ISSOTL Fellows: Preparing a Dossier for Submission

Dossier Due Date (Extended): March 6, 2020 4:30 pm Eastern Time

Submit Your Dossier (Limit: 1 PDF file, 100 MB max)

As you prepare your dossier for consideration for the ISSOTL Fellowship we ask you to consider the following guidelines. The elements below help to ensure some broad consistency across the dossiers and support the work of the adjudicators.

In the dossier, we encourage applicants to reflect critically and carefully about their engagement and impact in the field of SoTL, and to share their journey as practitioners of SoTL. The dossier should not merely list things the applicant has accomplished as a curriculum vitae; instead, critical reflection might take various forms – descriptive, analytical, integrative – and add depth and breadth to your experience as a learner, leader, and scholar in SoTL.

As noted in the FAQs, in an effort to be inclusive, the page count provides more flexibility for demonstrating impact than a word limit, which focuses on the written word as the primary vehicle for expression. Depending on your disciplinary field, institutional role, cultural context, and positionality, you are encouraged to express your engagement with SoTL in various forms within these 25 pages by including images, pictures, diagrams, drawings, charts, screen captures of websites or blogs, cartoons, excerpts of testimonials or snippets of student work (with permission), etc. However, hyperlinks and external pages will not be considered in order to respect the time constraints of our dedicated volunteer adjudicators and reviewers.

General Guidelines

  • Remember that the ISSOTL fellowship is open to any ISSOTL member, regardless of their institutional role: we welcome dossiers from students, faculty, administrators and educational development practitioners.
  • Please do not submit a C.V.
  • Please respect the page limit of 25 pages. These 25 pages include all evidence and letters of support.  It should be submitted as single PDF with 2.5cm margins, single-spaced, Arial 12 point font. The cover page (described below) is not included in this pape count. Appendices, beyond the 25 pages, should not be included. The 25 pages should be inclusive of all the material you require to share your journey and demonstrate sustained impact.
  • Please ensure all pages are numbered.
  • Please ensure that letters of support are signed and dated.
  • Where appropriate, please ensure letters of support are on institutional letterhead.
  • The dossiers and letters of support should be submitted in English. We do not have the capacity to translate documentation or review in multiple languages.  

Dossier Components

Cover Page

Please include your name and contact information on a separate cover page (not included in the page count).

1.0. Statement of Philosophy of SoTL Leadership

The nominee will reflect on the value of SoTL work in general and their philosophy of educational leadership as it relates to SoTL.

In this section we ask that you identify the values that underpin your SoTL work and the values that underpin your educational leadership.

Applicants are also encouraged to identify future projects/initiatives as part of their leadership in SoTL.

There are many excellent resources available that can inform the writing of your statement on educational leadership. One very useful resource has been developed by the Taylor Institute at the University of Calgary and  can be found at:

We recommend 1-3 pages in this section.

2.0 Contextual Statement

We also ask that the nominee include a statement about the context in which they are engaged in their SoTL work – to help reviewers understand the context in which you work please share with us  your institutional role, your discipline, the status and recognition of SoTL in your institution and region. Our intent is not to assess your context but rather the request for contextual information provides reviewers with an understanding of the environment in which you are working and recognizes that leadership can take different forms depending on the context.  

We recommend 1-2 pages in this section.

3.0 Evidence of sustained engagement, leadership, and impact in the field of SoTL local, national, regional, and/or international levels.

For this section, we encourage nominees to take some time reflecting on what sustained engagement, leadership and impact in the field of SoTL means to you and in your context? Some of these ideas may also be addressed in the statement of philosophy above.

Key to this section is the inclusion of evidence. This is where you show us your philosophy in action. There is a wide range of evidence that one may choose to provide to show sustained engagement, leadership and impact and may include but is not limited to the following areas/activities:

  • Conference presentations at ISSOTL conferences (which include regional ISSOTL affiliated conferences, e.g. EuroSoTL, SOTL in the South);
  • Authored or co-authored SoTL-related chapters, books, or papers in internationally recognized SoTL or disciplinary journals;
  • Leadership-level contributions to the broader field of SoTL (e.g. other conferences, SoTL outreach through websites or blogs);
  • Service to ISSOTL;
  • Projects, initiatives, programs dedicated to mentorship, collaboration and work with communities of practice;
  • Initiatives dedicated to mentoring others, especially students, emerging and junior scholars, underrepresented or marginalized individuals or groups, etc.;
  • Projects demonstrating commitment to the pursuit of lifelong learning in the field of teaching and learning in higher education.

The evidence you integrate into this section is your choice. Remember, we are not looking for lists. We are looking for evidence that shows your philosophy in action and supports your interpretations of sustained engagement, leadership and impact.

Central to this fellowship is the belief that leadership takes place in a variety of levels; the inclusion of ‘local, national, regional, and/or international levels’ does not require evidence of work at all levels. Our intent is to be inclusive and to respect that sustained engagement, leadership and impact can happen at a local level as well as at an international or regional level. Please ensure that you provide us with the evidence to assess sustained engagement, leadership and impact at whichever level or levels is most appropriate for your profile and context.  

We recommend 10-15 pages in this section.

4.0 Two Letters of Support (minimum)

Letters of support can be from anyone who can speak to the sustained engagement, leadership and impact the nominee has had in the field of SoTL. Letters might be written by former students, staff, faculty, administrators, community members, etc.

We recommend 3-6 pages in this section.

5.0 Conclusion/Reflective Statement (optional)

This section allows applicants to reflect on the dossier and include any pertinent information for the adjudicators and reviewers that will provide insights into the dossier and applicant

We recommend 1-2 pages in this section.

What the Adjudicators Will be Looking For:

  1. Critical Reflection: Nominee reflects on, defines and/or describes key themes associated with the award:

    • SoTL – what does SoTL mean to you?

    • Value of SoTL – to you, what is the value of SoTL? Why engage in SoTL?

    • Educational leadership – what are the values that inform your educational leadership?

    • Sustained engagement  – what does sustained mean to the applicant in the context of their career and what does engagement look like give the context

    • Impact – we are looking for impact that is transformational — to self, community, institution, discipline, region, nation, communities of practice in their various forms

  2. Evidence of Impact: Nominee provides evidence of:

    • Educational leadership – does the evidence of educational leadership align with the values are articulated in the philosophy?

    • Sustained engagement – is there evidence of sustained engagement at some level (local, national, regional and/or international)?

    • Impact – There are a variety of ways that applicants can show impact and it will be dependent on the focus of the dossier. Adjudicators will ask: what is the depth of impact of your work? Has it been transformative? How so?

      Depth of impact – depth of impact does not necessarily translate into  a long list of committee work. Remember – it’s not about a list of activities or publications. Rather, are there experiences you wish to highlight where you led a committee and created a new initiative that changed the face of SoTL in your context? For example, did you seize an opportunities to create a more inclusive and accessible ISSOTL or did you lead to the organization of the first regional SoTL conference in their area or create an institute that has has lasting impact or work with communities to give expression to their experiences where there was no space for that previously? How has your work been transformative?

3. Alignment:

  • Do the letters support the evidence provided by the applicant?
  • Does the evidence of impact align with the statement of philosophy of SoTL leadership? I.e. do you do what you say you do?
  • Does the critical reflection align with the evidence of impact?
  • Are the values expressed in the dossier aligned with the values of the ISSOTL Fellowship?

Submit Your Dossier (Limit: 1 PDF file, 100 MB max)

Approved by ISSOTL Board December 12, 2018

Guidelines Last Updated December 16, 2018