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Fawcett Fellowships

New UCL Geography Alliance - Fawcett Fellowships added to Fawcett Fellowship scheme.

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 were originally designed to enable UK-based teachers and other professional geographers in mid-career to spend a sabbatical term studying at UCL. The teaching Fellows continued to be paid their full salary and the scheme funded replacement geography teaching.

It has proved difficult to attract Fellowship applications in recent years. It seems that pressures on school teachers' time have discouraged participation in the 'sabbatical term' model. Applications for such Fellowships nevertheless remain welcome (see 'Mode A' below).

In 2018, however, a new collaborative scheme was introduced with the UCL Institute of Education - the UCL Geography Alliance-Fawcett Fellowships.

This has two components:

1) UCL Geography Fawcett 'Twilight Workshops' on current developments in geography relevant to the GCSE and A Level specifications.

These will be open to all interested teachers and held regularly in late afternoon sessions, either as Zoom-based presentations or in UCL Geography, Gower Street, London WC1. For details, contact:

2) UCL Fawcett Fellowships (Mode B): Each year a number of these will be available to mid career teachers who wish to carry out work on curriculum planning with UCL Institute of Education/UCL Geography staff.  Supported financially from Fawcett funds and awarded competitively, the Fellowships will normally be held for one year, starting in September.

Those interested should contact Dr Alex Standish, in the IoE:

Meanwhile, applications remain welcome for:

Mode A: Sabbatical Term for mid-career geopgraphy teachers

During their sabbatical, based in UCL, applicants are encouraged to develop their own plan of work, 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 in both the Geography Department and the UCL Institute of Education. The aim is that they should return to their permanent jobs refreshed and ready to stimulate others.

Around 50 such Fellows have so far been supported under this scheme. They have usually attended some UCL Geography 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 11th 2022 for 2022-2023 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. He can be contacted at Department of Geography, UCL, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP or by email at