Our Research Engagement and Impact Awards celebrate excellence in research that addresses real world problems and changes the world around us.
In 2019, we received 38 entries from across a wide spectrum of disciplines and from researchers at different stages of their careers. The range of work shows the huge potential that we as a University have to bring about positive change locally, nationally and internationally.
Twelve outstanding projects were shortlisted in 2019 and from these four winners were announced on 25 June 2019. Read on to find out more about these projects which are addressing some of the most significant issues facing our societies today - from climate change, to hate speech, to the challenges of antimicrobial resistance.
Improved outlook for african farmers
Emily Black - WINNERMillions of smallholder farmers across Africa now look forward to a more secure future thanks to satellite-derived estimates of rainfall that are helping insurance companies provide effective cover against drought.
Real-time flood forecasts save lives
Rebecca Emerton and Andrea Ficchi - WINNERS
Predicting natural events such as storms and earthquakes is a challenge, but advance notice can help save lives. During Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019, Dr Emerton and Dr Ficchi’s real-time flood hazard reports helped national and international aid agencies working in Mozambique deliver aid to those most in need.
confronting hate speech
Federico Faloppa - WINNER
Tackling hate speech online and elsewhere is a priority for educators and policymakers alike. Dr Federico Faloppa, Associate Professor of Italian Studies and Linguistics, is determined to challenge prejudice and abuse wherever it finds a platform. And as Head of Amnesty International Italy’s new Centre of Excellence on hate speech, he is set to confront it.
safeguarding children in conflict and crisis
Rosa Freedman - WINNER
Children in conflict zones are safer thanks to robust guidelines developed by Professor Rosa Freedman in partnership with the specialist organisation, Keeping Children Safe. The guidelines are transforming the way peacekeeping forces are recruited and trained and help ensure international standards for child safeguarding are applied worldwide.
supporting refugees through language learning
Increasing numbers of people are seeking refuge from conflict and poverty. But many go on to build happy, resilient lives in new communities. Dr Capstick, a linguist who’s worked with Syrian refugees, has devised teaching tools and exhibitions that empower teachers worldwide to better support people as they resettle.
undergraduate research benefits local environment
Loddon Catchment Consultancy forges links between undergraduate students, staff and local organisations to address real-world research questions that bring benefits to the local environment and its residents alike.
border checks on the go
Robust border control is essential, but long security queues awaiting weary travellers are not. Professor Ferryman is using a smartphone app and innovative biometric technology at border crossings to transform the future of travel, keeping people moving while ensuring accurate identity verification and border security.
marvellous mums, marvellous me
Carol Fuller, Maria Danos and Trisha Bennett
The 'Marvellous Mums, Marvellous Me' programme supports local, less socially advantaged women, many of whom have been out of work for some time. It’s building women’s confidence and self-esteem and empowering them to make changes that will help them develop more fulfilling lives for themselves and for their families.
opening up science for all (opener)
From enthusiastic ‘twitchers’ recording rare bird sightings to amateur astronomers seeking unseen stars and constellations, countless citizen science communities exist across the UK. Dr Geoghegan’s research is combining these approaches with new ways of working and partnerships to create a nationwide community that puts citizens at the centre of science.
priority setting in the Nhs
For patients who are chronically or terminally ill, access to ‘last chance’ treatments can seem like a lottery. Professor Newdick’s advice as member of an independent inquiry committee has helped end ‘postcode’ rationing across NHS Wales and introduced a clear national policy focused on patient benefit and value for money.
learning maths through storytelling
Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai
Dr Trakulphadetkrai’s ‘Maths Through Stories’ initiative has made it easier for teachers and parents worldwide to harness the power of storytelling to make maths learning more accessible and enjoyable to learners everywhere.
using design against drug-resistant infection
Design thinking, a world-leading archive, and cross-disciplinary collaboration are inspiring public health communication in the UK and Africa. Professor Sue Walker has led a team of design, architecture, and pharmacy researchers and practitioners to bring the issues of antimicrobial resistance to life in a pharmacy setting.
The Research Engagement and Impact Awards aim to recognise and reward those who undertake high-quality engagement and impact activities, and/or have contributed to capacity building in this area. All University of Reading researchers and professional staff are eligible to enter, and can be nominated by another member of staff or can nominate themselves. Entrants can be at any level in their careers, and activities of any scale are welcome. Entries are assessed by a panel including academics, communications professionals and engagement experts from within the University.
Award winners receive £1000 towards their next engagement activity.
The closing date for entries in next year's awards is 12 February 2020. For further information contact Caroline Knowles, Head of Research Communications and Engagement: firstname.lastname@example.org