The full list of funded seminars taking place during the 2019/20 academic year can be viewed here.

Applications are now closed for the 2019-20 National Seminar Series.

There are four funding streams, in line with the key strategic priorities of the National Forum 2019-21:

The National Professional Development Framework for All Staff Who Teach in Higher Education is a key initiative developed by the National Forum which is supported by associated resources for professional development, including open-access professional development short courses.

This funding stream supports the implementation of the Professional Development Framework across Irish higher education. It will support seminars that enable:

  • middle and senior management to become familiar with the professional development framework to make informed, forward-thinking decisions about teaching and learning in their institutions.
  • discipline/programme teams to use the Framework to identify professional development needs and goals to develop staff capacity for change.
  • HR departments and staff development units to make connections between broader staff development initiatives, and teaching and learning enhancement activities
  • HE colleagues and professional bodies to identify and explore the synergies between their respective professional development frameworks
  • networking and peer learning opportunities guided by the Framework for those who are engaged in their own professional development.
  • delivery of professional development short courses leading to National Forum digital badges.

This funding stream aims to support those who learn, teach, and support learning to consider the potential of digital technologies with the goal of enhancing learning, teaching, and overall digital capability. It will support seminars that:

  • enhance understanding of how staff and students are currently engaging with digital technologies, as well as their needs and concerns.
  • share innovation in learning, teaching and assessment with a focus on using technology to maximize learning impact.
  • support conversations around policy development in an open digital world.

Recognising that disciplines are a key unit of change in higher education, this funding stream focuses on disciplinary excellence in learning, teaching and assessment (DELTA). It will support seminars focused on one or more of the five elements of the National Forum DELTA Framework. The Framework aims to help heads and leaders of disciplinary units to capture, articulate and support teaching and learning enhancement plans through:

  • strategy and capacity building
  • learning design
  • teaching and learning practice
  • assessment of/for/as learning
  • evidence-based approaches

This funding stream provides the opportunity for higher education institutions, their schools and/or departments (academic or service) to discuss how student success is defined and supported within their context and to share good practice within and between institutions. It will support seminars that:

  • foster dialogue across the sector regarding what constitutes student success in different contexts, for different student groups, and at different times in students’ learning journeys.
  • explore how to embrace student engagement in the articulation and realisation of student success.
  • share lessons learned on how data can be used to support student success.
  • explore innovation in learning, teaching and assessment approaches to support student success.
  • consider how institutions can be supported in the development of strategies for student success.

Application Process

It is anticipated that the National Seminar Series 2019/2020 will include up to 50 seminars. The range of funded seminars will reflect the broad range of topics associated with the four funding streams. We will fund submissions that best meet the application criteria listed below. We look forward to seminars that give those involved in higher education the space and opportunity to continue to meet and discuss with colleagues across the country.

Please note that only submissions that meet the eligibility criteria identified below will be considered for funding.

This call is now closed. 

Please direct any queries to with the subject line, National Seminar Series 2019/20.

Key Dates

  • 5pm Friday, 28 June 2019: Application deadline (online or by email)
  • Tuesday, 3 Sept 2019: Applicants notified whether they have been successful
  • TBC: Formal launch of National Seminar Series 2019/2020
  • October 1 2019 – June 30 2020: Seminars series takes place

All seminars will be publicised on our website and through our social media channels. You are also advised to publicise them through your institutional channels.


The eligibility criteria for the National Seminar Series 2019/2020 are:

  • Applicant must be a staff member at an institution associated with the National Forum.
  • Applications must have the acknowledged support of an eligible institution.
  • Applicants must be in a position to host a seminar between October 1 2019 and June 30 2020.
  • Applicants agree to gather participant feedback and return it to the National Forum. The National Forum will supply a survey link and a template.
  • Applicants agree to submit a seminar report to the National Forum using the supplied template.

Selection Criteria

  1. Relevance to the seminar funding stream
    1. Does the seminar relate explicitly to the funding stream?
    2. Does the seminar encourage debate within or across key aspects detailed above?
  2. Quality of submission
    • Is the submission complete?
    • Are the seminar‚ content and learning outcomes informed by ongoing developments in teaching and learning in higher education?
  3. National significance of seminar
    • Is the seminar of interest to participants outside the host institution and how will the organisers actively ensure that cross-sector participation will be achieved?
    • If the seminar is aimed at staff within an institution is this appropriate to the funding stream?


Each seminar will receive up to €1000 to cover costs, which may include paying for a guest speaker, catering costs, printing of promotional materials, marketing, printing of resource packs for your event, travel/subsistence costs for participants, costs associated with recording the event.

Additional funds may be available on a case-by-case basis for support such as Irish sign language interpretation. If you have streaming/recording costs that cannot be covered by the €1000 you can request a supplement to cover the costs of streaming/recording. A full quotation is required for any additional funding.

Funding cannot be used to purchase equipment or to buy out time from lecturers/staff employed at the hosting institution.

Where a seminar is collaboratively organised by more than one institution, one lead institution must be clearly identified. This institution will be responsible for managing the funding.

Funding can only be transferred to an institution associated with the National Forum.

The National Seminar Series is a key element of the work of the National Forum. Seminars have run since 2013. Details of the 2018/19 seminar series is available here.

We look forward to receiving your application.