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Spotlight on Success: March/April 2020

Spotlight on success

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

Awards & Prizes

  • Winners announced for the University Collaborative Awards for T&L. This annual award scheme recognises and rewards groups of staff and students who have made exceptional, significant and ongoing contributions to the student learning experience. Following a highly competitive application process this year, we are delighted to present awards to Joy Collier, CQSD, Victoria Bundy, CQSD (previously RUSU), Professor Elizabeth McCrum, Vice-Chancellor's Office, Edward White, CQSD (previously RUSU), Kath Davey, RUSU for Developing an Institutional Approach to Student-Staff Partnership.
  • University shortlisted for ‘Best University Employability Strategy' for the National Graduate Recruitment Awards 2020, as Finalists in the category "Best University Employability Strategy". The TARGETjobs National Graduate Recruitment Awards recognises the work of university careers departments with an exclusive award for the best university employability strategy. This award is designed to champion institutions that go the extra mile helping students achieve their potential when searching and applying for graduate roles and transitioning to employment.
  • The University's 2020 Research Output Prizes for early career researchers were awarded to:
    • Dr Athanasios Koutsos (Food and Nutrition Sciences): ‘Two Apples a Day Lower Serum Cholesterol and Improve Cardiometabolic Biomarkers in Mildly Hypercholesterolemic Adults: A randomized, controlled, crossover trial', American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2019).
    • Dr Robert Lee (Meteorology): 'ENSO Modulation of MJO Teleconnections to the North Atlantic and Europe', Geophysical Research Letters (2019).
    • Dr Sarah von Billerbeck (Politics and International Relations):" Mirror, Mirror On the Wall:" Self-Legitimation by International Organisations', International Studies Quarterly (2019) and
    • Dr Matthew Lickiss (Typography): Design Perspectives on Multimodal Documents: System, medium and genre relations, Routledge (2019). Read the full staff portal story.
  • 2020 Guardian Awards: The University has had two projects shortlisted for the 2020 Guardian awards.
    • Professor Claire Williams (Psychology), Professor Gary Stephens (Pharmacy) and former University of Reading academic, Professor Ben Whalley have been shortlisted for the ‘Research Impact category' in recognition of the launch of a new drug treatment for rare forms of epilepsy in children.
    • Professor Ed Hawkins (Meteorology) together with The University's Marketing, Communications and Engagement Team has been shortlisted for the ‘Marketing and Comms campaign' category for their campaign to raise awareness of climate change. Read the full news story online.
  • The Walker Institute and its partner organisation in Ghana the Lorna Young Foundation were shortlisted by the BOND network for its Small NGO Impact Prize, for the Rainwatch project and work with local farmers. Read the full story.
  • Professor Jon Gibbins (Biological Sciences) has been awarded a £1.4m programme grant from the British Heart Foundation in which he will use new tests developed at Reading to predict which patients should take which medicines to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Professor Duncan Garrow (Archaeology) has been awarded follow-on funding to develop impact from the AHRC ‘Grave Goods' Project. Focusing on Scotland, the project will involve a new wave of archaeological volunteers in national and key regional institutions and create a new digital 'finds hub' resource.
  • Giving a voice to islanders in the Maldives: Dr Alex Arnall (International Development) has been awarded £100,000 in a follow-up grant by ESRC-DFID to explore further with policymakers and vulnerable island communities' novel ways of understanding and representing environmental change in the Maldives.
  • Dr Phil Davies (BISA) has received funding of £41,733 from the EPSRC for a 9-month project with colleagues from the University of Surrey and Coventry University to investigate digitally enhanced advanced rail signalling services for London Underground and national rail services (total funds £97,949).
  • A team led by Professor Anthony Powell (Chemical Sciences) has been awarded £609,274 under the EPSRC GCRF call for research into affordable thermoelectric materials for rural India, reducing harmful pollutants and particulates from the traditional Indian cooking stove (Chulha). The collaboration involves researchers from Reading, the University of Manchester and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research.


  • University awarded Athena SWAN Silver The University has received a Silver level Athena SWAN award from the Equality Challenge Unit and is now among a small group of universities who have achieved this award. Athena SWAN recognises the work undertaken by an institution to advance greater gender equality. Reading has held a Bronze level award since 2016 and applied in December 2019 to upgrade to a Silver award. All credit to everyone who worked with the Equality and Diversity team to make this happen.
  • Dr Rebecca Bullard (English Literature) discussed sexual violence in eighteenth-century literature as part of a recent BBC Radio 4 series, Equal as we Are, and on Radio 4's flagship programme, Woman's Hour.
  • Dr Rebecca Bullard (Associate Professor, English Literature) has created a new online course called 'Unseen Poetry and the Creative Process'. It was developed with the TEL team as the first of their 'A-level Study Boost' series. The first run of the new online course, A-Level Study Boost: Unseen Poetry and the Creative Process' finished in January 2020. A collaboration between the Department of English Literature and the Online Courses team, and hosted by the social learning platform, FutureLearn, it attracted nearly 2000 participants from over 100 countries. Further runs of the course are planned for June and December 2020.
  • Professor Martin Bell (Archaeology) has published Making One's Way in the World, a major interdisciplinary study of prehistoric mobility drawing together his research on footprints, routeways and much else besides.
  • Dr Ken Dark (Economics/Classics Research Division) has published a book onRoman-period and Byzantine Nazareth and its Hinterland, vol. 1(Routledge).Volume2 will follow in the next few months.
  • Professor Matt Worley (History) has collaborated with the Youth Club/Museum of Youth Culture on their new website. It includes free, downloadable resourcesfor people in the ongoing lockdown.
  • Professor Rodney Jones and Dr Sylvia Jaworska (Modern Languages & Linguistics Research Division) have set up a network of international researchers (UK, Hong Kong, China) to work on the communication around Covid-19.
  • The Reading Chronicle reports on the workbooks created by The Health Humanities project 'Stories of Ageing' (Professor Andrew Mangham and Dr Kate Mattacks) and Royal Berkshire Hospital to keep minds active during the lockdown. Read our news story.

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