fellows.
  • Assume speaker roles for the next Fellows’ sessions.
  • Assume speaker roles for UATA seminars, workshops, book clubs and coffee talks.
  • Observe UA faculty teaching and provide feedback.
  • Participate in UATA outreach activities.
Year Two Spring Semester Responsibilities
  • Assume speaker roles for the next Fellows’ sessions.
  • Assume speaker roles for UATA seminars, workshops, book clubs and coffee talks.
  • Observe UA faculty teaching and provide feedback.
  • Review applications.
  • Select new round of Fellows.

Program Goals

  • Recognize, support and promote evidence-based and theory-framed efforts to enhance the practice of teaching and learning.
  • Study the impact of new instructional approaches and tools on learning.
  • Increase reflection on teaching and learning by making faculty more aware of their own teaching practices.
  • Design high-engagement pedagogical approaches and initiatives across disciplines.
  • Promote faculty networking, community-building and faculty collaboration.
  • Build a career-long commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.
  • Establish the value, credibility and significance of scholarly teaching at UA.

Application Process

A call for proposals will be announced in January of each year, with a deadline of April 1. The selection committee will review all applications and notify award recipients by May 1.

Application materials will include:

  • Teaching curriculum vita, focused on documenting excellence in teaching (two-page maximum).
  • Letter of support from the applicant’s department chair.
  • Description of an instructional enhancement that will be undertaken in a spring semester course, its significance, how it will contribute to excellence in teaching and learning and an explanation of the ways that support from the UA Teaching Academy would advance the project.

Instructional Enhancement Examples

  1. Flipped Classroom – Introduce materials like videos or readings before class, allowing class time for interactive discussions and activities.
  2. Technology Integration – Incorporate educational technology tools such as online simulations, virtual labs or collaborative platforms to enhance student engagement and understanding.
  3. Project-Based Learning – Design assignments that require students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  4. Peer Teaching and Mentoring – Encourage students to lead discussions, present topics or mentor peers, promoting a collaborative and supportive learning environment.
  5. Assessment Strategies – Implement innovative assessment methods like authentic assessments, portfolios or multimedia projects to evaluate student understanding beyond traditional exams.
  6. Active Learning Techniques – Utilize activities such as group discussions, case studies and hands-on experiments to actively involve students in the learning process.
  7. Group Learning – Include activities in which students work in pairs or small groups to accomplish a goal.
  8. Academic Games – Incorporate game-based activities (or use gamification) to help students accomplish educational objectives.

Selection Criteria

Awards are competitive and applications will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria:

  • Potential impact on the enhancement of teaching and learning.
  • Clarity of proposal — specific, focused and realistic objectives; clear description of proposed project and deliverables; expected outcomes of project.
  • Potential for publication and presentation.
  • Recommendation of department chair.