Innovate Your Teaching Practice with the UCD Innovation Fellowship

The UCD Innovation Academy Innovation Fellowship is a funded trimester-long programme for UCD academic staff wishing to dedicate time to developing excellence in educational innovation. Participants will have the opportunity to take a sabbatical from their regular teaching role for a trimester (teaching buyout ~€20k to be agreed with Head of School) in order to further develop their practice as educators, in collaboration with UCD Innovation Academy and partners.  Time to pause intense schedules, reflect, explore and experiment.

The Fellowships are intended to further support the professional development of those who have previously participated in the UCD Professional Certificate and Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education (formerly known as Entrepreneurial Educators). Fellowship applicants should have completed the Professional Certificate before starting the Fellowship. This initiative forms part of ‘Convene’ a broader initiative in collaboration with TU Dublin that is supported by the Government of Ireland’s Human Capital Initiative (2020-2025) for Innovation and Agility across Higher Education.  Fellowship calls will be twice per year for the next 4 years.

Click here for an overview of Convene>

Click here for the launch and information session slide deck>

Meet the 2021 UCD Innovation Fellows

We are delighted to welcome the following UCD Academic Staff Members into the UCD Innovation Academy in 2021 as the inaugural cohort of UCD Innovation Fellows. We look forward to working with and learning from our UCD  colleagues.

Learn more about the Fellows and their ambitions for 2021 here>

Dr Sandra Aungier – UCD School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr Michaela Davis – Radiography and Diagnostic Imaging, UCD School of Medicine
Dr Jacob Eisenberg – UCD School of Business
Dr Kate Frazer – UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health Systems
Joe Houghton – UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business 
Dr Jean-Christophe Jacquier – UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science
Dr Bernd Justin Jütte – UCD  Sutherland School of Law
Dr Wolfgang Marx – UCD School of Music
Dr Deirdre McGillicuddy – UCD School of Education
Sophia Meeres – UCD School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy
Dr Carla Perrotta  –  UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science

How can this Fellowship benefit my career?

As an Innovation Fellow, you will have the opportunity to explore all Innovation Academy programmes, lead aspects of a particular programme,  innovate new approaches, explore new areas of education and co-create learning experiences that can be integrated in your teaching and shared with others. You will join a unique learning community both within UCD and beyond the campus, connecting with our collaborating academic and enterprise partners in the Convene network. Ultimately you will have the chance to refresh and prepare for the ever-evolving and rapidly changing world around us. 

What does a Fellow do?

As an Innovation Fellow, you will join the UCD Innovation Academy team as we design and facilitate experiential learning workshops, modules and programmes. Observing, contributing, leading and exploring as you wish. 

The role will include a high degree of autonomy, as well as continuous feedback and engagement from peers and the larger UCD Innovation Academy community.

As a UCD Innovation Fellow you will be encouraged to broaden your pedagogical reach and create new learning experiences at the intersection between disciplines.


What we expect from a Fellow?

What you can expect from UCD Innovation Academy?

    • To have successfully completed the UCD Professional Certificate in Creativity & Innovation for Education 
    • To come with an open mind to every aspect of the Fellowship 
    • To bring your experience to bear on the particular course in a way that supports Innovation Academy staff and enriches the learning experience of our students 
    • To reflect on your experience, identify what you have learned and how you can enhance your contribution to your UCD School. 
    • A commitment to integrate the approaches that you have developed during the Fellowship into your practice as an educator. 
  • An open and supportive work environment
  • A unique opportunity to enhance your practice as an educator
  • Freedom to test innovative pedagogical approaches 
  • Facilitated connection to our Network of collaborators from Industry and other HEIs nationally and internationally
  • Ongoing access to resources
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring and support from Innovation Academy Fellows
  • Support to integrate into the team as easily as possible particularly as the first intake will be remote due to Covid-19. 

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for a Fellowship you must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be a current academic staff member at UCD 
  • Have previously completed the UCD Professional Certificate or Diploma in Creativity & Innovation for Education (previously entitled the UCD Professional Certificate or Diploma for Entrepreneurial Educators) 
  • Have support from your Head of School to take up the Fellowship

Application Process

First, please complete the registration of interest form. 

To apply please send 

  1. a brief letter of motivation outlining your hopes for the Fellowship and contribution you would like to make  
  2. a brief nomination statement from your Head of School agreeing to your participation for a whole trimester without School based teaching responsibilities, should you be accepted

To The closing date for receipt of applications for the first intake of this new programme is Monday 14th December 2020 (longer lead in times will be possible for subsequent iterations).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the expected time commitment overall and per week?
    There is no fixed time commitment.  How much time would you like to explore and develop your practice as an educator?  We trust your professional judgement on this.


  • Can I continue to conduct my research (30% of my time) whilst on the Fellowship?


  • Can I continue to conduct clinical work (50% of my time) during the Fellowship?


  • I am unavailable for the forthcoming trimester. May I apply for a future one?
    You can apply for any of the three trimesters in calendar year 2021.


  • Could I ask if the Fellowship offered is an opportunity to take time from your current teaching role to develop a new programme within your school? Yes it is.  We would encourage you to apply your learning from the educators programme in your design principles.


  • How many fellows will there be during each call over the next four years?
    We currently have funding for 10 fellows in calendar year 2021 and 3 fellows each year 2022 – 2024.  We hope that the impact of the fellowship in year 1 will help in securing additional funding for future fellowships.

Contact Information

Professor Suzi Jarvis

Founding Director, UCD Innovation Academy (

David Nevin

Business Development Manager (

Jojo McDonnell

Business Development Administrator (