Technical Teaching Fellowship programme

The 2024-25 Technical Teaching Fellows stand in a row in front of an old bookcase.

The Technical Teaching Fellowship programme recognises, rewards, promotes and increases excellence of practice in industrial and technical education partnerships.

The initiative is funded by a partnership between the Education and Training Foundation (ETF), which has a charitable objective to develop the technical education workforce, and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851’s mission is to “increase the means of industrial education and extend the influence of science and art upon productive industry” through postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships for advanced study and research in science, engineering, and a small number of Special Awards. Many of these are focused on raising awareness of career paths and opportunities presented by science and engineering to young people.

The Technical Teaching Fellowship Programme celebrates, develops and disseminates exceptional practice in technical teaching, to support and empower the industrial and technical expertise of the next generation. Funded fellowships enable successful applicants to develop and promote a model of professional excellence in their delivery of technical education, and for effective practice to be disseminated widely to improve the quality of technical teaching and training.

At the heart of the programme is the understanding that to grow industrial capacity, we need to recognise, reward and promote high quality collaborations between industry and education in the Further Education and Skills sector.

Following a review in 2023 of the impact of the Technical Teaching Fellowships programme since its inception in 2018, the Fellowships are now 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.

Technical Teaching Fellowship programme details

In summary, successful applicants will:

  • receive an award of £5,000 – £15,000 to support knowledge transfer activity and to ensure remission time is guaranteed (awards will be payable to employing organisation, but funding must be clearly allocated to enable Technical Teaching Fellows to carry out their agreed activities);
  • 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 2024/2025.
  • be allocated a programme mentor to support them for the duration of the programme.
  • be expected to disseminate their work at national conferences in January and July 2025.
  • contribute to the delivery of a final report, written to engage and motivate technical education in their area of practice.

Successful applicants will be made Fellows of the Society for Education and Training (SET) and awarded a year’s free membership during their participation in the programme.

Who are we looking for?

The programme will accept applications from the Four Nations of the United Kingdom, any type of ESFA-funded provider and any type of practitioner role. Joint applications from two individuals wishing to work together will be considered, both from one organisation or as a partnership between two providers.

Technical Teaching Fellowships may be awarded in any area of technical education where innovative practice is already providing exceptional learning experiences. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the quality and impact of the work for which a Technical Teaching Fellowship is proposed. This may be for one specific area of practice or for a range of activities that collectively form a powerful and sector-leading experience for their learners.

Applications should propose activity to share effective practice and drive improvement, but full support will be given to assess the potential of the Technical Teaching Fellowship to drive growth, particularly in areas where there are greater skills needs or limited employer engagement with skills development.

Successful proposals will be characterised by:

  1. Demonstrating highly effective approaches to improving teaching and learning in technical education, with the potential to help other teachers to teach better.
  1. Promoting the professional standards of the FE sector and the professional standards of the workplace.
  1. Demonstrating how applicants will use this opportunity to become a positive national role model and inspire others to emulate their practice.
  1. Planning and delivering professional development opportunities which will share effective practice in technical teaching and impact positively upon the pedagogy of other teachers.
  1. Maximising 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.

Full guidance to assist applicants is provided at the end of the application form.

More about previous awardees

Fellowship awardees:

You can listen to the Technical Teaching Fellows:

You may also be interested in reading a previous article: Fellows raising the profile of FE technical teaching and training through technical teaching fellowships


For further information about the programme, please contact