National teaching fellowship awarded to University academic.

Posted on 18th September 2018

A Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Chester has been awarded a prestigious national teaching and learning fellowship.

Dr Wendy Dossett
Dr Wendy Dossett

Dr Wendy Dossett is also a Director (Research) of Chester Studies of Addiction, Recovery and Spirituality Group, and Principal Investigator of the Higher Power Project, which explores the language of religion and spirituality in recovery from substance use disorders and other addictions. 

Dr Dossett has been awarded the fellowship from the British Association for the Study of Religions (BASR), which is the national association promoting the academic study of religions. Only one fellowship is awarded annually.

The President of BASR, Professor Bettina Schmidt, said: “The executive committee of the British Association for the Study of Religions is delighted to award our 2018 Teaching Fellowship to Dr Wendy Dossett of the University of Chester. This is the second year of the Fellowship, which is awarded annually to recognise excellence, innovation and transformation of the student learning experience by a university teacher working in the study of Religion/s or Religious Studies.

“The committee was very impressed by Dr Dossett’s strong track record, in particular her innovative RE placement module in schools. The committee saw excellent qualitative testimonies by numerous colleagues, and very positive student feedback. Dr Dossett has demonstrated an excellent commitment to teaching and learning with wide overview across several levels, particularly through her extensive involvement with NATRE (National Association of Teachers of Religious Education), with TRS-UK (the professional association of Higher Education Institutions’ Departments of Theology and Religious Studies UK-wide, for which she is the Schools Liaison officer), and with the BASR, and through her dedicated mentoring of colleagues. Congratulations!”

Wendy said: “I’m very grateful to receive this acknowledgment of this aspect of my work. Empowering students in the critical study of religions to enhance religious and cultural literacy is central to my work, so it means a great deal to me that the BASR considers it in line with its ethos. I’m also grateful that the Association acknowledges my efforts to shape future curriculum leaders in religious education. A number of our graduates train as teachers, and a significant proportion of these go on to become influential in the RE community. The work of engaging potential teachers with the theories, methods and field of critical religious studies is becoming increasingly important as the curriculum subject of RE faces reforms. I also appreciate the acknowledgement of my mentoring of early career colleagues, which is one of the most inspiring and enjoyable aspects of my job.”

Professor Wayne Morris, Director of the School of Humanities at the University of Chester, and Professor of Contextual Theology, said: “Our congratulations go to Wendy for being recognised nationally in this way. These fellowships are awarded annually and on a competitive basis. We are extremely proud that the massive contribution she makes in so many ways to the development of pedagogical thinking and practice in our discipline nationally is being rewarded.”

Wendy will use her prize money to introduce an essay/ project competition for A level students to reward creative work in Religious Studies.