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Spotlight on Success: March 2021

Spotlight on success

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

Awards & Prizes

  • The prestigious Chancellor's Award showcases academic excellence amongst our student community. We hope to be able to run an in-person celebration event later in the year but, in the meantime, winners will receive an official Chancellor's Award certificate, pin badge, and a letter from the Chancellor in the post. They will also be featured in the bespoke Chancellor's Award Yearbook which will include a short profile piece and a photograph of each recipient.
  • The winners have been announced for the University Collaborative Awards for Teaching & Learning 2021 for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching and Learning. 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, awards were presented to the following three project teams:
    • Virtual Field Classes: teaching field techniques at home
    • The Academic Tutor System (ATS) Project Team
    • Cross-campus team-based learning across international boundaries
  • Az Alddien Natfji (Pharmaceutics), Dr Gyorgy Geher (Mathematics & Statistics), Dr Lisa Schopohl (ICMA Centre) and Dr Lisa Woynarski (Film, Theatre and Television) have been honoured with a Research Output Prize for Early Career Researchers. One award for each research theme is made annually to recognise and celebrate research achievements.
  • Dr Peter Bray (Archaeology) has been awarded funding form the Arts and Humanities Research Council for the replacement of High-Quality Chemical Analysis Facilities, purchase of a microwave plasma atomic emission spectrometer and sample preparation equipment.
  • Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou (Classics) has secured a prestigious Loeb Foundation Fellowship for her project Voices of the Conquered: An Egyptian Village Reacts to Arab Rule. The project will study an eighth-century archive from Egypt that shows how the locals reacted to the Arab conquest of the country.
  • Dr David Rose (Agriculture) has been funded by the UK Research and Innovation for the project Farming resilience: Civil society role in supporting vulnerable rural communities through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Dr Rachel Foxley (History) has been awarded funding from the British Academy for the project Political Polarisation in the English Civil War: A Digital Humanities Analysis.
  • Dr Joanne Davies (International Development) has been awarded funding from the British Academy for her project Moving from knowledge hierarchies towards a Knowledge Exchange Partnership in Development Studies.
  • Professor Vimal Karani (Food & Nutritional Sciences) has been awarded a PhD studentship from the British Council Newton PhD programme.
  • Professor Rainer Cramer (Chemistry) has been awarded EPSRC funding for the project A Cost-Effective High Speed Clinical Diagnostics Instrument for Large Population Screening based on Novel Liquid atmospheric pressure matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry technology.
  • Flooding experts at the University are part of a new £3.7m funded project from the Natural Environment Research Council, working as part of a consortium of nine UK universities, as well as multiple national and international organisations.
  • Dr Mara Oliva (History) has been awarded seed funding for two projects as part of the Knowledge Frontiers programme co-funded by the British Academy and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.


  • Recordings of four recent and popular Teaching and Learning (T&L) Showcase events are now available on UoRLearn. These include sessions on:
    • Take-Home Exams and Alternative Assessments. Colleagues from across the University shared their experiences of adapting exams and assessments for an online environment, where students are required to complete them remotely. The session also covered lessons learnt from last year's exam season.
    • Student Partners Scheme. Colleagues and their student partners from two different Schools discuss the work that has been done, benefits and challenges of the scheme, and plans for the next phase.
    • University Teaching Fellowship. This session provides guidance on how to apply to the University Teaching Fellowship Scheme. Several University Teaching Fellows talked about their motivation for applying and what they have gained from being a Fellow. They also provided advice for preparing an application.
    • Adapting Practical Subjects for the Online Environment. In this showcase, colleagues from different disciplines shared how they have adapted field courses, lab classes and art exhibitions for the online environment.


  • PhD Pharmacy graduate, Eleni Kaisis, is working on the frontline of the coronavirus battle after gaining a job at a COVID-19 laboratory.
  • This year's University Teaching Fellowship Scheme is now open to all teaching and teaching support staff across the University. The University Teaching Fellowship is a prestigious award for individuals who have demonstrated individual excellence, and made a significant contribution to the development of teaching and learning at the University. Read more about the scheme.
  • Student Voice & Partnerships Projects, in partnership with our students, have been making positive and forward-thinking improvements to how we view and respond to the student voice with four new initiatives: The Student Partner Scheme, Student Panel, Student Voice Ambassadors and the Race and Equality Panel. Find out more about the projects in our Staff Portal article.
  • We have been awarded significant funding to deliver a range of carbon-reducing initiatives across our campuses. Funding of £3.2 million comes from one of the first grants in the country to be awarded as part of the new Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, a £1 billion grant scheme launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). For more information, please contact Dan Fernbank.
  • Dr Sakthi Vaiyapurib (Pharmacology) has joined a World Health Organisation roster of leading snakebite experts who will help enact the WHO's strategy for stopping deaths from snakebites around the world.
  • Dr Peter Coe (Law) has been appointed to independent press regulator IMPRESS's code committee to support the comprehensive review of their standards code. IMPRESS is a press regulator for more than 100 publications in the UK, which Dr Coe will join in July.

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