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Political Studies Association of Ireland


Teaching and Learning Prize

The award aims to recognise those political scientists whose disciplinary teaching incites intellectual curiosity in students, inspires departmental colleagues, integrates research and learning and increases student awareness of the significant relationships between politics as theory and politics as practice.

Recipients of the award will receive a prize sponsored by the PSAI. On occasion, the PSAI makes special awards for outstanding contributions in particular pedagogies. Prize winners will be given an opportunity to present their work to the teaching and learning panel during the annual PSAI conference. The award will take the form of a cheque for €400.

Selection process

The selection process will have three phases:

1.      Nomination using attached form (including two letters/e-mails of recommendation)

2.      Submission of portfolio by nominee

3.      Assessment of portfolios by the judging panel (PSAI members and external academic)


All staff teaching a minimum of three politics modules each academic year for at least two years.

Selection criteria

In making its decisions, the Committee will be looking for evidence of the nominee’s sustained excellence in teaching/facilitating learning appropriate to students of politics and public administration. It will also examine how the nominee’s research and teaching are integrated and how the nominee champions teaching and learning within the discipline.

Criteria for assessing teaching excellence

  • Evidence of teaching practices which engage students and promote effective learning
  • Teaching, learning or assessment related innovations led by the nominee
  • Enthusiasm and vitality in teaching and learning and proactivity in professional development
  • Influence on practice and/or professional development of colleagues with respect to teaching and learning
  • Command of the subject
  • Contribution to the curriculum and to pedagogy
  • Ability to use a range of appropriate teaching tools and to organise course material and present it cogently
  • Meaningful assessment of student learning and  achievement of relevant learning outcomes
  • Evidence of reflective engagement with teaching and learning
  • Learner support strategies to build students’ knowledge, confidence and competence within the discipline
  • Contribution to the Scholarship of teaching and learning in the discipline.


Individuals may be nominated by colleagues, heads of department/school or anyone else who wishes to acknowledge their outstanding contributions to teaching and learning. At least one nomination should come from a departmental/school colleague.

Please use this nomination form. Each nomination must be accompanied by two letters/e-mails of recommendation.

Email nominations to Dr. Eman Abboud ( and Dr. Philip Murphy (

Nominations must be received by 30 June

Submission of portfolio

Nominees will be asked to submit by  1 September a portfolio (of no more than 5000 words) that may include:

A reflective statement on teaching goals, objectives and experiences (not to exceed 600 words).

  •  A list of teaching responsibilities, including class numbers and an outline of assessment strategies
  • Samples of class materials e.g., syllabi, handouts, assignments and feedback
  • Evidence of  contribution to the curriculum and to the departmental/institutional promotion of excellence in teaching and learning
  • Evidence of innovation and engagement
  • Confirmation that feedback has been acted upon.
  •  Evidence of on-going professional development in teaching and learning in the discipline
  • Evidence of contribution to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the discipline

Presentation of award

The award will be presented during the PSAI annual conference.

Recipients of the PSAI Teaching and Learning Award

  • 2022: Dr Stefan Müller, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin
  • 2021: Dr James Cross, School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin
  • 2019: Dr. Liam Kneafsey, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2016: Dr. Michelle D’Arcy, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2015: Dr. Mary P. Murphy, Department of Sociology, Maynooth University
  • 2014: Dr. Theresa Reidy, Department of Government, University College Cork
  • 2013: Dr. Mary C. Murphy, Department of Government, University College Cork
  • 2012: Dr. Jacqueline Hayden, Department of Political Science, Trinity College Dublin
  • 2011: Dr. Brendan Flynn, School of Political Science and Sociology, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • 2010: Dr. Fiona Buckley, Department of Government, University College Cork received the inaugural PSAI Teaching and Learning award