Skip to main content

There’s more to a Principal Fellow writing retreat than an application!

24 Jan 2022 | Professor Sally Bradley Join Professor Sally Bradley on one of the last Principal Fellow writing retreats of this academic year. In this blog, Sally encourages you to take the opportunity for time and space to reflect on your application.

It’s nearly February. The Christmas vacation seems such a long time ago. And that Principal Fellow application remains un-started, still a thought at the back of your mind. Or even worse, still on your Personal Development Plan from last year!

Don’t let the time slip away, there are still spaces on the last remaining Principal Fellow writing retreats of this academic year.

The online Principal Fellow writing retreats provide a haven in your busy schedule to think about you, your achievements and the impact you have had as a strategic leader in higher education. Self-indulgent? No, an opportunity to consolidate your thoughts and reflect on your practice.

As a leader, working life can become a series of firefighting episodes, sorting out other people’s problems. When do you get time to think and to reflect on your achievements, your successes, the things which give you satisfaction in your role? We all need that space.

At the online writing retreat, we cover the practicalities of the application process but then explore with you, on a one-to-one basis, your strategic leadership of learning and teaching and the impact you have made across your own institution and beyond. The conversation provides an opportunity to articulate your philosophies and approaches to change and how you made them a reality through policy and strategy. For many, it is the first opportunity, as a senior leader, to talk about their approach in a safe and confidential environment.

The Principal Fellow writing retreats are limited to eight delegates to maximise the opportunity for conversation and exploration of practice.

This is not to say that the day isn’t challenging, some delegates have even called it a boot camp. But when you are looking at a recognition which is held by less than 1% of our 150,000 Fellows, then you wouldn’t expect it to be easy!

Delegates who have attended have said: "I really enjoyed the boot camp as well as feeling the benefit of learning more about the PF application. I loved talking about the joy of what we do with a fellow evangelist. [Sally's] passion and enthusiasm – what a joy it was."

“A great introduction to what constitutes Principal Fellow, as well as how to engage effectively with the [review process]. The event gives you the time and space to think, and more importantly, to reflect on you as an individual and the strategic and sustained impact you've had. It provides a great impetus to get writing!"

"Overall, an excellent event that I found informative and enjoyable, with lots of opportunity to ask questions and receive very clear and helpful answers."

Why not join me at one of the last Principal Fellow writing retreats this academic year! Places are limited.

Principal Fellow Writing Retreat - 10 March 2022

The virtual Principal Fellow Writing Retreat is an invaluable opportunity to have the time and space to progress your application to become a Principal Fellow, receiving expert analysis and feedback in the process. Find out more and book your place.

Principal Fellow Record of Educational Impact 

Colleagues who are in the process of completing their direct Principal Fellow application and looking for more guidance on the Record of Educational Impact (REI) element of their submission can book Principal Fellow Record of Educational Impact Support Session at Advance HE. Participants will be asked to complete a template on which to collate their strategic interventions, and will receive constructive feedback in a convenient, virtual, one-to-one session with an experienced Advance HE reviewer. Find out more


We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

Keep up to date - Sign up to Advance HE communications

Our monthly newsletter contains the latest news from Advance HE, updates from around the sector, links to articles sharing knowledge and best practice and information on our services and upcoming events. Don't miss out, sign up to our newsletter now.

Sign up to our enewsletter