Applications open for 2025/26 Technical Teaching Fellowships

Applications are now open for the 2025/26 Technical Teaching Fellowships. Awarded by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 following a rigorous selection process, the Fellowships are open to exceptional technical teachers in the Further Education (FE) and Skills/post-16 sector.  

The Technical Teaching Fellowship programme, which launched in June 2018, exists to celebrate, develop and disseminate exceptional practice in technical teaching. The scheme is designed to empower individuals with industrial and technical expertise who support the progression of learners to higher levels of technical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) study and employment. The deadline for applications for the 2025/26 cohort of Fellowships is 5pm on 1 November 2024.  

Last year’s review of the impact of the Technical Teaching Fellowships programme saw the Fellowships included in the Royal Commission’s portfolio of permanent awards, alongside other prestigious awards. Since this decision, an increased number of ETF-Royal Commission Fellowships – up to six – are being awarded each year. The geographical reach of the Fellowships was also extended, with applications welcome from practitioners demonstrating excellence working in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Fellows are recognised as outstanding practitioners with high-impact teaching practice, who deliver effective outcomes for their learners and apprentices of all ages and levels, and in diverse subject specialist areas and industry sectors. They play an important role in driving quality improvement in FE technical teaching and training, facilitating CPD for sector colleagues and sharing effective practice, thought leadership, resources and ideas. Through these knowledge exchange and transfer activities, Fellows enable others to develop their pedagogy and professional practice so they can meet the current and future needs of individuals, businesses and communities.  

Successful applications are characterised by:  

  1. The demonstration of highly effective approaches to improving teaching and learning in technical education, with the potential to help other teachers to teach better.  
  1. The promotion of the professional standards of the FE sector and workplace.  
  1. Demonstrating how an applicant will use the Fellowship to become a positive national role model and inspire others to emulate their practice.  
  1. Evidence of the planning and delivery of professional development opportunities which will share effective practice in technical teaching and impact positively upon the pedagogy of other teachers.  
  1. Plans to maximise reach, engagement, and impact, by raising the profile of the Technical Teaching Fellowship programme and involving employers, professional associations, learned societies, skills groups or other partners to support and extend activity and practice.  

On being awarded a Fellowship, successful applicants will:  

  • Receive an award of £5,000–£15,000 to support knowledge transfer activity and to ensure remission time is guaranteed by their employing organisation.  
  • Develop ‘Pathways to Impact’ activity action plans, to maximise the benefit of their Technical Teaching Fellowships.  
  • Attend two one-day developmental workshops over the academic cycle 2025/2026.  
  • Be allocated a programme mentor to support them for the duration of the programme.  
  • Be expected to disseminate their work at national conferences and via regional networks.  
  • Contribute to the delivery of a final report, written to engage and motivate technical education in their area of practice.  

The awardees become alumni of the Royal Commission and will also be made Fellows of the Society for Education and Training (SET).  

Paul Tully, Associate Director Policy and Research at ETF, said: “Technical Teaching Fellows play a key role in driving the quality of technical teaching and training provision across the UK. By sharing their learning and disseminating best practice, Fellows ensure that the sector is better equipped to develop a workforce with skills that are in high demand across technical industries – including essential technical skills to address challenges associated with the climate crisis and rapidly evolving technology. We look forward to receiving Fellowship proposals for 2025/26 from outstanding practitioners across the UK.”  

Rosa Wells, FE Principal and Dean for STEM at University College Birmingham, who was awarded a Technical Teaching Fellowship in 2021, said: “It was an honour to be selected as a Technical Teaching Fellow and being one has helped me to grow in confidence. I presented my research in academic talks and events and spoke at conferences about attracting diverse people to STEM, like women and those from LGBTQ+ backgrounds. I have also welcomed the opportunity to help elevate the FE sector, which does so much informal research that isn’t recognised.”  

Further details and the application form are available on the Technical Teaching Fellowships programme page of the ETF website. Potential applicants can contact ETF at to find out more.