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Principal Fellowship

What is Principal Fellowship?

Principal Fellowship (D4)is awarded to professionals who demonstrate they meet the criteria of Descriptor 4 of the Professional Standards Framework (PSF) for teaching and supporting learning in higher education.

Principal Fellow

Principal Fellow is relevant for experienced staff with strategic leadership responsibilities for learning and teaching. This encompasses both academic leadership and related activities for learning and teaching. Principal Fellow is relevant if you have experience of developing and implementing strategies, policy making and informing approaches to enhancing student education within the University.  You will also be able to demonstrate wider influence and impact in learning and teaching, for example leading developments nationally or internationally in the context of your discipline, profession or topics of expertise.

Applying for Principal Fellowship

Applications for Principal Fellow are by direct submission to Advance HE (AHE). This is different to the process for staff applying for any other category of Fellowship - Senior, Fellow or Associate - these can be applied for using the University’s PRiSE scheme, accredited by AHE.

Getting started

  1. To assess your suitability for principal fellow, we recommend you complete the AHE Fellowship Category Tool (link takes you to AHE website)– this provides immediate feedback on your current strengths and weaknesses in relation to the Fellowship criteria.
  2. Download the Principal Fellow applicant pack from the AHE website
  3. Contact us at to arrange an initial conversation about your potential application and the support we can offer

Support we can offer for your application

  • You will have access to an online Principal Fellow community to provide peer support as you work on your application.
  • The fee for your Principal Fellow application (currently £550) will be covered if you sign up for our support provision
  • Supported writing retreats to help you make time to write your application
  • Access to sessions to support you understanding the Professional Standards Framework (PSF)
  • Coaching and feedback with direct application

Be inspired

You can also read about some of our other Principal Fellows at Leeds in these articles, case studies and blogs. Hear from our Principal Fellows at Leeds, about their experiences of applying for and achieving Principal Fellow.