Dr Marj Spiller

Job Title and Responsibilities

Head of Academic Staff Development

The Head of Academic Staff Development is responsible for facilitating the ongoing support and development of academics in their teaching roles in line with the strategic direction of the University. In collaboration with a range of staff from across the University, the Head of Academic Staff Development provides opportunities for staff to engage in development activities to enhance their academic practice. In particular, this role involves:

  • Establishing institutional support and processes for academic staff to gain their HEA Fellowships

  • Leading the development of the Academy of Teaching Excellence Fellows

  • Providing targeted coaching for NTFS nominees

  • Enabling the inter-disciplinary sharing of good teaching practice

  • Providing academic practice coaching to enhance teaching performance

  • Working closely with Faculty colleagues to ensure that specific teaching development priorities are met

In addition, on behalf of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) and the Dean of Academic Policy and Development, the Head of Staff Development also leads a number of cross-institutional teaching-focussed initiatives to further improve the learning experience of students. Recently, for example, this has involved leading initiatives on:

  • Inclusive Practice

  • Personal Tutoring

  • BAME

About Me

Having first taught PE in a secondary school, I then moved into Further Education where I broadened my experience by lecturing on sports science and leisure and tourism courses at different levels and through a range of nationally accredited qualifications. Moving then in to the management of lecturer-training, staff-development and quality improvement, I took on a number of different cross-institutional responsibilities within further education. This involved policy development, the development, implementation and evaluation of initiatives and some outreach work in industry. I then started working in Higher Education, focussing on the development of staff and, in particular, academic staff.


  • BSc in Sports Science (Loughborough)

  • PGCE (Loughborough)

  • M. Ed (Keele)

  • MBA in Educational Management (Leicester University)

  • PhD in Management learning (Staffordshire University)

  • ILM Level 7 Executive Coach

Professional Memberships/Fellowships

  • CIPD Chartered Fellow

  • Higher Education Academy Principal Fellow

  • AUA Fellow


At the heart of my approach is my passion for the practical application of improving learning and teaching. I devote a lot of energy into ensuring that new systems and processes are continually monitored and evaluated so that recommended changes can then be acted upon. Throughout my career I have openly welcomed curriculum change and enhancement. I see my role as both an instigator and an enabler, helping others to confidently embrace this process as a natural part of their professional development.


Dr Marj Spiller
Head of Academic Staff Development
Academic Development Unit
Staffordshire University
Mellor Building Room S112
College Road
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

t: +441782294403
e: M.Spiller@staffs.ac.uk