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Fawcett Fellowships

Fawcett Fellowships for Geography Teachers

In 1987 Edith Fawcett endowed annual Fellowships in the Department of Geography at UCL in memory of her father, Professor C B Fawcett, who was head of the department between 1928 and 1949.

The Fellowships are designed to enable UK-based teachers and other professional geographers in mid-career to study at UCL for one academic term.  Applicants should develop their own plan of how to spend the time, for example bringing themselves up-to-date with aspects of the discipline, exploring new teaching fields, developing new skills, or preparing new teaching materials. Fellows have full access to the library and IT resources at UCL, and to the expertise of its geography staff. They should then return to their permanent jobs refreshed and ready to stimulate others.

Around 50 Fellows have so far been supported. Most have been school teachers working with pupils at various stages, from primary to A-level. Many have come from south-east England, but a number have been attracted from parts of the UK as distant as Exeter, Hull, Manchester, the Forest of Dean, and South Wales, arranging temporary accommodation in London.

They have usually attended some lectures and classes relevant to their interests, conferring with the lecturers to adapt the material to their needs. Some have concentrated on updating and acquiring new information and skills; others have written material for new courses and modules, including field classes, sometimes based on London. At least one textbook was completed during a Fellowship and several articles have been written for geographical journals. The Fellowship thus provides a unique opportunity for personal professional development. Fellows have also advised the UCL department in relation to its first year courses, sometimes participating in its induction course for new students, sat in on tutorials and observed UCAS Open Days. The potential for such involvement is wide.

The funds are sufficient to finance teaching cover during the four month period of each Fellowship, which is normally September to Christmas, but could be from New Year to Easter.


Support in principle for a Fellowship application should first be sought from your school head, on the understanding that your full teaching salary would be continued, and that the Fund would cover the reasonable costs of replacement geography teaching. There are no standard application forms. Enquiries are welcome at any time, but because the arrangement of school release may take some time, letters of interest, including an outline plan of how you wish to use the Fellowship and a brief curriculum vitae, should be sent as early as possible before April 25th 2014 for 2014-2015 applications. Suitable applicants will be invited to interview in late April/early May, with Fellowships awarded on the basis of the quality of the work plans, including their value to personal professional development.

Enquiries and applications should be directed to Professor Peter Wood, who can supply further details of the scheme, including contacts with past Fellows who may offer ‘insider’ advice.  He can be contacted at Department of Geography, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT or by email at peter.wood@ucl.ac.uk