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Spotlight on Success: February 2020

Spotlight on success

Each month we publish a selection of key Teaching & Learning and Research achievements and developments. See February’s news below.


Awards & Prizes

  • Professor Marina Della Giusta (Economics) has been awarded EU Horizon2020 funding as co-investigator on the INHABIT (Inclusive health and wellbeing in small and medium size cities) project, which will run from 2020 to 2025 in Cordoba, Riga, Lucca and Nitra.
  • Dr Chris Venditti (Ecology and Evolution) has won a 5-year Leverhulme Research Leadership Award of nearly £1 million for ‘The evolutionary and biogeographical routes to hominin diversity': a five-year programme of research into fundamental questions of human evolution.
  • Dr Sophie Clot (Economics) has been awarded an ESRC New Investigator Grant of over £280,000 to lead a project in Madagascar on how relative poverty affectsdecision-making in developing countries, where conservation programmes are used to encourage behaviour change amongst farmers.
  • Dr Stuart Black (Archaeology) has been awarded £300,000 Wellcome Trust funding as co-investigator on a major project with partners including The National Trust and National Museums Scotland to explore the histories and consequences of humans' tendency to feed animals.
  • Dr Rachel Mairs (Classics) has received funding from the British Academy to convene writing workshops in Cairo and Aswan to give early-career Egyptian researchers coaching, mentoring and feedback from international classicists and provide guidance on bringing their research to global audiences.
  • Dr Mara Oliva (History) has been awarded the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR - US) Global Scholar Award for her paper ‘A Public Diplomacy Failure: Eisenhower and the US press in China', which will be published in the Journal of Cold War Studies.
  • Dr Vaibhav Singh (Typography) has been awarded funding from the British Academy to develop an exhibition for their Summer Showcase exploring the intersection of technology, textual communication, bodily interactions and mechanical formulations that have given visual and material form to languages around the world.
  • Dr John Methven (Weather) has been awarded a NERC Standard Grant as co-investigator on a project titled ‘Arctic Summer-time Cyclones: Dynamics and Sea-ice Interaction'.


Project Updates



  • Louise Hague, Associate Professor in the School of Law, has been appointed to the position of Teaching & Learning Dean. Louise will work alongside our four current T&L Deans and will start her new role from 1 March.
  • Professor Emma Mayhew (Academic Director, EMA Programme), Vicki Holmes (Head of Technology Enhanced Learning) and Professor Claire Collins (Henley Business School) have been chosen to represent the University as nominees in this year's National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS).
  • The team behind the ‘Inspiring Engagement: the English Literature and Typography Staff-Student Book Project' has been chosen as the University's nominee in this year's Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE) scheme.
  • Focus on Feedback: To support efforts to enhance the student experience of assessment and feedback, colleagues in CSQD have recently developed a helpful new Focus on Feedback Top Tips resource.
  • A screening of a Stephen Dwoskin film at an event at Birkbeck Cinema New Cinema Club will be introduced by Dr Henry Miller (Art) as part of his project ‘The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin's Personal Cinema'.
  • Professor Elizabeth Robinson (Agriculture, Policy and Development) has been appointed as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment, chaired by Lord Krebs.
  • The University of Reading is partner on one hub of major new supercomputing services supported by the EPSRC which will give the University access to state of the art supercomputing for molecular modelling. Dr Ricardo Grau-Crespo (Chemistry) is the Reading contact for the project.
  • On 19 February Reading brought home the Botanical University Challenge trophy for the third time, in a win for both our botany students and the School of Biological Sciences. Our ‘Whiteknights Cedars' team went head-to-head with six other university teams, triumphing in the final against Liverpool. Read further information on the Reading Botany blog.


Please see our CentAUR archive page for all recent University of Reading research publications


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