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Spotlight on Success - April 2021

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

Awards & Prizes

  • 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.


  • T&L Exchange: Take-Home Exams and Alternative Assessments. In this showcase, colleagues from across the institution shared some of their experiences of adapting their exams and assessments for the online environment in which activities are completed remotely, and lessons learnt from last year. You can access the session recording here: T&L Showcase: Take-Home Exams and Alternative Assessments (Recording)
  • The 2021/22 Teaching & Learning Framework has been published on the Staff Portal.
  • News
  • Reading climate scientists among best in world. The Hot Listcompiled by global news agency Reuters features 13 scientists affiliated to the University of Reading, including two ranked inside the top 100. The list was created using data on the amount of published research on climate change, number of citations compared with similar studies, and public reach through press and social media. Read more in our news story.
  • UK Parliament evidence. Academics from the Institute of Education and School of Construction Management and Engineering have had written evidence published by Parliamentary Select Committees. Dr Anna Tsakalaki and Professor Jacopo Torriti have provided evidence to formal inquiries about the impact of COVID-19 on education, and about energy schemes to help the UK achieve Net Zero emissions.
  • We have achieved a strong ranking in our first appearance in the Times Higher Education Global Impact Rankings. Reading ranked 101-200 out of 1,115 institutions in the world who took part, and 21 among UK universities.
  • Dr Mara Oliva (History) provided evidence published in the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee on climate change diplomacy in preparation for COP26. The extended version of her written evidence is also published on the committee's page on the Parliament website.
  • Dr Florian Roithmayr (Art) has been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship for 2021-22 at the Henry Moore Institute. He will be working in the archive at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, and specifically with the collection of Sculptors’ Papers, to trace shifting imaginations in materials or material processes.
  • Professor Emily West (History) will be hosting a Leverhulme Visiting Professor: Professor Maria Helena Machado of the University of São Paulo will visit the Department of History for two terms from January 2022. Professor Machado is a renowned historian and curator of women, slavery and emancipation in Brazil, and will bring this expertise to Reading to develop comparative research, teaching and other public-facing activities in Reading and beyond, working closely with Professor West.
  • Dr Weizi (Vicky) Li (Business Informatics Systems & Accounting) is the principal investigator on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council project: Future blood testing for inclusive monitoring and personalised analytics Network+. This three-year project has co-investigators from the Universities of Southampton, Warwick, Nottingham and Kent as well as partners with NHS hospitals, companies and international universities.


  • Dr Phil Davies (Business Informatics Systems & Accounting), along with colleagues from the University of Warwick and Surrey Business School, has been awarded funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for the project: Responsive Additive Manufacturing to Overcome Natural and Attack-based disruption (RAMONA).
  • Dr Sofia Gripenberg (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) has been awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust for the project Escaping the enemy: Spatial ecology of rainforest tree-insect interactions.
  • Professor Roger Matthews (Archaeology) has been awarded funding from the British Institute of Persian Studies for the project Counting, Sealing, Writing in Iran, 10,000-300 BC.
  • Professor Ian Jones (Biomedical Sciences) has been awarded a grant from the Biological and Biophysical Sciences Research Council to study Evaluation of M. bovis antigens in cattle in India for diagnostic and vaccine potential.
  • Dr Elena Kabova (Pharmaceutical Chemistry) has been awarded funding from the Royal Society to study Production, Characterisation and stability of novel pharmaceutical co-crystals.
  • Dr Maria Maiaru (Pharmacology) has been award funding from the Royal Society Ito investigate the sensory and emotional components of pain in a model of Paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy.
  • Dr Martin Binder (Politics & International Relations) has been awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust to study the UN Security Council and the Politics of Legitimation.
  • Professor Jon Gibbins (Biomedical Sciences) has been awarded a grant from the Medical Research Council to investigate immune responses to SARS CoV2 and the cause activation of platelets, resulting in thrombosis, which can be ameliorated by re-purposed drugs.
  • Dr Martin Chadwick (Human Nutrition) has been awarded funding from Cranfield University for the project In the Pink: Identifying the pink pigmentation that reduces shelf life of cut lettuce.
  • Professor Vitaliy Khutoryanskiy (Pharmacy) has been awarded funding from the Leverhulme Trust to enable Dr Sergey Filippov to be a Visiting Professor at the University.
  • Professor Ruth Evans (Geography & Environmental Science) has been awarded a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council to study Care and Wellbeing in transnational families in Europe: a comparative study in the UK, Spain and France/Sweden.
  • Dr Catherine Manning (Psychology) has been awarded a Wellcome Trust grant for the project A dynamic approach to sensory processing in autism.
  • Dr Netta Weinstein (Psychology) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation for research on the relationship between listening and wellbeing. The award is part of a Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing programme supported by philanthropic giving, and Dr Weinstein will be working alongside partners at the University of Haifa.

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