Award winners and highly commended 2018

Congratulations to all our 2018 award winners and highly commended and a huge thank you to everybody that entered the awards.

Outstanding benefit to society through research


HeadStart learning

Professor Neil Humphrey and the Headstart Learning Team, Manchester Institute of Education

HeadStart is a National Lottery initiative that aims to improve young people's mental health. Neil and his team are working with them on a groundbreaking research project to provide significant new insights into mental health that are already shaping policy and practice.

Winner: Emerging impact

Everyday Austerity

Dr Sarah Marie Hall, School of Education, Environment and Development

The Everyday Austerity research project uncovered the impact of austerity policies on everyday life for families and communities in Greater Manchester and advised, trained and empowered groups and communities to tackle social injustices resulting from austerity.

Highly commended

Wound care collaboration

Professor Andrew McBain and Team, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry

Over 5,000 major limb amputations take place each year in England with many cases due to chronically infected wounds such as ulcers. A cross-disciplinary partnership between Manchester researchers and Knutsford-based Crawford Healthcare successfully explored how unique forms of silver might be applied to such wounds.

Highly commended

The Industrial Strategy Commission

Alex Waddington and Team, Faculty of Humanities

This joint project between Manchester and Sheffield universities aimed to ensure the importance of place so "left behind" areas were not overlooked in the Government's Industrial Strategy. It intended to provide an independent and research-based insight to influence government decisions.

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Dental service learning

Senathirajah Ariyaratnam and Team, Division of Dentistry

Dental health inequality is a major issue in the North West. Our dental students are providing essential treatment to low income and homeless patients as an integral part of their training. The aim is to improve the dental health of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and to train graduates who are committed to socially responsible practice.

Highly Commended

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn"

Professor Jackie Carter, School of Social Sciences

The Manchester Q-Step Centre is part of a national initiative to promote a step-change in quantitative social science training. This paid internship programme has placed 200 students in public, private and third-sector organisations to undertake social research that makes a difference locally, nationally and globally.

Highly Commended

Aerospace designers for society

Mostafa Nabawy, Ben Parslew and Team, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

The Aerospace Group Design challenges students to design, build and fly a real aircraft that provides a positive service to society. It gives students the opportunity to apply their technical skills to tackle real-world problems and become socially responsible engineers.

Highly Commended

Dr Joanne Pennock and Team, School of Biological Sciences

Our Research Your Life

A year-long series of events, training and assessment have been designed and delivered to embed patient representation and involvement in the Clinical Immunology MSc curriculum. These have significantly enhanced student experience and brought patient involvement into all aspects of student projects.

Outstanding contribution to social innovation



Dr Jonathan Huck, School of Education, Environment and Development

#Huckathon is an easily accessible Geographical Information Systems tool that has been used by several hundred volunteers to physically find and map hidden homesteads and roads in previously war torn Northern Uganda. These co-produced maps are then being used by medical teams to deliver emergency care.

Highly Commended


Professor Jonathan Green and Team, Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology

Autism is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder affecting at least 1% of the population. This novel early developmental intervention is the first to produce sustained improvement in autism symptoms in childhood by working with parents to help them recognise their autistic child's altered communication.

Highly Commended

Tackling fuel poverty

Seyedehsomayeh Taheri Moosavi, School of Education, Environment and Development

UrbanChain is a start-up company developed to reduce the cost of utility services for vulnerable households in the UK and worldwide. It is developing a blockchain platform for the energy market to enable peer-to-peer trading of electricity between energy producers and vulnerable households.

Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative

Outstanding public and community engagement initiative (local Engagement)

Winner (staff)

One Student, One Campus, One World

Dr Roger Harrison, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care

Roger founded the University's engaging community programme to educate students and the public about antibiotic drug resistance. Part of the programme was a new initiative – 'students as active citizens'. Students worked in interdisciplinary teams to design and deliver activities with the public; attend festivals and symposiums; and invent an interactive game-based app.

Highly Commended (staff)


Caroline Boyd and Team, Global Development Institute & Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Be//Longing was a 5-night theatre performance created from a workshop with researchers from the University's Migration Lab, Take Back Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre. This immersive production used installations, music, art, video and scripted theatre to create an experience that boldly addressed perceptions of migration and exposed myths.

Winner (student)

Homeless Healthcare Student Society

Joshua Strange and Team

The Homeless Healthcare Society aims to improve the healthcare of Manchester's homeless population by raising awareness of the medical inequalities and stigmas faced by homeless patients when accessing healthcare, and to ultimately improve the care provided by tomorrow's healthcare professionals.

Highly Commended (student)

A STEAM hub in a pub

Craig Thomas and Team

The Old Abbey Taphouse is a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) focused hub in a pub on the Science Park. It brings together key stakeholders with local Hulme and Moss Side residents by providing a community-focused space for joint activities.

Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative (national engagement)


The Robot Orchestra Collective

Alison McMurray and Team, Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Robot Orchestra is where young people learn computer coding and recycle things to make robot instruments to play music. It is a collective of people from students to musicians and engineers who are passionate about making a difference and contributing their skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Highly Commended

Our Migration Story website

Professor Claire Alexander, School of Social Sciences

'Our Migration Story' brings together over 70 historians, museums and archives to create an accessible public education and teaching resource. It traces the history of migration to Britain across nearly 2,000 years, and challenges us all to think again about migration as part of our shared 'island story'.

Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative (international engagement)


Team Uganda

Team Uganda, Student Development and Community Engagement Division

Team Uganda enables students from widening participation backgrounds to volunteer on educational projects that help vulnerable children living on the streets in Uganda. It has a transformational impact on the students and gives more children the chance to leave their difficult pasts behind them and move forward to a brighter future.

Highly commended

Educational Tools for Disadvantaged Communities in Thailand

Dr Ben Parslew, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

Ben developed educational tools for teaching robotics to young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds in Thailand. These were delivered in rural community schools and at a girls' orphanage. He engaged both the learners and their teachers in providing sustainable tools for boosting engineering education.

Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative (public contribution)


The H@PPI Forum

Health eResearch Centre's Patient and Public Involvement Team

The Health eResearch Centre's patient public involvement forum was established in July 2014 to help the Centre embed the ethos of meaningful patient public involvement across all of its research projects. They work tirelessly, shaping HeRC's engagement, advising on research and reaching out to the wider community.

Highly commended

Primary Care Research in Manchester Engagement Resource

Carole Bennett and PRIMER Team

Since 2008, the PRIMER Patient and Public Involvement Group has worked collaboratively with the Centre for Primary Care to translate patient insights and advice into more credible and effective research through: shaping research, suggesting topics for research and advising on best practice when involving the public in research.

Outstanding Public and Community Engagement Initiative (Cultural Institutions)


Whitworth Outdoor Programme

Francine Hayfron, The Whitworth

In 2014 the Whitworth appointed the UK's first-ever cultural park keeper. The aim was to develop and implement a new outdoor engagement programme to connect gallery visitors and members of the local community to Whitworth Park through culture and health and wellbeing activities.

Highly Commended

A sustainable Bluedot Festival

Keir Powell-Lewis and colleagues, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

The Bluedot Festival returned to Jodrell Bank in July 2017 with a key purpose to highlight the fragility of 'spaceship earth' and the scientific and social challenges facing humanity. Festival goers were engaged with key environmental concerns, interwoven through both the festival content such as exhibitions and talks, as well as in how the event was organised.

Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


Memories of Partition

Harriet Morgan-Shami and Team, Manchester Museum

Memories of Partition was a oral history project which recorded the legacy of the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. Delivered in partnership with Manchester BME Network, Royal Exchange Theatre and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Centre, the project included an exhibition, new theatre pieces, public engagement and an oral history archive.

Highly commended

Tactile Collider

Dr Robert Appleby and the Tactile Collider Team, School of Physics and Astronomy

The Tactile Collider project makes some of the most exciting and high-profile physics research accessible to the visually impaired. Dr Appleby and his team work with visual impairment consultants to develop special resources and activities that communicate the physics behind CERN's Large Hadron Collider through touch and sound.

Highly commended

Racism at Work Project

Dr Stephen Ashe and James Nazroo, Cathy Marsh Institute

The Racism at Work Project documents the nature of contemporary workplace racism in Britain by providing original analyses of the latest survey data in this area. The project also addresses the societal challenges presented by workplace racism and ethnic inequalities in employment by the co-production of creative resources that can be used by employers and practitioners.

Outstanding professional support services and library support for social responsibility


The Great Science Share for Schools

Dr Lynne Bianchi and Team, Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub

The Great Science Shareis a national campaign that involves school pupils sharing their science learning with new audiences. Through collaborations between STEM organisations and businesses, universities and schools it aims to inspire those from 5 years old to be a scientist and engineer.

Highly Commended

10k Purple Wave

James Marenghi and Team, Sport

Nearly 2,500 student, staff and alumni entered in the Manchester 10k on 28 May 2017, as the Purple Wave. The aim was to raise tens of thousands of pounds for charitable causes as well as supporting the physical and mental health and wellbeing of our all involved, including many who were new to running.

Highly Commended

Deryl Holt Charity work for Francis House Children's Hospice

Deryl Holt, Hospitality and Events

Every year since 2010 Deryl has taken the initiative to collect toys to donate to Francis House Children's Hospice and Manchester Children's Hospital. Last year he collected 750 Easter eggs and over 200 Christmas presents from staff, students and customers in his catering outlet within the Schuster Building.

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Winner (Institutional) and winner of the public vote

Give It Don't Bin It

Alexander Clark and Kirsty Hutchinson, Directorate for the Student Experience

Give It Don't Bin It is a multi-stakeholder, collaborative campaign started in 2009. It aims to encourage reuse/recycling across Manchester by motivating students to donate unwanted items. Set up in 2012 it is the first university partnership of its kind in the UK and to date the campaign has raised over £1.3million for the British Heart Foundation.

Highly Commended (Institutional)

Tyndall Manchester, Sustainable Travel in Academia

Tyndall have strongly encouraged researchers to endeavour to make use of lower CO2 alternatives to air travel, and engage in the testing and trailing of virtual forms of communication, for example using technology to attend virtual cocktail parties for networking opportunities and train travel to China.

Winner (Individual)

12 Green Days of Christmas

Humanaities Adminstration Greeen Impact Stewards, Humanities

The Humanities Administration Green Impact Stewards ran a campaign to help staff make green choices while celebrating the countdown to Christmas. It included 12 short videos and 12 shareable social media graphics for Twitter.

Highly Commended (Individual)

Green Impact Project Plus 2015-17

Centre for Primary Care (CPS) Green Impact Team, School of Health Sciences

The CPC Green Impact Team carried out an 18-month Project Plus to improve environmental impacts and promote the health benefits of engaging in environmental sustainability activities. They deliveredthemed monthly lunches and climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest; twice!

Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation

Winner (staff)

The Infinity Festival

Anne Knott, Dalton Nuclear Institute

Cumbria has a high child poverty and low higher education uptake which clashes with a strong need for scientists and engineers. Anne used an innovative way to address this by creating a collaborative STEM event for pupils called the Infinity Festival. It aimed to inspire the whole school community through exciting talks and workshops.

Highly Commended (staff)

Malham Tarn Expedition

Natalie Gardiner & Suzanne Verstappen, School of Medical Sciences

This weekend field course to Malham Tarn enabled 50 students from underrepresented groups to explore and be inspired by biology, careers and university life co-delivered by a specialised team of staff and students.

Winner (student)

Widening Participation Fellow

Emily Cooksey, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Emily's work as a Widening Participation Fellow and a Manchester Access Programme Tutor has enabled her to make a difference by engaging and interacting with a wide range of audiences. In particular, she has been an advocate of encouraging female students to engage with science and engineering.

Highly Commended (student)

Women of Science

Rhys Archer, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Women of Science is a campaign that shares photo stories of women who work and study in science, technology engineering and maths to increase the visibility of relatable female role models. Rhys created Women of Science primarily to give female role models to young girls interested in science and engineering.

Highly Commended (student)

Student Inspire Network

Sadjo Siikou and Team

The Student Inspire Network aims to educate, motivate and inspire students from BAME backgrounds by providing the tools for them to start thinking about their career. By addressing the racial, social, and gender inequality present, it hopes to open the door for students to start thinking about careers.

Special Award for long-term committment

Social Sciences Pre-University Courses

Dr Tom McCunnie, School of Social Sciences

Tom has designed, delivered and managed the University's longest running widening participation initiative within the School of Social Sciences. First established in 2001, he has obtained teaching time for academics from every undergraduate discipline to deliver the courses each year reaching over 850 pupils.