Our award-winners

November 26, 2021, by Isabel Bleach

Arts researchers double triumph at university Oscars

I’m delighted to share that Dr Heike Bartel (Cultures, Languages and Area Studies) won the THE Award for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. In a ceremony last night, Heike was recognised for her work to raise awareness of eating disorders in males. The project ‘Hungry for Words’ has generated new resources that have won the endorsement of three key medical bodies and reached over 500,000 medical practitioners. Watch the latest video on Heike’s research.

In another award success, Professor Louise Mullaney (English) and Dr Loretta Trickett (Nottingham Trent University) won the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community. Their grass-roots community project on gender hate crime became a global beacon, highlighting the long neglected issue of street harassment, violence and abuse of women and girls in public spaces.

Congratulations to all involved in the winning projects, to Dr Ravinder Anand-Ivell (Biosciences) who was shortlisted for the Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year, and to the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Sciences, who were shortlisted for their virtual work experience project in the Widening Participation (WP) or Outreach Initiative of the Year.

Five-year research strategy: latest

Over the past few months, we have been working hard to involve our whole community in developing our five-year research strategy, in the context of the university’s ambitions and collective challenges. Thanks to all who contributed to our university-wide consultation. Your responses helped define our ambition for research for the longer term and will support the delivery of a step-change in our research quality and performance, and further strengthen our commitment to a dynamic and inclusive research community. We will continue to invite you to be part of the process at a series of town halls in early 2022, where we will discuss delivery of our research strategy for 2022-27 and how to achieve our objectives. Look out for updates in our research strategy pages.

One-year research strategy: progress so far

As we publish a new five-year strategy for research towards the end of 2021, I would like to share with you the progress we are making in our one-year strategy to July 2022,  to better support you and your research as we refresh our research activities, work to build capacity and stimulate recovery from the pandemic. You can read an update on our progress, which includes details of how to apply for the Flexible Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration Fund, for funding for an interdisciplinary research project through the University of Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Analytical Science (UNICAS), and find out how we are using funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, as well as additional funds from the university, to support a range of demonstrator projects, as part of our investment in digital platforms.

Building on the momentum of COP26

Our refreshed research strategy will build on the momentum of COP26 and give further impetus to our leading research groups in addressing such complex challenges. While COP26 may go down in history as a missed opportunity, the conference recognised the vital role of research in finding solutions to the climate emergency.

We held observer status at the conference and it was a privilege to share ideas during the event with colleagues, activists and government representatives.

I was struck by the extraordinary range of people, countries, businesses, NGOs, academics, activists, and country delegations, all gathered in a single place to witness and shape our future actions to prevent global heating rising.

It underlined the need to create, immediately, a new industrial revolution powered by sustainable innovations, while we mainstream restoration of biodiversity, develop new economic models that attribute value to natural assets, insure against climate disruption and mobilise recovery of communities and fragile environments and settlements and work only with supply chains certified to prevent deforestation.

I was also proud as our researchers shared insights into how our university and our collaborators are delivering solutions to climate change.

New toolkit: keeping our international partnerships safe

The integrity of international research collaboration is vital to the continued success of the UK’s research and innovation sector. Yet personal and research data, sensitive information and intellectual property are all at risk from theft or exploitation from those with their own military, commercial and authoritarian interests.

The university has responded by developing a Trusted Research Toolkit to support all researchers and colleagues who have international collaborations, particularly in STEM subjects, dual-use technologies, emerging technologies and commercially sensitive areas. The toolkit will help researchers identify and manage such risks.

If you are involved in international collaborations, complete a project notification form, which will help identify potential risks and ensure support is available at the earliest stage of your project.

You can read more in Campus News and find out more about the Trusted Research Toolkit and how to protect your international collaborations.

UNICAS funding

UNICAS, which funds and facilitates interdisciplinary research collaborations involving analytical science, is inviting applications for internal funding of up to £15,000.

Online sandpits invite you to network with fellow researchers, showcase your expertise, discuss challenges and find solutions. Following these events, you will be able to apply for funding for an interdisciplinary research project.

Upcoming sandpits:

  • Thursday 2 December, 1-4pm
  • Wednesday 15 December, 1-4pm
  • Wednesday 12 January, 1-4pm
  • Thursday 20 January, 1-4pm

Visit the UNICAS SharePoint for more information and to register for a sandpit or contact UNICAS Project Manager Dr Harinee Selvadurai

Knowledge transfer partnership with Isogenica Limited

Dr Yordan Raykov, who has recently joined the School of Computer Science, brings with him a £165,000 knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) that marks the beginning of a new research relationship between Nottingham and Isogenica Limited, a research biologics company that develops highly specialised antibodies for future clinical use. Dr Raykov will help develop a machine learning tool enabling the company to develop antibodies tailored to customers’ needs. The KTP includes Aston University.

Wellcome Leap award

Professor Cameron Alexander and Professor Snow Stolnik from the School of Pharmacy have secured £1 million as part of a successful $16 million proposal to Wellcome Leap for ‘Biofoundry-in-A-Box: Modular microfactories for powering the global Ribonucleic acid (RNA) production network’. This is our first success with Wellcome Leap, with few UK teams having won funding previously. The formulation of RNA therapeutics is a strategically important area, and this significant award will provide leverage in future UKRI and industry proposals. The project is led by Kings College London and includes Imperial College, Strathclyde University, and industry partners Quotient Sciences, Centillion Technology, Aqdot and CPI.

Award finalists

Professor Steve Morgan’s (Engineering) project iTraXS has been shortlisted for the Engineer’s 2021 Collaborate to Innovate Award for Healthcare and Medical. iTraXS aims to develop the next generation of endotracheal tubes, responding to an established clinical need for an optical sensor equipped tube and monitoring system to reduce harm and maximise benefit from endotracheal intubation in anaesthesia, emergencies and critical care. Winners will be revealed in early 2022.

Professor Paul Mizen (Economics) and his Decision Maker Panel team were finalists in the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize. Professor Mizen created the monthly Decision Maker Panel (DMP) survey in 2016 with colleagues at the Bank of England and Stanford University. For five years the DMP survey has provided near real-time data on business activity and uncertainty to inform critical policy decisions by the Bank of England and UK government in response to Brexit and Covid-19.

Festival of Social Sciences

The Festival of Social Sciences runs until the end of November, with further opportunities to participate in events hosted by the University of Nottingham:

What’s next for the Midlands economy after Covid and Brexit?
30 November 2021 1-2pm
(Chaired by Professor Sarah Hall of the School of Geography)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Work, Webinar 5: Inclusion in the digital workplace post Covid-19
30 November 2021 2-3pm
Dr Andri Georgiadou and Dr Arzu Kircal Sahin of Nottingham University Business School

Highly cited researchers

Dr Stamatios Sotiropoulos, and colleagues from the Computational Neuroimaging Group and Precision Imaging Beacon, have been named as authors of the most influential papers across all articles published in the prestigious journal Neuroimage over the past five years.

Dr Sotiropoulos is also in the Clarivate 2021 list for the most cited (top 1%) researchers worldwide in the field of neuroscience and behaviour.

Professor Gerardo Adesso of the School of Mathematical Sciences, Professor Morgan Alexander (Pharmacy), Dr Stephen Alexander (Life Sciences) Professor Malcolm Bennett (Biosciences) and Professor Clive Roberts (Pharmacy) are also among the most highly cited researchers in 2021

Citations to papers reflect the research having a significance in the field.  The university is a signatory of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). As such we commit to focus on the scientific content of a publication and value the impact of the research conducted, rather than any proxy measures such as Journal Impact Factor. In line with these principles of responsible metrics, h-index and other publication metrics are not an assessment criterion for promotion or reward.

Top technician

School of Chemistry Technician Lola Ogunyemi has been awarded best newcomer in the Papin Prizes, awarded at Higher Education Technicians Summit organised by Midlands Innovation. Lola picks up her award for exceptional promise.

International collaboration

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and University of Adelaide have joined forces to launch a new international food flavour facility to improve the taste of sustainable, healthy, plant-based food and ingredients. The new $2.5 million facility at the University of Adelaide’s Waite campus in South Australia, will expand the University of Nottingham’s International Flavour Research Centre (IFRC), and is supported by a major investment by v2food, a global leader in plant-based alternatives to meat.

International awards

Faculty of Engineering Emeritus Professor Terry Moore, former Director of the Nottingham Geospatial Institute, has become the first British academic to win the International Association of Institutes of Navigation’s prestigious John Harrison Award for outstanding contribution to navigation.

Professor of Stroke Medicine Philip Bath has received a highly coveted international award from the World Stroke Organization. Professor Bath has had a long and successful career in promoting and delivering high quality stroke research around the world and was the first Professor of Stroke Medicine in the UK.

Thank you once again for your support

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Professor Dame Jessica Corner

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange

Posted in research