S10 2JA, telephone (0114) 222 8120, fax (0114) 279 6236, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The aim of the research was to undertake a critical evaluation of the NTFS which would address questions beyond its immediate operational logic and procedures, thereby helping it to gain credibility within the sector. The study explored three inter-related question areas: 1) how 'teaching excellence' is understood within the NTFS 2) what are the key characteristics of the NTFS as a development mechanism and strategy and 3) what impact the NTFS has made on the professional lives and identities of the award winners. A variety of research methods were used to pursue these question areas including: a literature review of existing work into 'teaching excellence'; documentary analysis of the NTFS; interviews with members of the National Advisory Panel (NAP); focus groups with students and staff from the University of Sheffield and further interviews with all 20 of the 2000 NTFS award winners.
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