Previous award winners 


Outstanding benefit to society through research


Revolutionising the screening of women at high risk of breast cancervane
Professor John Radford, Dr Sacha Howell, Professor Richard Cowan, Dr Joanna Williams and Ms Elsita Payne

This project established a national dataset of women with increased risk of developing breast cancer, the Breast screening After Radiotherapy Dataset (BARD). BARD has changed national policy and clinical practice and is the means by which women across England are now automatically offered screening at the right time improving patient access, outcomes and experience.

“It’s a great honour and it’s a great tribute to the work that the team has done. It really has been a team effort and highly collaborative, linking in with clinicians, not only in Manchester but around the country.”

Emerging impact winner

Acute bundle of care for intracerebral haemorrhage
Adrian Parry-Jones, Lisa Brunton, Kate Woodward-Nutt and Emma McManus

This project devised and led the Acute Bundle of Care (ABC care bundle) for Intracerebral Haemorrhage (ICH) patients. ICH is a devastating subtype of stroke affecting over 10,000 people in the UK each year. The care bundle was implemented at Salford Royal Hospital in 2015-16 and dramatically reduced 30-day ICH mortality by 33%, saving 24 lives per year.

“We were delighted to receive a Making a Difference Award in 2023 for the ABC-ICH project. The award has helped us push on with our North of England scale-up and we aim to expand nationally in 2024, saving even more lives after stroke caused by bleeding.”

Highly commended

Placental growth factor testing for suspected preeclampsia
Dr Kate Duhig and Professor Jenny Myers

This project demonstrated that placental growth factor testing (PIGF) reduced the time it took for doctors to make a diagnosis of preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that can cause pregnant women to become very unwell and can be fatal for their unborn children. This led to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence changing its guidance so that PIGF testing is now recommended for all pregnant women in the UK who have suspected preeclampsia.

Microplastics in UK rivers – getting to the bottom of the problem
Professor Jamie Woodward, Dr Rachel Hurley, Dr Jiawei Li and Professor James Rothwell 

This project showed that water companies are the main cause of microplastic contamination in UK rivers, by releasing untreated wastewater during dry weather into rivers that are too sluggish to wash microplastics downstream. The research then connected microplastic pollution of rivers with the national scandal of water companies dumping untreated sewage. The ground-breaking work with national policymakers has changed the entire discourse around water pollution in rivers by ensuring microplastics were included in discussions around new Government legislation for environmental protection resulting in a new level of scrutiny of the water companies.

Dalton Nuclear policy group
Dalton Nuclear Institute team

This project is helping to achieve the UK’s net zero ambition, while addressing the challenges of public perception and associated costs. The group assembled a team of researchers to provide impartial, academic advice. Galvanising a vocal community of industry and policymakers, Dalton Nuclear Institute established themselves as the go-to academic group for independent, trusted advice, able to provide the government with clarity in the midst of a sea of lobbying and critique.  

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Enhancing well-being through the curriculum
Dr Elaine Clark

This project involved work on the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (UCIL) course ‘Communicating with Confidence’. The course was developed in partnership with students and with input from colleagues from FBMH, Geography, AMBS and Careers.  It draws on theoretical insights and interdisciplinary research to enable students to create a confidence toolkit, enhancing wellbeing through the curriculum. 

Highly commended

Massive Open Online Course in industrial biotechnology
Nick Weise, Lesley-Ann Miller and the IB MOOC team

This project created a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) raising awareness of, and showcasing the University of Manchester’s research in, industrial biotechnology. This field is linked to 11 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and a key enabler in the greening of chemical, energy and health product manufacture. The course has had over 80,000 participants across six continents worldwide and has impacted the attitudes, aspirations and careers choices of the general public, students and industry professionals alike.

“This award is greatly appreciated for the recognition is has given to the researchers and science communicators working across different continents to engage and involve vulnerable coastal communities in Brazil. It has been challenging but very rewarding to help those whose lives are most susceptible to climate change and this award has added to that!”

Decolonising development pedagogies while supporting inclusive development practice
Muungano-Community Savers-GDI Teaching Alliance

This project involved co-producing a series of teaching innovations to decolonise development studies teaching and give students first-hand insight into the strategies and practices of community activists fighting for more inclusive urban development in Manchester, Kenya and Uganda. It offers critical balance to traditional pedagogies that prioritise engagement with development theories and professional practice by bringing unheard voices into the classroom. These teaching innovations have simultaneously paved the way for the Global Development Institute to help facilitate and support the emergence of a new network of women’s savings groups across Manchester and Sheffield, thus strengthening global urban development practice. 

Outstanding social innovation and environmental impact


Improving industrial processes through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage
Dr Muir Freer, Dr Clair Gough, Dr Andrew Welfle and Dr Amanda Lea-Langton

This project created a model to help industry calculate the end-to-end carbon costs of operating bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, one of the most viable and cost-effective large-scale energy generation and CO2 removal processes, anywhere in the UK.  This model could help UK industries become more prosperous, whilst also helping them to drastically reduce their carbon emissions.

“Winning the Making a Difference Award has been a pivotal moment for our team, not only validating our BECCS research but also opening doors to engage with vital industrial stakeholders. This recognition fuels our dedication to propelling environmental engineering research into practical, economy-boosting applications with wide societal benefits.”

Highly commended

One thing that should never be taken away from you is your education!
Malavika Krishnan

This project aimed to ensure that inequalities and the pandemic aren’t a reason for poor learning outcomes. It supported government school students who are discriminated against in schools and receive insufficient pedagogical attention, to ensure that the pandemic does not exacerbate these existing inequalities. As part of Chalo Padhe Online, this project supported 200 girls and students from lower-income families in Delhi with school supplies, smartphones, internet packages and specialised online learning programmes.

Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub
Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub team

This project helps Greater Manchester based Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) overcome barriers to sustainability by providing free support in the form of advice, assessment and innovation. Access to expertise in materials science, specialist facilities, and impartial scientific research enable eligible businesses to make sustainable decisions on plastics that avoid unintended consequences. To date, the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub has provided over 6,000 hours of support to over 300 businesses and collaborated on the development of five new products, two of which were not previously available on the UK market.

“It was so rewarding to be highly commended for our work in the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub. Working to enable sustainable changes in industry is fulfilling in and of itself, but the recognition gives our team an extra boost to keep up the effort and push for a more sustainable future.”

Outstanding public and community engagement initiative (cultural institutions)


Pinc College – creating inclusive pathways for all
Pinc College and the Manchester Museum Learning and Engagement team

This project focusses on education within cultural establishments and asks ‘What if?’… What if this were young people learning every day?  What would the impact be for social inclusion and diversity of cultural sector workforces? Since 2019, Pinc College’s partnership with Manchester Museum has been pivotal to the success of their study programmes and opening the doors for neurodivergent young people. This partnership model is a flagship and beacon for cultural institutions nationally and shows that a robust, quality education package with routes to work and pathways to further and higher education is achievable.

Highly commended

(Un)Defining Queer Project and exhibition
Dominic Bilton, Imogen Holmes-Roe and Victoria Hartley

This is a project led by an intersectional group of people who self-identify as LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex and asexual). As part of the project, the team have created an exhibition which has evolved from research and collaboration over the last two years, with the themes shaped by project participants. Gallery visitors are also invited to contribute to the development of a “Queer Glossary” to explore how to define LGBTQIA+ representation and visibility within the gallery. Their hope is that the glossary will increase confidence in the use of queer vocabulary while providing a valuable toolkit for uncovering and communicating hidden LGBTQIA+ experiences.

Outstanding public and community engagement initiative (local/civic engagement)


Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet – a Greater Manchester campaign
‘Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet’ campaign team

This project involves a campaign co-produced by a working group comprised of representatives from the award-winning ‘Shining a Light on Suicide’ Campaign – Greater Manchester Older People’s Network, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, health professionals, researchers and focus groups of older residents. The campaign aimed to start a conversation about self-harm with older people, to encourage them to seek support if needed and to raise awareness with those around them, including professionals. The ‘Don’t Brush It Under the Carpet’ campaign features posters and social media content themed around common sayings and phrases in order to capture people’s attention and encourage them to talk to someone about how they are feeling.

Student winner

Dentists in Primary Schools (DiPS)
Yasmin Egonu, Rachel Lee, Annabel Johnson and Olivia Nelson

This is a student-led initiative focussed on promoting the importance of oral health in primary schools at a Key Stage 1 level. The project primarily works with schools located within the Greater Manchester area, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, that are deemed low performing. The project includes educating primary school students to adopt healthier oral hygiene and eating habits, making children feel more comfortable about attending the dentist and establishing long-term working relations with the primary schools.

Highly commended

The Pakistani Communities Call to Action (PaCCT) in Rochdale project
Sophina Choudry, Professor Erica Burman, Professor Julian Williams, Dr Ishba Rehman, Dr Jaina Yasmeen Bharkhda and Sidra Iftikhar

This project consulted with the most vulnerable members of the Rochdale Pakistani communities, which included women suffering domestic violence, widows or elderly people with language barriers, these were recruited through local voluntary charities. The team conducted consultative online interviews and follow-up meetings in the language of their choice. They built from their accounts to co-create a ‘Call to Action’ document that has been used to inform policy and service changes that directly benefit members of the Pakistani communities. 

Still Life: pregnancy and loss in the Jewish community
The ‘Still Life’ team

This project explored personal experiences of stillbirth through a series of creative workshops involving women from Greater Manchester’s Jewish community. It also provided an opportunity for those affected to meet with researchers and to learn from each other. The project has helped break the taboo surrounding stillbirth within this community, improved public understanding of and engagement with research aimed at stillbirth prevention, and led to co-development of hospital guidelines for providing better care and support for Jewish parents who experience the loss of a baby.

Convo Club
Convo Club

This is a student-led initiative that provides weekly group meet-ups to create a safe and friendly environment for refugees and asylum seekers to practice their spoken English and gain confidence through friendly and informal conversation. Convo Club is under the leadership of six dedicated students; Chloe, Ayushi, Meiyang, Schnelle, Argyro and Ananya. This leadership team, together with student volunteers, collaborate with five local charities who provide space and advertise to service users about the sessions which the student volunteers then lead.

Outstanding public and community engagement initiative (public contribution)


Ardwick Stepping Stones
Choel Cartwright, Daniell Musaheb, Zoe Hopkins and Gordon Flear

This project aims to address the loss of local biodiversity due to construction. The team are collaborating with the Eden Project, City of Trees, The University of Manchester, Sow the City, Manchester Museum and Festival Manchester. Their work encompasses the rewilding of green spaces, monitoring pollution levels and climate advocacy that serves to benefit the local community. They are also developing walking routes, maps and wayfinders for residents and passers-by to find out about the projects and enjoy the green spaces.

Highly commended

The Youth Alliance
Eugene Sobers

This project created a very different way for the Whitworth to work with young people and local communities. Eugene Sobers, a Manchester-based writer, was introduced to the Whitworth by  socially-engaged artist Suzanne Lacy. After the introduction, Sobers worked collaboratively with the Whitworth, students and the local youths.  Their work was exhibited in Lacy’s exhibition and they designed a manifesto for a youth city. Sobers co-hosted a youth agency summit and set up The Alliance to highlight effective youth practice in the city. 

“Winning the award has significantly impacted my life and work. Recognition from the University of Manchester and an exhibition in Suzanne Lacy’s show validate my creative approach. Increased visibility can lead to new opportunities and connections within arts and youth engagement. The award serves as validation of my youth practice and positions me as a leader in effective engagement. Overall, winning the award boosts my profile and reaffirms the importance of my work in making a positive difference.”

Outstanding public and community engagement initiative (national/international)


Maretório: making space to communicate about science, conservation and climate change
Nick Weise and the Maretório team

This project communicates about climate change to traditional coastal communities across Brazil, promoting local perspectives and knowledge to strengthen traditional coastal communities and increase their resilience to climate change. It creates an environment for dialogue with communities on climate change and conservation of their socio-ecological systems, as well as promoting community engagement with public policies based on local contexts and the effects of climate change on livelihoods and conservation.

Highly commended

Young People at a Crossroads creative resources
Catherine Walker, Sustainable Consumption Institute, and the YPAC research team

This project involved international collaboration on participatory research with migrant-background young people. It explored migrant families’ experiences of living with climate change, and considered how these experiences could be applied to climate change education. The project worked with teachers and creative professionals to generate educational resources that connect everyday knowledge and practices of migrant families with curricula in Manchester, Melbourne and beyond.

Our Shared Cultural Heritage – International Partnerships
Our Shared Cultural Heritage team

This project aims to strengthen international relationships by exploring India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the UK’s complex, shared history, focusing on shaping the future and developing meaningful long-term creative collaborations and connections. This Manchester Museum initiative empowers young people to become leaders and change makers within the arts and heritage sector through offering skills-development and collaborative opportunities with South Asia partners.

Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion


Advancing gender equality through global collaboration
Dr Laura Richards and Dr Diane Harris

This project aimed to advance gender equality within the University sector. It worked with Indian and Brazilian higher education institutions to develop frameworks analogous to Manchester’s  shared principles and ‘Athena Swan’ charter mark awards. This helped accelerate gender equality internationally, through the co-creation of culturally contextualised frameworks, as well as mentoring, sharing experiences and facilitating workshops.

“We were delighted to win a Making a Difference Award under the Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion category for our work ‘Advancing Gender Equality through Global Collaboration’. With a team of Manchester colleagues, we have been working to share best practice, providing mentorship and guidance to develop policies and practices to accelerate gender equality in higher education institutions in India, Brazil and the UK. We are incredibly grateful to receive a Making a Difference award, which has led to raised awareness and media coverage, contributing to collective momentum for progressing this work. We share our success with the many colleagues across India, Brazil and UK working tirelessly to accelerate gender equality in higher education institutions globally.”

Student winners

Alternative Football League
Beth Barnes

This project is the North West’s only fully-inclusive, small-sided football league for women, non-binary and transgender individuals. It’s aimed at beginner players, so that anyone, no matter their background or experience, can give football a go. The aim is to create a connective community, support-network and place where everyone is welcome and feel that they matter, regardless of experience, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or financial background. The volunteer-led league provides inclusive football for 250+ individuals from 19 teams across Manchester. As a social enterprise, they reinvest their profit into mental health workshops for football players UK-wide.

Elimisha Msichana Elimisha Jamii na Astronomia (Swahili for “Educate a Girl, Educate the entire community”)
Ann Njeri

This project, Swahili for “Educate a Girl, Educate the entire community”, aims to address the issue of gender disparity and equality in education, which is critically important for socio-economic growth. It is addressing some of these issues in rural Kenya via astronomy outreach, mentorship, targeted STEM workshops and scholarships opportunities, guided by long-term student tracking and monitoring. So far, around 4,000 girls have been reached and 73% of mentees are now completing secondary education.

Highly commended

University of Manchester menopause support group
Vanessa Cowan

This project is driving the University forward in supporting women going through the menopause or any other people experiencing significant hormonal challenges, through guidance, inspiration, discussion and support. There is an online support group which enables colleagues to share experiences, news stories, articles, events, webinars, opportunities, statistics, information, advice and is a safe and welcoming forum for all staff to ask questions and seek answers about the menopause. On the back of this, and with the introduction of the new Head of Wellbeing, the University recently announced that the University is ‘Committed to being a menopause-friendly employer’ aiming to achieve ‘Accredited Menopause Friendly Employer’ status in the next 12 months.

“I was very proud to be highly commended at the Making a Difference Awards in 2022. This was for Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion for the University of Manchester menopause support group. It was fantastic that the support group gained attention, as membership increased following the award. This meant more women wouldn’t feel isolated dealing with their menopause symptoms. The Making a Difference Awards have been highlighting for years the inspirational work by many colleagues. To be recognised in this group was amazing.”

PGR parents, carers and guardians network
Perpetual Idehen

This project established a support network to help postgraduates who balance their time between family and research to navigate the University’s policies and UK systems from a parent perspective. The network, with over 50 subscribed members, creates a safe space to share experiences and social interactions, linking postgraduate researchers with shared interests and responsibilities across all three faculties with an inclusion of their kids.

“Receiving a Making a Difference Award in 2023 was a real high point for me; getting recognition for founding a support Network for the PGR Parents, Carers and Guardians recognises the importance of the University’s social responsibility agenda.”

Outstanding professional services for social responsibility


DSE career development scheme
Tracy Gallimore, Fiona Day and Ewa Edwards

This project identified that there were limited opportunities for progression for lower grade staff. As a result, the team worked together to devise the Career Development Scheme (CDS), which included a range of placements for staff within Residences to undertake work within the Student Administration and Finance teams. These placements provided participants with a variety of opportunities to work on different projects and tasks, building their technical and administrative skills within supportive environments, in recognition that participants came from diverse backgrounds and may have had limited opportunity to develop IT skills.

Highly commended

North campus clearance project
Campus cleansing team

This project has helped clear the North Campus, involving around 2,500 spaces across nine University buildings, in preparation for handing the buildings over to the Joint Venture/ID Manchester. The team have ensured the clearance of all building contents and managing the waste as sustainably as possible. This has involved a number of parties across the University including the Campus Cleansing Unit in Estates and Facilities who have assisted with the collection and recycling of various waste streams from the beginning of the project.

Queens canopy installation & SMI Hub composting use
Environmental Services Unit landscape services team

This project involves the Environmental Services Unit utilising a large amount of compost within University grounds as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy project. This will create a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands in honour of The Queen’s service. The compost has been produced by the Sustainable Materials Innovation (SMI) hub.  The SMI is using its industrial size composting machine as part of an initiative to assess the claims of packaging labelled as compostable or biodegradable.

“Our Highly Commended Making a difference Award 2023 for our work producing the Queens Platinum Jubilee Canopy on Main Campus was massively appreciated and surprising. The landscape team appreciated the recognition for their dedicated work in providing a lasting legacy for the late Queen, the University and also our many neighbours in the local community.”

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability


Greening labs – Making the SMI Hub genuinely sustainable
Dr Christina Picken

This project has completely redesigned the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub laboratory practices to align with their research ethos and encourage sustainable practices. It has culminated in a gold LEAF submission and has encouraged other laboratories within The Henry Royce Institute and Department of Materials to follow suit.

“The Greening Labs Project challenges the sustainability of research activities within the Sustainable Materials Innovation Hub. Research laboratories are associated with 3x the energy use of a an equally sized office space, contribute to significant amounts of waste and often utilise environmentally hazardous resources. The project aimed to reduce the impact of the research activities by eliminating water consumption for cooling processes, introducing recycling systems, assessing our energy requirements, and employing greener chemicals. Winning the MAD award has given more visibility to the project which has led to other labs addressing the sustainability of their labs. It’s been empowering to see the small project grow and gain recognition from all across the university.”

Faculty of Science and Engineering sustainable travel project
Faculty of Science and Engineering sustainable travel working group

This project identified best practice and produced guidance to support positive change behaviours in sustainable business travel practices within the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). It has already resulted in Faculty-level impact on 3,488 staff and postgraduate researcher (PGR) travel activity and directly supported the University’s Scope 3 carbon emission targets, contributing to an 85% reduction in emissions in 2022 compared with 2018/19. The model of practice designed by this group, and guidance resulting from it, has now become the basis for the University-wide Travel Policy launched in 2022.#

Highly commended

Want Not Waste
Want Not Waste

This is a student-led project which runs a sustainability, low-waste shop next to the Students’ Union that sells healthy and sustainable products with the aim of promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. Want not Waste is specifically aimed at a student lifestyle and budget in order to provide the best and most affordable access to sustainable living. It also encourages the wider Manchester community to come into the shop, buy products and learn about how they can lead an eco-friendly lifestyle. Through the shop and social media Want Not Waste fosters an ever-expanding community passionate about sustainability.

“The WantNotWaste team was extremely proud to be high commended in the Make a Difference Awards. We hope our shop continues to make a difference in the Manchester community, providing zero waste, sustainable and ethically sourced products at reasonable prices to all.”

Outstanding contribution to widening participation


Write on Point
Tom Fryer

This project provided UCAS personal statement support to over 1,400 students from under-represented backgrounds. It arose in response to research on inequalities in access to high-quality UCAS personal statement support, and the corresponding impact on university access.

“It was an honour to win the Making a Difference Award for Widening Participation in 2023. The award has been a great way to gain visibility for my project that provided UCAS personal statement feedback to students from under-represented backgrounds.”

Highly commended

University of Manchester Physics Outreach
The University of Manchester Physics Outreach team

This is a student-organised project aims to increase the diversity of students in the natural sciences (notably physics) through a range of outreach activities. UMPO volunteers excite audiences with science demonstrations, using their enthusiasm and scientific knowledge in workshops for primary and secondary schools.  They ‘science busk’ and cover topics from planetary physics to under-represented groups in STEM, acting as role models for the diversity they’re trying to foster.  Volunteers share their course knowledge and learning, alongside their enthusiasm for STEM to inspire young people and visitors at events.

The ‘With Women’ project
Christine Furber, Silvia Collins, Kathy Murphy and Shirley Brown

This project promotes the midwifery profession to young people of ethnic heritage, where communities experience poor health outcomes. Evidence suggests that bicultural workers have significant impact on improving care during childbearing due to their unique understanding of cultural backgrounds. This is a joint initiative with local maternity services, communities and schools. The book ’With Women’ (published 2021) has stories of local midwives. This publication is used together with regular visits of local secondary schools to promote midwifery.

Special achievement award

First Light at Jodrell Bank
Jodrell Bank First Light team

This project achieves a transformative moment for Jodrell Bank; reimagining the extent and depth of participation, providing opportunities via involvement, and learning to fuse science, culture and education. The First Light Pavilion also provides sustainability, accessibility and a positive social contribution.

“It was humbling for Jodrell Bank to be awarded a ‘Make a Difference’ award for our First Light Pavilion and the team’s outstanding contribution to social responsibility. This recognition reaffirms our commitment to inspiring and engaging with the community, and we are dedicated to continuing our efforts in making a positive impact on society through science and education.”

hello future
Manchester Museum hello future team

This project acknowledges, interrogates and addresses the Museum’s complex history. The team are rethinking restitution, building new relationships with communities across the world and with those most intimately connected to our collections. The galleries and facilities have been co-curated and co-designed and displays include new and diverse perspectives. A more pro-active approach to repatriation, social justice and anti-poverty work is understood and wholeheartedly supported as an integral part of what it means to be a socially responsible museum and university. The team are leading, facilitating and supporting more collections-based and diverse, interdisciplinary research and co-research than ever before. It is embedded in all the new displays.


Outstanding benefit to society through research

Staff Winner

Facilitating the net zero transition in the power industry
Tony Lujia Chen – Faculty of Science and Engineering

SF6 is a potent greenhouse gas widely used in the energy sector. This project demonstrated that retro-fill of SF6 assets is technically viable. This research has given National Grid the confidence to accelerate retro-fill projects on the network. One such project is at Richborough substation where, working in partnership with Hitachi Energy, National Grid have replaced 755kg of SF6 from existing assets with an alternative gas which has substantially lower environmental impact.

SDGs: 11, 13

It is an honour to receive both the Making a Difference Award and the Better World Showcase for the category of outstanding benefit to society through research. Our research team will continue tackling the various challenges of SF6 replacement in the power industry, catalysing the development of real-world solutions that can deliver environmental and economical saving to society.” 

Student Winner

Developing an Urban Heat Resilience Plan for Bristol
Charlotte Brown – Faculty of Science and Engineering

This project improved methodology to robustly map the areas of a city and its most vulnerable populations to extreme heatwaves caused by climate change. The methodology has been implemented as part of the UK Climate Resilience Programme and has been adopted by Bristol City Council to inform the cities heatwave resilience framework.

SDGs: 7, 9, 13

Emerging Impact Winner

COVID-19, inequality and older people
Dr Tine Buffel, Christopher Phillipson and MUARG colleagues – Faculty of Humanities

This project highlights the impact of COVID-19 on older people across the region, especially in relation to declining social contact and feelings of mental and physical deterioration. The research identified gaps in service provision for older people arising from the pandemic, in particular groups from minority ethnic communities, people self-identifying as LGTBQ+ , and those at risk of social isolation from low incomes or poor health.

SDGs: 3, 10, 11

“Our Making a Difference Award 2022 for our work research on the impact of COVID-19 was hugely beneficial in strengthening our engagement with community partners across Greater Manchester. The Manchester Urban Ageing Research group also benefited from new research collaborations, across the region and nationally, arising from the recognition and prestige provided by the award.”

Highly Commended


I am Tibetan, this is my story
Emma Martin – Faculty of Humanities

This project was developed with and for the Tibetan government-in-exile. It challenges established racial stereotyping and ‘self-othering’ museum tropes, instead representing a contemporary and politically active Tibet through engaging Tibetans in the research process and supporting the refugee community in producing its own public histories.

SDGs: 10


Rapid diagnostic pathways reduce unnecessary hospital admissions for suspected acute myocardial infarction

Professor Richard Body – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project developed new clinical pathways to rapidly rule out acute myocardial infarction (AMI), reducing unnecessary hospital admissions/healthcare costs and providing early reassurance for patients. It also determined that another test could accurately ‘rule in’ AMI, which has been implemented across Greater Manchester.

SDGs: 3

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Developing a model for teaching LGBT+ History to secondary school students

Thomas Donnai – Faculty of Humanities

This project addressed a political narrowing of the History curriculum and a lack of training for new teachers on how to make marginalised groups visible in the History curriculum. It developed a unit covering LGBT+ History, seeking to ‘skill trainees up’ and helping them disseminate good practice once in post as teachers.

SDGs: 4, 10

Winning a Making a Difference Award in 2022 was a real high point for me; getting recognition for my three- year project and its impact was great and I was so pleased to share the good news with partners and beneficiaries. Celebrating success is important!”

Highly Commended

Klezmer Ensemble Performance
Richard Fay – Faculty of Humanities

This project established a Manchester node in the revitalisation of Klezmer – music used for Jewish weddings which was decimated during the holocaust. It founded a klezmer ensemble and linked module in the University’s music department; facilitating students’ developing intercultural awareness, and combatting anti-Semitism.

SDGs: 4, 16


Reache Education Programme

Aisha Awan and team – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health & Northern Care Alliance

This project works with Refugees and Asylum Seekers arriving in the UK, providing an education programme for English and medical PLAB examinations, helping healthcare professionals undertake conversion courses. The service has had huge success for English pass rates as well as placing clinicians within Clinical Practice placements throughout the local NHS Trusts.

SDGs: 1, 3, 4

Outstanding contribution to social innovation


Promoting Educational Equality for Girls by addressing Period Poverty in Liberia

Chantal Victoria Bright – Faculty of Humanities

This project worked with a local seamstress in Liberia to develop a convenient alternative to impractical disposable pads; simultaneously creating employment and addressing challenges around period poverty and its impact on education and ensuing life outcomes.

SDGs: 3, 4, 5

Highly commended


MyMaternity Care App

Jenny Myers and colleagues- Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project brought together women, industry partners and healthcare professionals to develop an app specifically designed to support self-monitoring of blood pressure and blood glucose. The app has been used by more than 450 pregnant women, reducing the need for hospital visits and enabling better remote support during pregnancy.

SDGs: 3, 9, 12

Drones Optimized Therapy System (DrOTS): Use of Drones for Tuberculosis Diagnosis in Nepal

Uttam Pudasaini, Biplav Pageni and Sushant Yadav – Faculty of Humanities

This project is designed for the rapid diagnosis of new Tuberculosis cases through the utilization of drones and smart pillboxes, called MERMS (Medication Event Reminder-Monitors), to overcome the access barrier in remote, geographically isolated areas and improve treatment patient compliance. The project plans to assist Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population by generating the data necessary to assess the suitability of drone-based services for nationwide expansion.

SDGs: 3, 9, 17


Outstanding public engagement initiative (local)


Ageing Well in Place at Hopton Court

Hopton Hopefuls tenants group (Hulme), Whitney Banyai-Becker, Sophie King and Diana Mitlin – Faculty of Humanities

This project is a tenant-led initiative which seeks to ensure that older tower-block tenants can age well and die with dignity in the place they call home. The project has carried out a tenant-led survey of older people’s needs, and advocates for better care for older people in their community.

SDGs: 3, 10, 17


#BeeWell: Making Young People’s Wellbeing Everybody’s Business

Neil Humphrey – Faculty of Humanities

This project is a new programme led by the University of Manchester, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). It combines academic expertise with youth-led change to make the wellbeing of young people everybody’s business.

SDGs: 3, 10, 17

“Receiving a Making A Difference award has been fantastic for our team – it recognises the importance of the University’s social responsibility agenda and the work that goes into ensuring that projects like #BeeWell have an impact on society.”

Highly Commended

Reading Mentors

Kyna Ho and Reihaneh Farzinnia – Faculty of Humanities

This project is a student-led mentoring scheme that supports primary school pupils to become confident and able readers. Difficulty reading is a key barrier to engaging with education provision across all subjects for children, reducing comprehension and diminishing their confidence in education settings.

SDGs: 4, 10

Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge (GMEC)

Dr Lynne Bianchi and team – Faculty of Science and Engineering

This project saw hundreds of 7-14-year-olds taking part in a blended-learning style 2021 Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge. Pupils, teachers, families, industry and academic engineers came together at the height of school closures to engage pupils in practical learning related to Sustainability and Well Being.

SDGs: 11



Daniele Atkinson, Lindsey Gage and Francesca Guratsky – Faculty of Science and Engineering

This project inspired a new generation of scientists from the city’s hard-to-reach groups. Held at Manchester Central Library, alongside a complementing digital platform, ScienceX engaged more than 7000 people, creating a community of STEM enthusiasts by revealing our scientists’ impact in addressing the climate crisis.

SDGs: 4, 13


Outstanding public engagement initiative (national/international)


Cucusonic: translating biodiversity into new music in Colombia

Rupert Cox and Alejandro Valencia-Tobon – Faculty of Humanities, UoM Alumni

This project raised public awareness of the biodiversity of Colombia and its importance globally by translating natural soundscape recordings and bioacoustic data into a new music album. The international music and bio-science collaboration set up a remotely organised network with diverse local communities to collect and record sounds and stories from the Colombian Neotropical forests, inviting high profile musicians to create tracks from the field recordings.

SDGs: 13

The award enhanced the profile of my work and methods to international research collaborators, leading to a new interdisciplinary, public engagement project with Aix Marseilles University in France.”

Highly Commended


Empowering a rural community to protect themselves from COVID-19 in Sri Lanka
Dr Raj Ariyaratnam and Kunasingam Satgunarasah – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

The project involved engaging communities through their mother tongue as means to prevent language being a barrier to healthcare equality. It aimed to improve attitudes towards mask wearing and vaccinations among global rural and poor communities by addressing the knowledge vacuum created by authentic health information were being published mainly in English on mainstream and social media platforms.

SDGs: 3, 10



Outstanding public engagement initiative (public contribution)


Trafford 500 Words

Wendi Swan, Jonny Huck and Rebecca Grant – Wellfield Junior School and Faculty of Humanities

This project entailed a creative writing competition, working with over 600 children (aged 7-11) through partnership with over 50 Primary Schools across Trafford. It aimed to ensure fundamental skills such as reading and writing were developed, despite the disruption to education from the pandemic.

SDGs: 3, 4, 17

Highly Commended

Dab Hands: That’ll Need Stitching
Lucy Burscough – Public contributor (artist)

This project used artwork to boost wellbeing and community spirit during the pandemic. Embroidery kits were posted out, resulting in contributions from nearly 300 medical students, healthcare workers, students out of mainstream education and older residents across the region. The embroideries will become the ‘skin’ of a large sculpture of a sewing hand, to be exhibited at Manchester Museum in autumn.

SDGs: 3, 11, 17


Outstanding public engagement initiative (cultural institutions)


Still Parents Exhibition

Lucy Turner and team- The Whitworth Art Gallery

This project comprises a partnership between The Whitworth Art Gallery and Sands (Stillbirth and Neo Natal Death Charity). The award-winning programme supports parents who have experienced the loss of a baby in pregnancy or just after birth.

SDGs: 3, 10, 17

Highly commended

Our Shared Cultural Heritage

Sadia Habib – Manchester Museum

This project aims to make museums and heritage organisations better places for young people to tackle cultural inequalities and showcase cultural heritage from diaspora perspectives. The pandemic shifted Our Shared Cultural Heritage online, creating a safe, positive and supportive digital space for more young people.

SDGs: 8, 10, 16


Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion


The Black Excellence Network

George Obolo – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project has been set up to challenge the racial disparities seen between black students and other ethnicities within UK higher education and competitive courses.

SDGs: 4, 10

Highly Commended

OneEd Community

Yin Hei Lee – Faculty of Humanities

This project provides mathematics E-learning resources to students from low-income families for free and forever. By providing free access to quality educational resources created by experts, the project aims to narrow the gap between underprivileged and privileged students, allowing them to climb up the social ladder more effectively.

SDGs: 4, 10

Reducing inequalities in cancer tumour genetic screening

Professor David Wedge – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project collected and analysed cancer tumours from Nigerian, Kenyan and South African populations, revealing substantial differences in genetics between different ethnic groups that were previously unknown. This work has the potential to spur personalised medicine tailored to people with different ethnicities, thus improving their health outcomes following a cancer diagnosis.

SDGs: 3, 9, 10


The Manchester Muslim Medical Student Guide (First Edition)

Mohammed Ullah and team- Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, Student Support

This project created a manual for Muslim students which can help them navigate their time at Medical school. It provides an inclusive learning environment and covers many key topics which are not addressed by other means. The outcomes are higher retentions, less issues related to faith and support and guidance for students to help them with any issues regarding faith and studying.

SDGs: 4, 10


Outstanding professional services for social responsibility


Irene Manton Lecture

Samantha Franklin – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project, set up by our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, in collaboration with the Linnean Society of London, provides free annual lectures to commemorate and celebrate the role that women have played in contributing to the development of natural sciences and aims to increase diversity in science. So far, over 540 people have attended the lectures with a varied audience.

SDGs: 3, 4, 5

Highly Commended


International Women’s Day 2021 #ChooseToChallenge campaign

Enna Bartlett and colleagues – Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professional Services

This project entailed an online, magazine-style campaign that focused on telling staff and students’ personal stories of gender inequality for 2021 International Women’s Day. With support from colleagues across the University, 18 stories were published across University websites, conveying the campaign’s important message through its novel and honest content.

SDGs: 5

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Student Winner

Enactus Manchester – Rekindle

Mahima Jethani – Faculty of Humanities

This project focuses on ensuring sustainable communities in Manchester by seeking out clothes and refurbishing them. Rekindle is trying to combat the issue of fast consumerism through building a sustainable student community.

SDGs: 11, 12

Staff Winner

Concretene: a low-carbon, graphene-enhanced concrete

Alan Beck and colleagues – Faculty of Science and Engineering

This project aims to mitigate the environmental impact of the construction industry, by producing Concretene: a lower-emitting version of concrete. Large-scale site trials demonstrated up to 30% less concrete was required for the same structural performance as standard RC30 concrete in floor-slab applications, helping reduce 25-30% of CO2 emissions.

SDGs: 9, 11, 12

Highly Commended

Furniture 4 Reuse

Simon Atkinson, Alan Wright and Peter Liddell – Professional Services

This project prevents unnecessary University furniture waste, and promotes reuse and recycling. All unwanted University furniture can be returned to the furniture store and items suitable for re-use are available for staff free of charge. Items that are assessed at the furniture store as not being suitable for re-use will be disposed of to a local furniture re-use company rather than sent for disposal.

SDGs: 9, 11, 12


A Greener Centre for Postgraduate Education and Training (CPPE)

Nuala Hampson and GCPE Greener Team – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project aims to reduce the impact of the Centre for Postgraduate Education and Training (CPPE) on the environment, from small steps such as reducing the amount of paper used, to linking in with green initiatives at the head office. A session run at CPPE’s national meeting on the environmental crisis resulted in organisational and individual engagement across England.

SDGs: 3, 12, 13


Biko Bikes

Charlie Major and Phoebe Parry – Student Action

This project is trying to reduce climate change in Manchester by maintaining and renting out bikes to students for £1 a week, thereby encouraging students to cycle. It works as an alternative to public transport, which is often inaccessible. All money from the project is reinvested into itself to ensure full sustainability.

SDGs: 3, 11, 13


Musical Agriculture (IWA-ANEM): A Song for Climate Change

Rita Robert Otu and colleagues – Faculty of Humanities

This project seeks to address challenges such as deforestation, climate change and environmental injustices, by using music and food to initiate a variety of educational programs for key groups such as women, and children.

SDGs: 1, 2, 13

Incredible Edible

Akhila Ficel and Alice Wheatley – Student Action

This project is a student-led initiative that seeks to raise awareness about environmental issues, food justice, and sustainability by cultivating organic vegetables and herbs around the University for the local community to use and access free of charge. Student volunteers gain new skills and learn more about how to grow food sustainably on small plots.

SDGs: 2, 3, 11

Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Student Winner

Manchester Outreach Medics (MOMs)

Manchester Outreach Medics team – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This project runs events for young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who want to become doctors. These events aim to improve understanding of the medicine application process, and improve the students’ self-confidence.

SDGs: 4, 10

Staff Winner

Psychology Education and Wellbeing in Schools (PEWS)

Dr Debbie Smith and Dr Elizabeth McManus – Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This projects works at a school in a deprived area, which is associated with generally poorer health outcomes and lower attendance at university. Its primary aim is to promote and teach simple health behaviour skills and techniques that can become positive habits that last into adult life. It also celebrates diversity and encourages university education as an option for anyone.

SDGs: 3, 4, 10

Highly Commended

Reading Mentors

Kyna Ho and Reihaneh Farzinnia – Faculty of Humanities

This project is a student-led mentoring scheme that supports primary school pupils to become confident and able readers. Difficulty reading is a key barrier to engaging with education provision across all subjects for children, reducing comprehension and diminishing their confidence in education settings.

SDGs: 4, 10

Commuter Student Peer Mentoring

Nick Weise and student peer mentoring team – University-wide

This project addresses the lack of opportunities commuter students have to build social / cultural capital and access to members of the university community who understand their situation. Through the peer mentoring scheme, commuter students transitioning into the University now see learners who are like them before they start and can form supportive peer networks.

SDGs: 4


Outstanding benefit to society through research


Testing women with womb cancer for Lynch syndrome: Emma Crosbie and team, Division of Cancer Sciences, School of Medical Sciences

This research has ensured all women diagnosed with womb cancer are able to be tested for Lynch syndrome.

Watch the video: Testing women with womb cancer for Lynch syndrome

Winner – staff (emerging impact)

NHS Voices of COVID-19: Stephanie Snow and team, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This research project is documenting the impact of the pandemic on the lives of people across the UK. It is creating a unique national archive of personal stories.

Watch the video: NHS Voices of COVID-19

Winner – student (emerging impact)

Worker-driven social responsibility for human rights: Alysha Shivji and team, School of Social Sciences and Alliance Manchester Business School

This research aims to improve our global supply chains and to protect the most vulnerable, low paid workers across the world.

Watch the video: Worker-driven social responsibility for human rights

Highly commended

Fighting cardiovascular disease in Africa: Bernard Keavney, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This research identified and developed tools to improve cardiovascular research facilities in Africa.

Highly commended – staff (emerging impact)

Energy Poverty Observatory: Stefan Bouzarovski, The Energy Poverty Observatory School of Environment, Education and Development

This research has instigated a change in the definition and understanding of energy poverty across Europe.

Highly commended – student (emerging impact)

COVID-19 and online LGBT+ sexual health service: Jaime Garcia-Iglesias and team, School of Social Sciences

This research has collected people’s experiences of the LGBT Foundation services that have moved online during the pandemic.

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Creating a Sustainable World: Jennifer O’Brien and team, School of Environment, Education and Development

This is a course that aims to equip and empower students to take action for sustainable development.

Watch the video: Creating a Sustainable World

Highly commended

The Law in Practice course: Philip Drake and team, School of Social Sciences

This is a course that provides our students with real-life education, where they assist clients who cannot access legal help elsewhere.

The Global Online Learning Forum: Senathirajah Ariyaratnam and team, School of Medical Sciences, Division of Dentistry

This is a flexible platform that brings real-time teaching provision to dental professionals in Asia and Africa.

Outstanding contribution to social innovation


Manchester Urban Observatory: James Evans and team, School of Environment, Education and Development

This is an organisation that brings data, sensors & expertise together to improve decision making in cities.

Watch the video: Manchester Urban Observatory

Highly commended

OpenPIL: improving access to medicines information: Malik Ahmed and team, School of Health Sciences, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry

This is an organisation that aims to make information about medicines more reliable and openly available.

Pandemic ethics: Ruth Bromley, School of Medical Sciences, Division of Medical Education

This project is an emergency ethical support service for GPs to support them through the pandemic.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (local)

Winner – staff

The Justice Hub COVID-19 Virtual Vacation Scheme: Philip Drake and team, School of Social Sciences

This is a scheme that continued to provide legal advice to those most vulnerable during the pandemic.

Watch the video: The Justice Hub COVID-19 Virtual Vacation Scheme

Winner – student

The Blackburn Poetry Project: Rebecca Grant, School of Environment, Education and Development

This is a collaborative arts project which aims to challenge negative narratives about the town of Blackburn.

Watch the video: The Blackburn Poetry Project

Highly commended – staff

Congo’s Activist in Exile: Jake Gill and team, Blue Shoes Productions and the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

This project involved a partnership between the School of Arts, Languages and Culture and Blue Shoes Productions. They developed a short documentary to highlight Jenny Dakosta Van Mputu’s refugee experience in the UK.

Highly commended – student

MedReach: Kajal Patel, School of Medical Sciences

This is an online mentoring platform for Year 12 students from less advantaged backgrounds hoping to start medical-related careers.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (national/international)


Protecting Kenyan communities against COVID-19: Johnny Huck and team, School of Environment, Education and Development

This project involves a multi-disciplinary collaboration with local partners in Kenya. The team worked together to encourage people to use face masks during the pandemic.

Watch the video: Protecting Kenyan communities against COVID-19

Highly commended

Mad COVID: Jo Edge and team, School of Social Sciences and School of Arts Languages and Cultures

This project is a user-led collective for people with serious mental illness during the pandemic.

Great Science Share for Schools goes digital!: Lynne Bianchi and team, Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub, Faculty of Science and Engineering

This is a programme that was transformed due to the pandemic into a fully digital experience to support teachers and families working at home or in school.

#TheSmileBehindTheMask: Aryana Jizan and team, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

This is a student-instigated social media campaign to help healthcare professionals and students to communicate more effectively while wearing protective PPE and face-masks.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (public contribution)


StillBorn project: Adinda van’t Klooster School of Medical Sciences, Division of Developmental Biology and Medicine

This is a collaborative art and poetry project that aims to raise awareness of stillbirth and give people a voice to talk about their experiences.

Watch the video: StillBorn project

Highly commended

IntoUniversity Manchester North: IntoUniversity Manchester North Team

This is an educational charity that supports some of the most disadvantaged young people in Manchester.

Needs of those bereaved by suicide: Sharon McDonnell and team, Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences

This project involved conducting a national suicide bereavement survey to identify people’s experiences and needs, which will inform future policy.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (cultural institutions)


Young People in Museums as part of South Asian Heritage Month: Barinur Rashid –Manchester Museum

This is a project that engaged young people to celebrate the diverse heritage of South Asian history and culture.

Watch the video: Young People in Museums as part of South Asian Heritage Month

Highly commended

The Early Years Programme at the Whitworth: Lucy Turner – The Whitworth

This is a sector-leading programme that uses art to inspire and engage under 5s and their carers.

Science Learning at Home: Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

This project created a new online hub of scientific resources and activities that were launched soon after last year’s lockdown.

Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion

Winner – staff

Science Grrl: Heather Williams, Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences, School of Health Sciences

This is a grass-roots network that addresses the under-representation of women in science.

Watch the video: Science Grrl

Winner – student

My Story Campaign: Tanyaradzwa Mwamuka and team – Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health

This is a campaign project that aims to empower individuals of Afro-Caribbean descent through a programme of creative, positive imagery.

Watch the video: My Story Campaign

Highly commended

With Women Book Project: Catherine Millan and the With Women Book Project participants, Division of Student Experience

This is a project that created a book promoting the career of midwifery to young people from BAME communities.

LIVE with Scientists: Ayse Latif and team, Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, School of Health Sciences

This is a non-profit initiative devoted to providing equal access to science for everyone.

Outstanding professional services for social responsibility


PPE Printing Project for Local NHS: Brian Derby and the PPE Printing Project Team, School of Natural Sciences

This project addressed the critical demand for personal protective equipment during the pandemic. Staff and students printed and assembled visors for NHS staff and for a partner project in Uganda.

Watch the video: PPE Printing Project for Local NHS

Highly commended

Manchester Museum from Home: Wendy Gallagher and Museum staff – Manchester Museum

This project created of a platform of digital participatory activities and events as a response to the pandemic.

Return of Cultural Heritage: Manchester Museum repatriation: Esme Ward – Manchester Museum

This project involves unconditional repatriation of 43 cultural heritage objects to Australia’s First Nations peoples.

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Winner – student

Want Not Waste: Want Not Waste Team – Cross-faculty

This is a student-run, zero-waste shop with local produce, workshops, upcycling afternoons, a TerraCycle station and talks on sustainability.

Watch the video: Want Not Waste

Winner – staff (research impact)

Lifecycle assessment of solar energy in Kenya: Velma Mukoro, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering

This research project assesses the environmental impacts of using solar electrical systems in Kenya.

Highly commended

Light and Air: Lorraine Wolter and team, School of Social Sciences, Alliance Manchester Business School

This is a project that uses sustainable clothing to spark conversations and empower people to live an eco-friendly life.

Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Winner – student

Manchester Outreach Dentists: Manal Hamad and team, School of Medical Sciences

This is a project that aims to help disadvantaged sixth-form students with their applications to the Dental School.

Watch the video: Manchester Outreach Dentists

Winner – staff

Project Inc. Manchester Museum Partnership: Anna Bunney – Manchester Museum

This is a partnership that aims to make Manchester Museum more accessible for neuro-diverse young people.

Watch the video: Project Inc.

Highly commended – student

Library Peer Network: Adam Cooke and team, University Library

This project is a peer-led network for students from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds.

Reading Mentors: Kyna Ho and team, School of Environment, Education and Development

This is a group of volunteers who help school children who need extra support to become confident and able readers.

MedReach: Kajal Patel, School of Medical Sciences

This is an online mentoring platform for Year 12 students from less advantaged backgrounds hoping to start medical-related careers.

Highly commended – staff

Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge: Lynne Bianchi and team, Science and Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub, Faculty of Science and Engineering

This is an annual campaign that engages pupils with the engineering design process.


Outstanding benefit to society through research


Improving outcomes for children with leukaemia internationally: the results of scientifically designed clinical trials and translational research: Professor Vaskar Saha.

Research at the University of Manchester (UoM) has made a significant impact nationally and internationally on improving the outcome for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Professor Vaskar Saha has helped increase survival rates among children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) by 10% in the UK as well as creating a national hub of cancer centres across India by linking five major paediatric centres.

“I am delighted to have received this award. It recognises the work and efforts of so many people in Manchester and India. The success of this story reflects the diverse skills of people working together to achieve better outcomes for our patients, wherever they are in the world. It’s wonderful that this collective will to work together to help others has been recognised.”
Professor Vaskar Saha

Watch the short film: Improving outcomes for children with leukaemia internationally


Winner: emerging impact

Energy from agricultural waste in Southeast Asia: Angela Mae Minas and Sarah Mander.

This project aimed to engage farmers in bioenergy development and link energy access to agricultural livelihoods. Angela and Sarah worked closely with local communities, agricultural departments, and civil society organisations in Southeast Asia to identify ways to engage farmers in rice straw bioenergy in the Philippines and Vietnam, and to link energy from rice husk to agricultural livelihoods in Myanmar.

“The Making a Difference Award will hopefully help to further amplify the voices and stories from the field of co-developing bioenergy solutions with farmers and local communities so that we can achieve wider-reaching policy and development impact. Also, doing social science research amidst all technology-focussed work on bioenergy is challenging, and we believe that the MAD Award brings an extra layer of credibility to our work, especially when engaging with international partners”. 

“We are most thankful to our collaborators in Southeast Asia. There is so much good research being done at Manchester and we are honoured to receive a MAD Award. There is more to do and receiving the Award motivates us to do better in making sure that our research translates into action and that it continues to bring positive impact to the communities that we work with.”
Angela Mae Minas

Watch the short film: Energy from agricultural waste in Southeast Asia


Highly Commended

Helena Herrmann: Malawian Soil Project.

This project has been using research into soil science, to develop tools to help some of the poorest farmers in Africa.

Andrew Gray: Manchester – Leaping Ahead.

This research project involved training local people within rainforest communities in Panama as co-researchers.

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Service Learning in Pharmacy: Mobilising undergraduate students to deliver health promotion education within high school settings: David Allison, Emma Williams, Sarah Willis and Rebecca Rafferty.

This project involved pharmacy undergraduates delivering assessed core curriculum public engagement workshops to high school pupils. Workshops covered a variety of public health topics relevant to 14-16 year olds such as Antibiotic Resistance, Alcohol, Diabetes, Mental Health & Sexual Health Awareness. Since 2017 approximately 3000 pupils across 14 Manchester schools have received these workshops, delivered by 416 undergraduate students.

“We are all so pleased, and proud, to have won the 2020 MaD award for our innovative Service Learning in Pharmacy programme. This was a fantastic team effort, including undergraduate students, high school teachers and pupils. We hope that other Schools of Pharmacy will follow our lead as Service Learning is a great way to help improve the health of the population whilst developing professional attributes in trainee pharmacists.” David Allison

Watch the short film: Service Learning in Pharmacy

Highly commended

The student-led massive open online course: parasitic worms: life stories: Kathryn Else.

This MOOC was inspired by the unmet need of educating people about how they get infected with parasitic worms.

Bringing Social Responsibility into School of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Projects: Karen Cosgrove.

This project integrated social responsibility within the University undergraduate teaching portfolio.

Outstanding contribution to social innovation


Wellspring: Elliot McKernon.

Many apps offer treatments for mental health issues, but studies find these are ineffective, as the most effective way to treat mental illness is through a doctor, but many are reluctant to do this. The Wellspring app bridges the gap between those with mental illness and treatment by providing clearly written information about symptoms, self-help and treatment. The information is written by a clinical psychologist and a mental health lecturer to be concise and easily understandable.

Watch the short film


Highly commended

Electric Bazaar: Alicya Mamo, Shamima Khonat and Sarah Sharif.

Electric Bazaar is an ethical fashion social enterprise that gives talented artisans the recognition they deserve, whilst preserving the rich handicrafts of Pakistan.

Want not Waste: Holly Smith

Want Not Waste is a student-run plastic-free shop that promotes a sustainable way of life.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (local)

Winner (student)

Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Conversation Club: Alice Lavery.

Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Conversation Club are a student led volunteer group that runs conversational English lessons for refugees and asylum seekers across Manchester. With 11 classes every week they aim to help ease their transition into life in the UK by improving language skills and providing a friendly and welcoming environment.

Watch the short film: Refugee and Asylum Seekers’ Conversation Club


Highly commended (student)

Once a Month: Bethany Veal and team.

Once A Month is a monthly project that aims to combat period poverty.

Manchester’s First Language Community Project: Sophie Pathmanathan.

Manchester’s First Language Community Project is a new way of engaging our students with local communities.

Engaging with HIV policy and service delivery: a three-way approach: Jaime Iglesias.

This outreach project looked at intentional HIV infection amongst gay men.


Winner (staff)

Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today: Saskia Warren & The Whitworth.

Beyond Faith is a ground-breaking co-curated exhibition and events programme at the Whitworth, presenting the work of five contemporary Muslim women artists with pieces from its collection. It challenges exclusion in art spaces and highlights the often-overlooked contribution of Muslim women to culture in Britain. By raising the selected artists’ profiles, it also seeks to inspire cultural career pathways for young people from under-represented backgrounds.

“It was good to get recognition from the University for the hard work that goes into these projects and also to give a further platform to the artists involved. We have already had interest from different groups and organisations in doing a version of the event in different regions of the UK with different local Muslim women artists. Moving into the future and thinking about the impact of COVID-19, we will be exploring how the programme might work in different contexts. What I was really struck by was that all 5 of the artists watched the awards ceremony and that the recognition really mattered to them as a sign of validation from a leading university. All of them got in touch about the award and felt recognised and accepted by an elite institution.” Saskia Warren

Watch the short film: Beyond Faith: Muslim Women Artists Today

Highly commended (staff)

MIB Programme of Public Engagement with Research & Researchers: Nicholas Weise.

The aim of this public engagement project was to support people to age well within the neighbourhoods of Brunswick and Levenshulme.

Community interventions to promote ‘ageing in place’: developing the ‘Village’ model in Manchester:Christopher Phillipson.

‘Ageing in place’ supports people to age well, working with older people in the Brunswick Estate and Levenshulme.

Coming in from the Cold: Jennifer Vickers.

Coming in from the Cold aims to increase the volume and visibility of archives relating to Greater Manchester’s BAME communities.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (national/international)

Winner (student)

CreateZim: Tarisiro Fundira and Nyasha Goredema.

CreateZim is a community organisation that seeks to create mental health discourse among Zimbabwean youth (16-25) as a way of providing the rare opportunity to have necessary conversations, whilst simultaneously creating safe spaces complemented by an interactive online platform.

“Winning such a prestigious award has been the gift that keeps on giving. Not only has it facilitated the education and support of Zimbabweans in mental health, it has also sparked further expansion of our movement and therefore a sense of hope throughout the African continent that such a neglected issue can and will be tackled!” Tarisiro Fundira and Nyasha Goredema

Watch the short film: CreateZim

Winner (staff)

Participating with Panama: Andrew Gray and Amanda Bamford, Manchester Museum.

The Participating with Panama project engaged people within rainforest communities in Panama to fully involve them in conservation work to save critically endangered species. A public engagement aspect also provided incomes and sessions which inspire schoolchildren to care for local environments.


Highly commended

NHS at 70: The Story of our lives: Stephanie Snow, School of Medical Sciences.

The NHS at 70 project aimed to create a national public archive of NHS history.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (public contribution)


Peterloo 2019: Karen Shannon, Janine Hague and Charlie Booth.

Peterloo 2019 marked the bi-centenary of one of the most important episodes in the history of Manchester. It brought together over 46 different cultural organisations and 50 community groups with over 600,000 people taking part. The programme of special events was led and delivered by Manchester Histories (MH) who also led linked initiatives throughout the year in the areas of learning, volunteering and working with young people.

Watch the short film: Peterloo 2019


Highly commended

Seven thousand feet: Christine Wilcox-Baker.

Seven thousand feet is a science-art project bringing together Manchester-based clinicians, research scientists and artists, with a common interest in diabetes.

International Arts and Homelessness Summit and Festival: Matt Peacock.

With One Voice is an international movement that aims to strengthen the arts and homelessness sector through exchanges in practice and policy.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (cultural institutions)


Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab under Siege: Cat Lumb.

This co-curated exhibition with The Partition Museum, India, was the first Indo-UK museum partnership of its kind. It presented the Indian voice on the massacre of hundreds of peaceful protesters by a British General on 13 April 1919 and increased awareness of this historical event with British audiences.

Watch the short film: Jallianwala Bagh 1919: Punjab under Siege

Highly Commended

Queering the Whitworth: Dominic Bilton.

Queering the Whitworth is designed to research The Whitworth’s collection in order to (re)discover missing LGBTQ+ narratives.

Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion


International Postdoc Appreciation Week: Ines Hahn and team.

Introduction of the ‘Postdoc Appreciation Week’ aimed to raise awareness and celebrate the incredible achievements of our >2000 diverse postdoctoral researchers, who are vital to achieving the University’s research, teaching and social responsibility goals. 17 inclusive events took place across all three Faculties, attracting more than 600 participants. The Postdoc Appreciation Week will now become an annual event at the University.

“It has been fantastic to gain recognition for our initiative. The award helped our efforts to showcase, recognise, and celebrate the fantastic and enormous contributions research staff make towards the University and society. It also encouraged us to grow our initiative: Together with 17 institutions, we organised the first UK/ROI-wide Postdoc Appreciation Week events in 2020.” Ines Hahn

Watch the short film: International Postdoc Appreciation Week

Highly Commended

Unearthing the Hidden Voices: Intersectionalities in Higher Education Conference: Dr Hamied Haroon.

Unearthing the Hidden Voices was a national conference held in June 2019 which brought important issues around the intersectionality of identities to the fore.

Queering the Whitworth: Dominic Bilton.

Queering the Whitworth looks at the Whitworth’s art collection and (re)discovers LGBTQ+ connections with the artworks.


Special Achievement

The Diversity and Inclusion Student Ambassador Programme: Catherine Prescott, Neelam Rai, Kalifa Cuben, Idris Ogunlade, Shanaz Baksh, Safiyya El Diwany, Raska Soemantoro and Iman Usmani.

The D&I Student Ambassador Programme is a collaboration between the University and the Students Union and aims to improve outcomes for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students. It employs students to take action to increase student sense of belonging, create ‘safe spaces’ to have conversations on inclusive environments and empower people to tackle micro-aggressions and discrimination.

Outstanding professional services for social responsibility


Building Better Futures: Delivering social responsibility outcomes through construction frameworks: Paul Maccabee and team.

Building Better Futures is a unique HE construction framework that has been established to deliver capital projects supporting the £1bn, ten-year campus masterplan. A PS-led sub-group drives the delivery of social responsibility outcomes through the projects, bringing lasting benefits to our communities.

“We are so proud to have received this recognition of our cross Professional Services teamwork. Delivering great projects with our Partnership Contractors and creating innovative and life-changing opportunities for the people of GM. We now have a blueprint for future delivery.” Samantha Johnson (worked alongside Paul Maccabee),

Watch the short film: Building Better Futures


Highly Commended

The Justice Hub (PS Team): Sue Gordan.

The Justice Hub includes that the Dementia Law Clinic, Miscarriage of Justice Review Centre and Legal Technology Initiative run smoothly.

Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge: Lynne Bianchi.

The Greater Manchester Engineering Challenge (GMEC) is an annual engineering challenge for primary and Key Stage 3 pupils.

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Winner (student)

Want not Waste: Holly Smith.

Want Not Waste is a student led initiative making zero waste living affordable and accessible to all. As a not-for-profit enterprise they aim to educate and share skills via free workshops such as slow-stitch repair and homemade DIYs and sharing meaningful content on our social media. After 1 year of running, the shop has built links with the local council, various departments of the university, other local ethical businesses and the student body.

“Winning the Making a Difference Award was such a boost of energy for us. We feel proud, appreciated and a renewed sense of purpose. This has had a positive impact on volunteer’s confidence. The award has really raised our profile to reach more people, in fact, we received an immediate flurry of social media attention and email subscriptions following our award. I think a lot of people within the University share our vision but perhaps didn’t know we existed and are now tuning in which is great.” Holly Smith

Watch the short film: Want not Waste


Winner (staff)

Sustainability in undergraduate laboratory practical classes and beyond: Maggie Fostier and Ruth Grady.

The University of Manchester has pledged to eliminate ‘avoidable’ single-use plastic by 2022. Sustainability in UG Laboratory Practical Classes developed a systematic approach to reduce single use plastic in biology laboratory classes which has already generated a reduction of more than 26,000 plastic items/year for 5 practicals.

“Winning the Awards gave us a big boost of energy. The 6R method (review, reduce, reuse, refill, replace, recycle) was developed to reduce single use plastics in our practical classes, but we are now adapting it to research labs, home and campus. We’ll share with everyone soon!” Maggie Fostier and Ruth Grady

Watch the short film: Sustainability in undergraduate laboratory practical classes and beyond


Established project (staff)

bluedot festival sustainability programme: Teresa Anderson and Tim O’Brien.

The bluedot festival sustainability programme is a dedicated programme of sustainability initiatives and awareness raising at the bluedot music and science festival. It shows a commitment to continually innovate and advance the sustainability of the festival as well as discuss with audiences the fragility of planet earth.

Watch the short film: bluedot festival sustainability programme


Highly Commended

Food Waste: Matheiu Augustin.

Olio Food Distribution works with a group of volunteers to collect and distribute food from within the university and a select few surrounding establishments so that it isn’t wasted.

Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Winner (staff)

Inside Out: Working Scientifically at the Museum: Amy McDowell, Louise Bousfield and Lynne Bianchi.

‘Inside Out’ empowered children as science communicators. 150 primary children uncovered how Manchester Museum ‘works scientifically’ in its research, collections care, animal husbandry and beyond, and then created films about their findings. Their findings have been showcased to over 3000 people at university and school events.

“Thank you very much for the Making a Difference Award this year. It is so exciting for the efforts of colleagues, and of the teachers and pupils on the project, to be acknowledged. It really demonstrates to our partner schools that the University values the relationship and the work.” Amy McDowall

Watch the short film: Inside Out

Highly Commended (staff)

Year 10 Work Experience Project: Natalie Liddle.

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Work Experience Week is an annual work experience programme for Year 10 students from widening participation backgrounds.

Tactile Collider: Robert Appleby and team.

Tactile Collider is taking the latest in particle accelerator research and making it accessible to blind and visually impaired children and adults.

Winner (student)

The Black Pharmacists Collective: Unekwuojo Agada and team.

The Black Pharmacists Collective (BPC) is a group of black MPharm undergraduate students, working together to close the enrolment and attainment gaps between white and black students. The BPC is working on improving access to studying, enhancing soft skills and widening career prospects of black students through events and workshops.

Watch the short film: The Black Pharmacists Collective


Highly commended (student)

Manchester Outreach Medics: Matthew Maden, School of Medicine.

Manchester Outreach Medics is a well-established Access All Areas outreach project.

Medics in Primary Schools: Sylvia Osahan, School of Medicine.

Medics in Primary Schools aim to inspire primary school students from widening participation backgrounds to consider a career in science and/or medicine.


Exceptional contribution

Julia Riley

Julia Riley has been instrumental in reviving and championing Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre’s Education programme. From a starting point of virtually zero in 2009, Julia has firmly established Jodrell Bank as a new national centre of excellence for STEM education and has pioneered new approaches to Widening Participation.


Outstanding benefit to society through research

Joint winner

SCATTER: Carly McLachlan, Jaise Kuriakose, Alice Larkin, Kevin Anderson & John Broderick

“Winning the award was a brilliant vote of confidence from the University in the work that many of our team in the Tyndall Centre are doing to support action on climate change. By celebrating together across the incredible range of activities you feel like you are part of something bigger – something pretty awesome to be honest – and that is really empowering as we drive our work and collaborations forward.” Carly McLachlan, Award winner.

SCATTER is a successful exchange of academic knowledge into the local city region strategy through collaboration with Greater Manchester and Anthesis Consulting and funded by the UK government. It provides a methodology and guidance for UK city regions to develop local climate change action plans consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement.

Watch the short film: SCATTER


Joint winner

Research that saves lives: in action: Pauline Turnbull, Louis Appleby, Nav Kapur & Cathryn Rodway

“I was absolutely delighted that I, and the team at NCISH, won a Making a Difference award for outstanding benefit to society through research. This award reflects the main aim of what we strive to do – using research to reduce suicide and improve safety for the benefit of patients and the public.” Cathryn Rodway, Award winner.

“For us this was a wonderful award to win – it was a recognition of all the hard work our many staff members put in every day. It also helped spotlight our impact externally to our funders, and colleagues working in research, policy and on the clinical frontline”. Nav Kapur, Award winner.

This project demonstrates that implementing research recommendations can improve safety in mental health and self-harm services. The team are working to embed this evidence in quality improvement suicide prevention plans, with the aim of reducing suicide rates country-wide by 10% by 2021.

Watch the short film: Research that saves lives: in action


Highly Commended

Multilingual Manchester: Yaron Matras

Multilingual Manchester is a unique model that brings together research, undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and outreach and public engagement, focused around the theme of language diversity in the city. It runs a cross-faculty student volunteer scheme, a faculty based PhD student placement scheme, and has a strong public engagement portfolio.

Change Points for the Nexus at Home: Alison Browne & Claire Hoolohan

The ‘Change Points for the Nexus at Home’ project team work with a range of government, business and third sector partners to develop new ways of thinking about interventions which help to unlock everyday practices to tackle unsustainable patterns of consumption.


Emerging Impact

Smart Street: Eduardo Martinez-Cesena, Luis Daniel Gutierrez Lagos & Christopher Jones

Smart Street proposed and tested new solutions for integrating large amounts of clean energy technologies into electricity distribution networks and improve network efficiency. The techniques improved hosting capacity, reduced energy losses as well as customer bills and carbon emissions.

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Learning criminology inside: Emily Turner, Rose Broad & Caroline Miles

Learning Criminology Inside is a prison-based module for students studying Criminology in which ten third year undergraduates and ten inmates from HMP Risley learn together inside the Prison’s education setting.

Watch the film: Learning criminology inside

Highly Commended

Not for profit project: Frances Johnson, Xavier Duran, Phil Galvin, Mike Arundale & Supervisory Staff

The ‘not for profit’ project sees students on the Masters of Business Administration work with over 20 UK-based charities annually, to help tackle key business issues from organisational design to strategic marketing. They deliver 2,400 hours of consultancy plus extensive additional group research over a three month period.

Inclusive healthcare education for non-native English speakers: Sheena Cruickshank, Ian Miller, Tahiya Alam, Ewan Chammings, Indira Mclean & Ian Nield

Health matters to us all but accessing reliable, accessible information about health is challenging especially if there are language barriers. These co-developed English/health lessons for students learning English have a wide uptake and are reached via online learning.

Outstanding contribution to social innovation


Keep on Keep up: Emma Stanmore & Paul Dewick

“We were surprised and delighted to receive the Making a Difference award for Social Innovation. It gave such a boost to the team and encouraged us to apply for further funding and an accelerator programme to scale up the Keep On Keep Up (KOKU) technology for falls prevention and healthy ageing.” Emma Stanmore, Award winner.

Keep on Keep up is a gamified exercise and falls prevention digital platform that has been created with and for older people using tablet-technology. It promotes access and engagement to exercise based on clinically proven routines, and improves awareness of nutrition, safety at home and health literacy.

Watch the film: Keep on Keep up


Highly Commended

Energy Market Innovation with UrbanChain: Richard Banach & Somayeh Taheri

This project is a partnership with UrbanChain to develop an energy trading platform using blockchain and artifical intelligencetechnologies that can reduce energy bills for households by up to 50% and for SMEs by up to 40%.

ESOL Stepping Stones: Sharon Freeman, Ludovica Serretrice, Elena Lieven, Katy Finch, Helen Allwood & Thea Cameron-Faulkner

ESOL Stepping Stones provides a high quality, low cost, innovative English Language teaching programme for non-English speaking mothers. The programme combines language content and parenting information.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (local)

Student winner

Have you heard?: Jason Chu, Donna Littlewood, Jack Barton, Katie Downes, Luke Chaplin, Maddy Hurry, Julieta O’Flaherty, Marina Rosca, Katie Walwyn-Brown, Mike Daniels, Kirsty McIntyre & Aidan Rooney

“The group were buzzing to have been nominated, let alone actually win a MAD Award. This was a wonderful achievement for the team. We’re all reinvigorated to progress our mission of connecting adults with science in a community setting and clearing the haze that often surrounds scientific news.” Jason Chu, Award winner

Have You Heard? is a project set up by a small group of scientists and students at the University of Manchester with theaim of providing the public with the tools to clear the haze that often surrounds scientific news stories in the news in this troubling era of ‘fake news’.

Watch the film: Have you heard?

Staff winner

Knead for speed: Adrian Harwood & Alistair Revell

“It was great that our work was recognised with a MAD award, and a privilege to be picked out from the range of fantastic things going on here. We originally trialled it at my daughters’ school and her friends keep asking me to bring it back! The project was particularly enjoyable as it was closely linked to our research and involved almost all of our group. I think this was important as it demonstrates that quite complex industrial research can, with a bit of imagination, be tweaked to be relevant for an audience of any age.” Adrian Harwood and Alistair Revell, Award winners.

This project introduces 250 school children from across Greater Manchester to computer modelling of air flow together with virtual reality. It is based on technology developed as part of a research programme funded by Jaguar Land-Rover.

Watch the film: Knead for speed

Staff Highly Commended

Humanising the Sciences: Nick Weise

Through interdisciplinary collaboration with colleagues from Arts and Humanities, Nick has acted to broaden the reach of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology’s public programme with research to audiences not traditionally served by science outreach initiatives.

Dental care for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants

Joanne Cunliffe

Through this unique initiative, Dentistry students are providing free dental care to refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in Greater Manchester. The project is both expanding the clinical experience of our students, as well as providing valuable services to displaced individuals who lack access to dental care.

Still Life pilot: Still Life Pilot Team

Still Life brings together women who have experienced stillbirth, researchers, midwives and creative practitioners to raise awareness of stillbirth, and engage the public with the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre’s research on the placenta and stillbirth.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (national)


Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre: Claire McGourlay & Fintan Walker

“It was an honour to receive the award. Winning the award made me feel like our work had not gone unnoticed and that it was appreciated. It has meant that the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre has been promoted internally and externally”. Claire McGourlay, Award winner

The Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre, one of four across the country, provides law students with a unique opportunity to investigate cases of people convicted of serious crimes who are maintaining their innocence. They are part of a national network raising awareness and sharing skills.

Watch the film: Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre

Highly Commended

Orchid Pollinator Experience: Rachel Webster, Minsung Kim & Noah Mabey

The Orchid Pollinator Experience was created as an engaging virtual reality world giving people an insect-eye view of orchid pollination. Aiming to highlight the importance of pollinators in the environment and prompt discussions about threats to orchid species, the experience toured 5 shows in 2018 reaching about 12,000 people.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (international)

Staff Highly Commended

Project Malawi 2018: Team of Project Malawi 2018

A team from the Computing at Schools Regional Centre and the School of Computer Science ran a pilot project to bring computing to pupils and teachers in schools in Malawi. In 2018, a new team visited the same area and implemented a number of lessons learnt from the pilot, including a more gender-balanced team and improved training and support for teachers to make the impact more sustainable.

Changing perceptions of disability with conflict survivors: Ruth Daniel & In Place of War Team

In Place of War has delivered a programme using forum theatre to help change perceptions of those with disabilities facing stigmatisation in Northern Uganda that have been affected by the war. Forming a theatre company, with trainers from National Theatre UK, the group has delivered outreaches to over 1,000 people and started a process of changing attitudes towards disabled people.

The BBC Loneliness Experiment: Pamela Qualter, Christina Victor, Manuela Barreta, Claudia Hammond & Geraldine Fitzgerald

Loneliness affects most of us at some point in our lives. The BBC Loneliness Experiment aimed to collect new data on loneliness and discuss the findings via a radio series on BBC Radio 4 and The World Service.


Student Highly Commended

The Health Equity Voice: Rose Mary Nakame, Winfred Nakaweesi & Steven Twinomugisha

The Health Equity Voice project empowers health workers in Uganda to tell their stories of serving in rural public hospitals. These stories, together with those from young African leaders bridging the health inequality gaps, were profiled on a platform, curated to relevant stakeholders to inform budgeting, programming, policy, public opinion, and academia.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (public contribution)


‘YARAN’: Amir Keshmiri & Melina Safari

The ‘Yaran’ project is a successful initiative aimed at tackling mental health problems amongst Persian-speaking communities in Greater Manchester.

Watch the film: ‘YARAN’


Highly Commended

The CARMers group: Yvonne Awenat, Patricia Gooding, Gillian Haddock, Dan Pratt & Charlotte Huggett

The CARMers group comprises eight individuals with lived-experience of mental health problems who generously contribute their highly personal lived-experience perspectives enabling researchers to produce research that is grounded in real life needs.

The AudioLab & The MixLab: Jemma Tanswell

Jemma has co-led The AudioLab and MixLab projects which have engaged young people seeking employment with science. As well as fostering creative partnerships between talented young creatives and researchers from multiple disciplines across the University.

A Rubbish Night at the Museum: Sherilyn MacGregor, Simon Pardoe , Anna Bunney & Claudia Alonso

This community-led event gave voice to a common concern about rubbish in neighbourhoods across the city. It translated results of a research project and drew on contributions from a wide range of people to produce an interactive and well-attended event.

Outstanding public engagement initiative (cultural institutions)


Shabtis in schools: Amy McDowall, Cat Lumb & Campbell Price

“We were incredibly proud to win the award and it was wonderful to be able to invite our hard-working partners to the celebration event. Being able to say “award-wining project” certainly helped the publicity of the next phase of the work, which helps ensure quality partnerships for years to come.” Amy McDowall, Award winner

This is a ground-breaking engagement project between museum curators, learning experts, and Manchester educators to develope a whole-school activity around an ancient Egyptian shabtis displayed in schools.

Watch the film: Shabtis in schools

Highly Commended

Race Relations road show: Catherine Millan

This project has been designed to help schools diversify the curriculum through literature by creating and giving free books and workshops to children and young people in schools across Manchester.

Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion


Diversity Champions: Catherine Millan

The Diversity Champions project is a hate crime prevention project that uses Holocaust education as a foundation to teach young people about equality and human rights to reduce hate crime across schools and communities in Manchester.

Watch the film: Diversity Champions


Highly Commended

An Afternoon with The Family Gorgeous: Peter Fallon, Michelle Scott & Deborah Ward

This collaboration between Manchester Museum and Manchester drag collective Family Gorgeous, brings queer storytelling to museum objects in an afternoon of tours and cabaret.

Diverse Voices: Angelia Wilson

Angelia has established the Diverse Voices Chair’s Commission and Doctoral Scholarship Fund alongside a broad range of programmes that engender equality and widen participation of a diversity of students in politics and in the political science profession.

Educate Africa: Saralees Nadarjah & Martin Wiegand

The Educate Africa initiative has been created to provide higher education to African students that are most in need. It provides free year round weekend lectures and weekly email support to students in 18 African countries, boosting student career prospects.

Outstanding professional services for social responsibility


#Let’sTalk Lynch: Craig Whittall

“The Making A Difference Award gave the entire team a feeling of recognition for the work that had gone into the #LetsTalkLynch campaign. The award also demonstrated the University’s confidence in the project, which was useful when approaching new individuals and organisations to get them involved. The national policy change which the campaign was designed to call for is now well underway, and will soon be saving lives that could otherwise have been lost to bowel cancer. Our Making A Difference Award has been instrumental in getting the word out there that research here at The University of Manchester is capable of changing lives for the better.” Craig Whittall, Award winner.

Craig of Policy@Manchester ran a highly successful #LetsTalkLynch national media campaign on the genetic condition Lynch Syndrome, highlighting the need for women diagnosed with womb cancer to be systematically screened for this disorder, in order to inform their treatment and improve outcomes.

Highly Commended

Levelling the Playing Field: Andrew Whitmore, Caroline Everson, Janet Willis, Alex Jones, Meghan Yang and Marilyn King

Levelling the Playing Filedsets out to improve the employability outcomes of students from widening participation backgrounds through the provision of bespoke services and activities, such as work experience bursaries and internships.

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability


SmartWorks: Holly Seager, Mariana Pinheiro, Alice Hope, Amy Rose & Ella Jo Moncrieffe

“It was wonderful to be recognised for our work. The recognition spurred me on to make this year’s efforts event bigger than last year’s.” Holly Seager, Award winner.

The Atrium Green Impact ran a campaign to collect clothes from staff to provide smart clothing for local women attending job interviews.

Watch the film: SmartWorks


Highly Commended

The Legal Advice Centre paperless initiative: Chloe McEvoy & Fintan Walker

The School of Law’s Legal Advice Centre has been providing free legal advice to the local community for ten years. In a bid to reduce their impact on the environment, in 2018 they went completely paperless.

International standard to reduce aircraft emissions: Paul Williams

Paul has been involved in an international collaboration to develop a measurement standard, which will reduce the emissions of soot from large aircraft engines.

Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Staff Winner

Pathways to Law: Saba Mirshafiei, Ruth Lamont, Nicky Butler, Javier Garcia Oliva & Laura Littlewood

“I was delighted that our programme won the Making a Difference award for Widening Participation! It was a real confidence boost to receive this recognition from colleagues and to know that we had so much support in the community and legal sector too as we also won the public vote. Being able to celebrate this award and publicise it to our supporters, colleagues and community has only served to strengthen and promote the programme further. I’m sure this recognition will serve well in our aspirations to continue supporting young people in the future too.” Saba Mirshafiei, Award winner.

The Pathways to Law programme inspires and supports academically-able state school students in years 12 and 13 from under-represented backgrounds who are interested in a career in law.

Watch the film: Pathways to Law


Staff Highly Commended

Supporting diverse trainee teachers: Lisa Murtagh, Andy Howes, Liz Bircinall, Rebecca Phillips, Conrad Chapman & Hannah Strickland

This highly effective use of resources supports the recruitment of diverse groups of teacher trainees accompanied by experienced coaches to support vulnerable groups throughout their PGCE year.

No Recourse!: Rubina Jasani & Jenna Murray de Lopez

The No Recourse! project is a research partnership with Manchester-based organisation Women Asylum Seekers Together. The project trains female asylum seekers to become community researchers.


Student Winner

FunFair : Andreea Avramescu, Raimi Mahtab, Pachara Leohreanu, Monica Voina, Patricia Perez-Palma, Isaac Campbell, Laura Walker & Tinale Li

FunFair is a student-led initiative aimed at primary school children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Together with more than 100 volunteers, FunFair team has welcomed more than 300 children and teachers to the Campus in the past 2 years, for a day full of activities.

Watch the film: FunFair

Student Highly Commended

Woman of science: Rhys Archer

Rhys has been a Widening Participation Fellow for 5 years and a Manchester Access Programme tutor for 4 years. She also founded a campaign to encourage more girls in science and engineering called Women of Science.

PEWS: Louise Egan & Carmen Ionita

Psychology Education and Wellbeing in Schools Project is a well-established and positively evaluated widening participation initiative which has been a collaboration with a local WP school for the last five years.


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.

Watch the film: HeadStart learning


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.

Watch the film: Everyday 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.

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.

Watch the film: Dental service learning

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.

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.

Our Research Your Life: Dr Joanne Pennock and Team, School of Biological Sciences

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


#Huckathon: 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.

Watch the film: #Huckathon


Highly Commended

IMPACT: 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.

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 engagement initiative (local)

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.

Watch the film: One Student, One Campus, One World


Highly Commended (staff)

Be//Longing: 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.

Watch the film: Homeless Healthcare Student Society


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 engagement initiative (national)


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.

Watch the film: The Robot Orchestra Collective


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 engagement initiative (international)


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.

Watch the film: Team Uganda


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 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.

Watch the film: The H@PPI Forum


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 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.

Watch the film: Whitworth Outdoor Programme


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.

Watch the film: Memories of Partition


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.

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 services 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 Share is 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.

Watch the film: The Great Science Share for Schools


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.

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 delivered themed 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.

Watch the film: The Infinity Festival


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.

Watch the film: Widening Participation Fellow


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.

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 commitment

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.

Watch the film: Social Sciences Pre-University Courses


Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Winner – staff

The Creative Entrepreneurial Programme In Place of War: Ruth Daniel and Teresa Bean, School of Arts Languages and Culture

Watch the film: The Creative Entrepreneurial Programme In Place of War

Highly commended

Computing At School: David Rydeheard & Sarah Zaman, School of Computer Science. Team members: Dave Ames; Carol Murray; Carl Simmons

Archaeology in the Classroom: Dr Melanie Giles, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology, Archaeology/SALC


Access All Areas: Memona Shahid, Pharmacy, School of Health Sciences

Watch the film: Access All Areas


Highly commended

Women of Science: Rhys Archer, School of Materials, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Manchester Access Programme Medicine and Dentistry Simulation Day: Lead student ambassadors/organisers: Dalal Barahman, MBChB Medicine; Ismail Khalil DBS Dentistry; Muhammad Anss, MBChB Medicine; Umair Khan, MBChB Medicine

Outstanding contribution to social enterprise


The Science League: Hamza Arsbi, MSc International Development, Global Development Institute

Watch the film: The Science League


Highly commended

Brighter World UK: Cheryl Latham, Alliance Manchester Business School

Levenshulme Market CIC: Helen Power, Alumni Officer. Team members: Paul Bower and Amanda Finch

Outstanding benefit to society through research


Early parent-mediated social intervention for autism: Prof Jonathan Green, Division of Neuroscience & Experimental Psychology. Team members: Dr Shruti Garg; Dr Kathy Leadbitter; Dr Catherine Aldred; Dr Carol Taylor

Watch the film: Early parent-mediated social intervention for autism


Highly commended

Reaching out with Psychological First Aid to children and parents affected by war: Dr Aala El-Khani. Team members: Professor Rachel Calam and Dr Kim Cartwright

Producing urban asylum—shaping policies for the housing of asylum seekers in Britain: Dr Jonathan Darling, School of Environment, Education and Development


Emerging impact

PhD: Reframing water efficiency: towards interventions that reconfigure the shared and collective aspects of everyday water use: Dr Claire Hoolohan, MACE, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change

Outstanding public engagement initiative

Staff—Joint winners

The Lived Experience of Climate Change: A Story of One Piece of Land in Dhaka: Dr Joanne Jordan, Lecturer in Climate Change and Development, Global Development Institute, School of Environment, Education and Development

Watch the film: The Lived Experience of Climate Change: A Story of One Piece of Land in Dhaka

Reaching out with Psychological First Aid to children and parents affected by war: Dr Aala El-Khani. Team members: Professor Rachel Calam and Dr Kim Cartwright

Watch the film: Reaching out with Psychological First Aid to children and parents affected by war


Highly commended

#BritainBreathing: #BritainBreathing team: Sheena Cruickshank; Andy Brass; Jennie Evans; Lamiece Hassan; Hannah Hope; Caroline Jay; Jon Kudlick; Natasha Little; Indira McClean; Markel Vigo (Infection, Immunity & Respiratory Medicine, FBMH and School of Computer Sciences, FSE)

Everyday Austerity Exhibition: Dr. Sarah Marie Hall, Geography, School of Environment, Education and Development

Cloudy with a Chance of Pain at Manchester Day 2016: Professor Will Dixon, School of Biological Sciences. Team members: Louise Cook; Rebecca Barnard; Carolyn Gamble; Dr Jamie Sergeant; Dr John McBeth and David Schultz; Earth and Atmospheric Sciences


CATS (Cancer Awareness in Teenagers and young people Society): James Adams, MRes Public Health, School of Medicine

Watch the film: CATS


Cultural institution—Winner

Circuit: Whitworth Young Contemporaries (WYC) Engagement programme and Warp Festival: Andrew Vaughan, Learning Manager and Sally Thelwell, Youth Engagement Assistant, The Whitworth

Watch the film: Circuit and Warp Festival


Highly commended

Bluedot Festival: Professor Teresa Anderson and Professor Tim O’Brien, Director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre & Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Observatory, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre

Language Baby: Amy Jones, Early Years Programme Coordinator, The Whitworth and Helen Allwood, Centre Manager, LuCiD (ESRC International Centre for Language and Communicative Development)

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility


Prefigurative architectures: Dr Leandro Minuchin, Architecture, School of Environment Education and Development

Watch the film: Prefigurative architectures

Highly commended

Teaching Measurement and Control to 400 Engineering Students using Mobile Robots and Quadcopters: Andy Weightman, School of Mechanical, Aerospace ACE. Team members: Eddie Whitehouse and Andrew Kennaugh

Criminology in Action: Dr Jo Deakin and Dr Claire Fox, Senior Lecturers, BA Criminology, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Law

Education Partnership in Africa: Joseph Mutule, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Outstanding contribution to equality and diversity


Voice and communication groups for trans individuals: Dr Sean Pert, School of Health Science

Watch the film: Voice and communication groups for trans individuals

Highly commended

Creative methodology to explore the social problems of hearing loss in marginalised communities: Sheila Fidler, Senor Clinical Lecturer. Team members: Dr Jenna Ashton and Dr Tim Wilding. Students: Aftab.Mohy-ud-Din; Najmin Hoq; Rumannah Chothia

We Get It in Pharmacy: A Student Ambassador Project: Dr Sally Freeman and Professor Kaye Williams, Reader & Professor, Division of Pharmacy & Optometry


Manchester Open Mind Network: Sakib Moghal: BA Geography. Team members: Saqib Mahmood; Usman Khan; Hana Jafar; Nomaan Zubair; Irum Islam; Laura Grant; Maria-Louisa Pelidis, Matea Balabanovska

Watch the film: Manchester Open Mind Network

Inspiring communities

Community partner—Winner

Dr Peter and Mrs Julie Mohr, Volunteers, Museum of Medicine and Health

Watch the film: Volunteering


Highly commended

Ashley Dean, National Trust ranger

Dr Matthew Sullivan, Senior Lecturer, MMU

The Health eResearch Centre’s Patient and Public Involvement (H@PPI) Forum, Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Science, School of Health Sciences, FBMH.


The Dementia Law Clinic: Neil Allen, School of Law

Watch the film: The Dementia Law Clinic


Highly commended

Voluntary work with the homeless and youth work for over 30 years: Lenox Green, School of Mathematics

Initial Teacher Education: Over 150 years of producing inspiring teachers for local communities: Dr David Spendlove, Manchester Institute of Education, School of Environment, Education and Development. Team members: Dr Lisa Muragh; Liz Birchnall; Rebecca Phillips; Lousia Dawes; Dr Andrew Howes; plus Tutors and School Liaison in Initial Teacher Education


CAN/The Big Change: Chijioke Anosike (Cj): Development Studies and Politics, School of Social Science

Watch the film: CAN/The Big Change


Highly commended

Sexpression Manchester: Joanna Melville, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. Team members: Caitlin Astbury; Daisy Manning; Phillip Cowman; Kate Uprichard; Sally Robinson, FMBH

Advocating for all: Simren Singh, School of Law

Promoting Cultural Engagement in Local and Global Community: Wenling Ding, School of Arts, Languages and Culture

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability


Future dentists—New emphasis on environmental sustainability and social responsibility: Dr Vitalia Kinakho, Lecturer, Division of Dentistry

Watch the film: Future dentists


Highly commended

Green Impact and Sustainability at The University of Manchester—a green Impact workshop for UoM flagship widening participation initiative—The Manchester Gateways Programme: Green Impact Team Rutherford Building: Louise Rowbotham; Roz Webster; Amy Barnett; Lisa Donnelly

Outstanding professional support services, library and cultural institutions' support for social responsibility

Joint winner

The Inflatable Museum: Jack Ridley, Inflatable Museum Coordinator. Team members: Menaka Munro and Steve Walsh

Watch the film: The Inflatable Museum

The Great Science Share 2016: Dr Lynne Bianchi, Director of SEERIH, The Science & Engineering Education Research and Innovation Hub, Faculty of Science & Engineering

Watch the film: The Great Science Share 2016

Highly commended

Christmas Dinner: Hospitality and Events Team

eTekkatho Digital Library: Yin Tun, Project Manager and Catherine Walton, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Special Award

The Sustainability Challenge: Student Development & Community Engagement Division

Watch the film: The Sustainability Challenge


Outstanding benefit to society through research

Professor Claire Alexander, School of Social Sciences
History Lessons/History Matters: creating a diverse history curriculum

Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility
Inspiring Communities

Winner – staff

The CPR World Record Attempt Team: Patricia Conaghan (SNMSW), Christopher Cutts (Pharmacy), Lucy Hallam (Students’ Union), Sara Harris (NWAS), Janet Makin (University First Aid), Millie Loxton & Emma Richardson (Volunteering Team), Ellen Stephenson (Sports Volunteering), Katy Lenney & Ella Berrington (NursSoc) World Record Attempt: most people in a CPR relay

Winner – student

Ilyas Nagdee, student in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Ramaden Tent Project


Outstanding public engagement initiative

Winner – staff

Collaboration between Faculty of Life Sciences and Manchester Museum
Dr. Lidija McKnight, Dr. Campbell Price, Dr. Stephanie Atherton-Woolham, Anna Bunney and Victoria Grant


Winner – student

Madagascar Medical Expedition Team: James Penney, Hannah Russell, Anthony Howe, Cortland Linder, Stephen Spencer—Manchester Medical School
Expedition to Madagascar


Winner – cultural institutions

Ed Watts, The Whitworth
Danger! Men at Work

Outstanding professional support services support for social responsibility

Michelle Kipling, Alliance Manchester Business School
Business in the Community (BiTC) Business Class Partnership with Whalley Range and Levenshulme High School Education and Leadership Trust

Outstanding contribution to widening participation

Winner – staff

Careers Service Widening Participation Team
Widening particpation work


Winner – student

Ilyas Nagdee, student in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Sustained commitment to widening participation work over a period of time

Outstanding contribution to social enterprise

Dr Nicola Banks, School of Environment, Education and Development
Motorbike taxi savings and employment scheme

Inspiring Communities: public

Indira Mclean and Marianne Rushton, Bolton College
Teaching infection awareness via English lessons for non-native English speakers

Outstanding contribution to equality and diversity

Chad McGitchie, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum
Inclusion through recruitment

Outstanding professional support services, library and cultural institutions’ support for social responsibility: cultural institutions

Wendy Gallagher, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum
Health and Culture Programme

Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

Anna Gilchrist, School of Environment, Education and Development
The Tree Musketeers


All categories

Outstanding Benefit to Society Through Research

Professor Adisa Azapagic, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science

The team developed easy to use software tools to make carbon calculations over the life cycle of industrial activities – providing ‘cradle to grave’ carbon footprint estimates for commercial products. It allows companies to reduce their impact on the environment and get new insights on carbon hotspots, at a minimum cost.


Outstanding Public Engagement Award

Simon Stones, Undergraduate Student, Faculty of Life Sciences

Simon works locally, nationally and internationally to represent children and young people coping with the challenges of long-term conditions having lived with several long-term conditions himself. He engages with youngsters to identify their main concerns and shape research and healthcare provision for the future. He is also a representative for the National Institute for Health Research and Arthritis Research UK.

“I was delighted to win one of the Making a Difference awards, not just for me, but for all of the people that I have, and continue to work with, in our mission to improve the lives of children and young people with chronic diseases. This award has exposed our collaborative research to a variety of people, who wish to become involved in our work, which is truly amazing!” Simon Stones, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences with Industrial/Professional Experience Undergraduate

Outstanding Public Engagement Award

Dr David Allison, Manchester Pharmacy School

David has raised the profile of science and pharmacy outside the classroom through innovative co-produced community open days. The ‘From Bugs to Drugs’ events enabled local disadvantaged youngsters and their families to explore the drug development process including antibiotic resistance, through a series of fun, interactive hands-on activities.

“Having colleagues believe in you is reward in itself. In the end, however, it’s about the work (and whether it makes a difference), not an award you may get for your work.” Dr David G. Allison, Reader in Pharmacy Education

Outstanding Aspiring Social Enterprise of the Year

Ruth Daniel, Co-Director, In Place of War, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

Ruth created a ground-breaking entrepreneurial programme to empower the world’s most marginalised communities by identifying the gap between creativity and the ability to make a living from it. This free educational programme, with case studies from over 40 countries, provides skills, boosts employability and reduces the risk of poverty and substance abuse among disengaged young people

“It is amazing getting the recognition from colleagues at The University of Manchester for our endeavours with In Place of War. It has given us to confidence to expand and develop our work and since receiving the award we have received over £400,000 of funding. This is such an important milestone for In Place of War and our hugely important international work in communities suffering the consequences of conflict.” Ruth Daniel, Co-Director, In Place of War


Outstanding Social Enterprise of the Year

Helen Power, Division of Development and Alumni Relations

Helen delivered and expanded the ‘endangered’ Levenshulme Market as the UK’s only community interest company market, to improve the retail environment in the beleaguered high street. The profits are now being used to offer community grants to those who want to set up or develop their own businesses and stalls on the family-friendly site.


Outstanding Local Community Collaboration Award

Dr Tine Buffel, School of Social Sciences, Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)

Tine worked with elderly residents, community organisations and Manchester City Council to identify strategies to improve the ‘age-friendliness’ of local neighbourhoods. Older co-researchers from different ethnic groups were trained to interview ‘difficult to reach’ residents, who were experiencing issues such as poverty and social exclusion, about their needs.

“The Making a Difference Award is a great acknowledgement of the work that can be done with local communities to co-produce research that can have a positive impact on the quality of life of older people living in the city.” Tine Buffel, Research Fellow, School of Social Sciences, Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing [MICRA]


Outstanding Contribution to Widening Participation

Helen Chilton and Professor Wendy McCracken, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences

The ‘Kids on campus’ scheme allows deaf primary school children to become University of Manchester students for the day while trainee teachers of the deaf teach them. It fosters partnerships with schools and promotes higher education to youngsters often less advantaged in terms of aspirations and under- represented at Russell Group universities.

“Winning the Making a Difference Award for Social Responsibility was a surprise! What this means is that the University recognises that inspiring children who are deaf is important if we want a world without barriers.” Wendy McCracken, Professor in Deaf Education

“I’m proud to work for a university where social responsibility is a key goal. The project is a credit to the students and children who take such an active and central part.” Helen Chilton, Lecturer in Deaf Education


Outstanding Contribution to Equality and Diversity Award (student)

Sundas Chohan, Student, Faculty of Life Sciences

Sundas formed an international branch of the Faculty’s Postgraduate Society in an attempt to improve the student experience
for international postgraduate students. This encouraged them to take a more active part in University life, tackled issues around language and culture and boosted international recruitment by creating the best possible study environment.

“There is always room for improvement and always challenges to face. The award goes to show that any student, if they put their mind to it, can make a difference. I am honoured to receive this prestigious award.” Sundas Chohan, Undergraduate Student


Outstanding Professional Support Services for Social Responsibility

Alex Waddington, Communications and Marketing Team, Faculty of Humanities

Project: Alex devised and delivered policy@manchester initiatives, created to improve the real world influence and dissemination of the University’s research. Its policy engagement programme led to the development of Manchester Policy Weeks and the first ever staging of a Select Committee evidence session at the University in November 2014.

“Winning the award was a special moment in my University career. It not only gave me renewed pride and passion for my work, but it has also helped to boost the profile and reputation on my team and the good work we are doing.” Alex Waddington, Editorial and Engagement Manager, Policy@Manchester


Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Sustainability (student)

Gabriele Schliwa, Student, School of Environment, Education and Development

Manchester Cycling Lab has turned the city into a real life laboratory for the study of cycling. It has created connections between the University and transport, cycling and sustainability stakeholders across Manchester and Europe more widely. The University is now a major player in promoting and supporting sustainability mobility.

“Having the work of the Manchester Cycling Lab acknowledged through the Making a Difference Award really motivated me to continue working on collaborative research methods and provided a great platform to communicate that my research is not only about the bike, but about social change.” Gabriele Schliwa, PhD Researcher in Human Geography


Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Sustainability (staff)

Kevin Casey, Ian Jarvey and the Procurement Team, Directorate of Finance

The team put together an action plan on environmental sustainability that refreshed policies and practices and included reducing supplier deliveries from five days a week to three. It also gave all the University’s suppliers the opportunity to develop their own sustainability action plan to help support them on how to make a difference.


Outstanding Curriculum Innovation Award

Shelia Fidler, Human Communication and Deafness, School of Psychological Sciences

Shelia used portrait photography and one-to-one interviews to encourage healthcare science students to engage with those who have become deaf, explore their real life experiences and adopt a person-centred approach. It also stimulated thinking about hearing loss among the wider community and is being developed into an on-line learning resource.

“It was a great privilege to receive The Making a Difference Award for the most innovative curriculum. This award is confirmation that forming partnerships to help foster creativity across art and science, to explore the complexities and challenges of living with acquired hearing loss, is recognised as both valuable and original.” Sheila Fidler, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Audiology


Outstanding Contribution to Equality and Diversity Award (staff)

Dr Hamied Haroon, Research Associate in FMHS and Co-Chair of the University’s Disabled Staff Network and Melanie Sharpe, IT Services

Hamied and Melanie organised and hosted ‘What Are We Hiding???’; the first ever national conference of the UK’s Disabled Workforce. Aimed at combating the prejudices faced by disabled people in the world of work, particularly those with non-visible and mental health problems, it explored ‘hidden’; disabilities and the ‘hidden’; contribution disabled employees make to the nation’s economy.


Special Award for Sustained Contribution to Public Engagement

Science Spectacular

The team organise the Science Spectacular which celebrates the wonder, diversity and impact of research taking place at The University of Manchester in one flagship annual event. Run as part of the Manchester Science Festival, it’s a place for researchers to showcase activities and try out new ideas and in 2014 it attracted more than 1,700 visitors.