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Congratulations to the members of the Department of Biology, Department of Computer Science, Department of Earth Sciences and Department of Chemistry, who were amongst the joint winners, highly commended and finalists for the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards announced on Wednesday 8 May.

Members of the AFitUK group at the prize-awarding ceremony with the Vice-Chancellor. © John Cairns

MPLS and History of Science Museum scientists were joint winners of the Community Partnership Award for 'supporting young people from African families in accessing science capital'.

Initially part of the Science Together public engagement with research programme, the cross-departmental team worked with the community group African Families in the UK to support young people of African and black Caribbean heritage to enjoy science and build cultural connections.

Chris Parkin, Learning Producer at the History of Science Museum said: 'We are hugely excited to be a winner of the Vice Chancellor's Award for community partnerships and very happy on behalf of the young people we are working with from African Families in the UK who have been such an amazing group to work with. We are also delighted to have had this opportunity to continue and develop a partnership that originated from the Science Together programme.'

The Community Partnership Award recognises colleagues who have partnered with others to make a positive difference locally, nationally or globally.

The WildCRU (Department of Biology) International Wildlife Conservation Practice course team were highly commended in the Inclusive Teaching and Assessment category, awarded to colleagues who have adopted approaches that make teaching more inclusive for different groups of students.

The team were recognised for their work with conservation biologists and practitioners from the Global South and their focus on the most talented and least privileged applicants, who would not normally have the opportunity to attend a world-class university.

Highly commended in the Research Engagement category were the team from the Department of Biology for their work influencing policy development at both national and local levels for one of the world’s most innovative new ecological policies, Biodiversity Net Gain in England. The Research Engagement Award recognises those who have enriched their research through engaging with those outside the University, for the benefits of wider society.

Refeyn, a spinout from the Department of Chemistry, was highly commended in the Innovation and Commercialisation category for the development and commercialisation of mass photometry techniques.

Awards finalists from more than 1200 nominations across the university included the Department of Computer Science for their part in developing the first augmented reality experience in an MBA course in collaboration with IT Services and the Saïd Business School.

Also recognised were members of the Department of Earth Sciences for their popular research engagement collaboration ‘Sensing volcanoes: public and community engagement with volcanic risk’, the Biology and Experimental Psychology teams developing the shared building operations model for the new Life and Mind Building, WildCRU for ‘Biodiversity friendly futures for the highlands of Ethiopia’ and battery technology spin-out Brill Power.


The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards recognise the achievements and celebrate success across the collegiate University, from academics and researchers to professional, technical and support staff.

Previously held as five different awards, the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards were restructured for this year and transformed into a unified university-wide celebration across eleven categories.

There were 250 award entries, with 1,500 individuals included in the nominations, from all parts of the University and colleges.

Dr Tracy Gale, Divisional Registrar for MPLS Division, said: 'I am always inspired by the incredible work of all our academics, researchers and professional, technical and support staff across the Division.

'Our 49 MPLS nominations, finalists, highly-commended and award winners exemplify the impact of our work – both within our local communities and on a wider national and international scale.

'My congratulations to the interdisciplinary team presented with a Community Partnership Award for their collaboration with African Families in the UK supporting young people from African families in accessing science capital. Their partnership serves as a powerful testament to our shared values of community, inclusivity and innovation.'

Full details of the finalists, highly commended finalists and award winners can be found on the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards page of the University website.