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Spotlight on Success: May 2020

Spotlight on success

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

Awards & Prizes

  • Winners announced for Teaching and Learning Enhancement Projects (TLEP) award 2020. The TLEP scheme offers 'start-up' funding of up to £2,500 to encourage and enable staff involved in teaching and/or supporting teaching and learning to experiment and/or develop practice, based on the belief that small projects can be significant catalysts for enhancement and improvement. This year, which has once again been very competitive, eight awards of up to £2,500 each were granted to the following colleagues and projects:
    • Tania Lyden (Careers & Employability): Beyond the module: regularly refocusing students to life after their degree
    • Daniel James (Institute of Education): STEM skills development in primary teachers
    • Sarah Greenwood (School of Chemistry) and Richard Perry (Food and Pharmacy): Nearly Naked Videos - Reusable Learning Objects for Mastery of Patient Examination Skills
    • Jane Setter (School of Literature and Languages) and Emma Mayhew (School of Politics, Economics and International Relations): Enhancing the communication of progression and degree classification rules to students
    • Anna Tsakalaki (Institute of Education): Cross-curricular collaboration for diversity and inclusion for trainee primary school teachers on the BA in Education
    • Hong Yang (School of Archaeology, Geography & Environmental Science): Embedding Employability through Project-based Learning in Environmental Science and Geography
    • Rachel McCrindle and Amanda Callaghan (School of Biological Sciences): iApply - an iSpy Inspired Interactive App for Biomedical Engineering and Conservation Careers
    • Liz Wilding (ISLI): Production of a TEEP Learner Familiarisation Package
  • Kate Clanchy (English Literature) has been shortlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize for Political Writing for her book: Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me. Described by the judges as: moving, funny, full of love and offer(s) sparkling insights into modern British Society.
  • The winners of our Research Engagement and Impact Awards were announced on 13 May. Congratulations to:
    • Carol Fuller and Maria Danos (Education): Marvellous Mums;
    • Vicky Li and team (HBS) with Eghosa Bazuaye's team (Royal Berkshire Hospital): Intelligent Solutions to Missed Appointments;
    • Jacqui Turner (History): Astor 100;
    • Grady Walker (Walker Institute): Voices for Action in the Climate Conversation.

You can read more about all 12 shortlisted projects here on the Research Engagement and Impact Awards page.


Strategic Project Updates

  • Academic Tutor System Evaluation. Calling all Academic Tutors - as we near the end of the ATS project, we would like you to tell us about your experience of the ATS during this academic year. You can do this by completing the short online survey for Academic Tutors which closes at the end of Monday 8th June. Your feedback will inform our activities to support you and our students as the ATS transitions into ‘business as usual'.
  • Interdisciplinary Research Centres announced. Interdisciplinary research is an important element of the University's research strategy which enables us to address challenges through collaborative efforts, innovatively bringing together different approaches. Following a review, ten Interdisciplinary Research Centres have been approved in areas of strength and where growth is envisaged. The IDRCs will represent a critical mass of academic research excellence across more than one research division and typically across more than one research theme. They will work to generate funding bids and undertake research projects of a scale which can only be achieved by drawing on a wide range of academic expertise from different disciplines, and become a key component of the University's research identity and to enhance its national and international reputation. The ten Centres are:
    • Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing, Co-Directors: Nicola Wilson, Sue Walker, Sophie Heywood, Daniela La Penna
    • Centre for Cognition Research, Director: Emma Borg
    • Centre for Film Aesthetics and Cultures, Director: Lucia Nagib
    • Centre for Health Humanities, Director: Andrew Mangham
    • Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics, Director: Anastasia Christakou
    • Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism, Director: Ludovica Serratrice
    • Centre for the Mathematics of Planet Earth, Director: Valerio Lucarini
    • Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, Director: Ian Givens
    • Samuel Beckett Research Centre, Director: Steven Matthews
    • Walker Institute, Director: Rosalind Cornforth
  • New Museums and Collections portal. A purpose-builtonline portalhas been created for our museums and collections. For the first time, all of our collections and catalogues are accessible in one place. The University began its collecting over a century ago and now the Collections extend from rare books and unique archives to artworks, ephemera and objects, as well as samples for zoologists, botanists, and geologists.They have grown over time to meet the needs of world-class teaching and multi-disciplinary research, as well as being vital places for engagement with the community.


  • Ed Hawkins' (Meteorology) citizen science project Rainfall Rescue recruited 15,607 volunteers and, in just over two weeks, they helped to transcribe 65,000 sheets of 10-year monthly rainfall amounts for the UK, spanning 1677 to 1960. The aim was to help water companies plan for dry and wet weather in future.
  • Federico Faloppa (Modern Languages) has been appointed as one of the six independent members of a new Committee of Experts on Combatting Hate Speech (Council of Europe). The Committee will be formed by 16 members, and will be drafting recommendations on Combatting Hate Speech for all EU governments and member states.
  • Jon Robson (Met/NCAS) has secured two grants from NERC (£650k total) from a strategic programme to study how the changing North Atlantic Ocean impacts on climate.
  • Amy Smith (Classics) has been awarded funding for two projects at the Ure Museum. The first from the British Museum Trust to support the British Museum spotlight loan at the Ure ‘Troy: Beauty and heroism' (rescheduled to 2021), and the second from the Institute of Classical Studies for a public engagement project: ‘Ure Museum in musical boxes'.
  • Mara Oliva (History) has been awarded a Royal Historical Society small grant to write a report on Women and BAME Women in US foreign policy. Mara has also been awarded a New York Historical Society fellowship for her digital humanities project: ‘City Diplomacy, Mapping the New York World's Fair of 1939-40'.

Click here to see all recent University of Reading research publications

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