It’s that time of year again when the UK higher education sector showcases their successes, programs, and initiatives for a chance to be recognised at the Times Higher Education Awards. Dubbed the “Oscars of higher education,” the THE Awards are free to enter and acknowledge the hard work, innovation, and dedication of individuals and teams across the sector.
But how do you craft an award-winning entry?
While having an incredible story to tell is one thing, telling that story effectively can be an art in itself. As the sponsor of the Outstanding Library Team award for the third year running, we’re sharing our top eight tips for writing a winning entry.
1) Check the entry requirements thoroughly:
Make sure you understand the requirements and word count limits. For example, the maximum word count for this year’s awards is 500 words, and the focus is on activity from the last academic year, 2021/22.
2) Know your category
Address the criteria in the category description to impress the judges. Plan your entry by bullet-pointing your key messages to ensure you’ve covered all the criteria before telling your story.
3) Highlight your unique selling points
Stand out by bringing something new to the table. If you or your team introduced innovation or implemented something unique to your institution, highlight it. Ask yourself, what makes you, your team, or your institution special?
4) Provide evidence
You have something special to share that’s worth recognition, but you need to back it up with evidence. For example, if you’ve implemented a new student mental health initiative, support your claims with evidence like engagement data or anecdotal feedback from students who have benefited from your work.
5) Focus on impact
The category requirements may ask how you achieved something, but don’t forget to detail the impact of your actions. If your university library provided transnational students with digital access to core textbooks in record time during 2020/21, describe the positive impact this had on those students and their programs.
6) Be concise
THE Awards entries only allow for only 500 words, so brevity is key. Use the “Point, Evidence, Explain” technique to structure your entry effectively.
7) Give yourself enough time
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to craft a well-structured entry and gather evidence. Enlist help early, and don’t leave it until the last minute.
Avoid making errors by getting someone to proofread your entry. Even if you’re entering for Outstanding Library Team or Business School of the Year, you don’t want to be telling the judges how you “worked as a close-knit cream” instead of team!
The nomination window is NOW open – don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your success in the UK HE sector – you have until June 12th to get your entry in!