August 22, 2023, by Rob Ounsworth

Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards: applications open

Professor Sam Kingman’s research update

Applications are open for the university’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards. 

The awards celebrate the contribution of our research to society and the economy. 

The deadline for applications is Monday 16 October 2023. 

To find out more and enter, please visit Knowledge Exchange and Impact Awards 2024. 

The awards are open to all disciplines and present an exciting opportunity for researchers to celebrate their achievements with colleagues, funders, collaborators and beneficiaries and raise awareness internally and externally of the exceptional work across the university.  

The winners will announced at an awards ceremony hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Shearer West on Thursday 1 February 2024 at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park.   

Please do share details of the awards and encourage colleagues to enter.
Categories cover KE and impact in each faculty, a new Rising Star award and a Vice Chancellor’s award.   

The application form mirrors that of the Research Excellence Framework Impact case studies, so the awards will not only celebrate success but help with our REF preparations! 

To tie in with the theme of knowledge exchange, I’m pleased to share further news of how our researchers are engaging with communities and our partners. 

Local community invited to shape research 

As part of the Universities for Nottingham initiative, we are teaming up with Nottingham Trent University and inviting people from the local community to tell them about challenges they are facing – so research can be conducted to help find solutions to their issues. 

Projects identified by the Co(l)laboratory programme will be led by PhD students from the community who are not necessarily from a traditional academic background. 

Zoo holograms 

Dr Lisa Yon of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science has teamed up with Twycross Zoo to produce holograms of critically endangered Javan rhinos and endangered African elephants.  The project is the first of its kind in a UK zoo and feature in an exhibition that opened this week at Twycross and aims to educate and inspire visitors. 

Toolkit to help children make healthy choices 

A new education toolkit to encourage healthy behaviours in children is being trialled in schools across Nottingham. The Nutrition Advisory Team has created the ‘Nutri Kit’ with support from the university’s Food Innovation Centre. It is being offered to30 schools in a pilot project. 

Nottingham to host national humanities festival  

The University of Nottingham has been chosen as one of just five places to host a Being Human Festival Hub. The festival celebrates arts and humanities research and demonstrates how it is directly relevant to people’s lives and interests. Further details about the festival will be announced later this year.

Fascinating insights into AI, black holes 

Artificial intelligence presents both huge challenges and opportunities for research and our commitment to securing a fairer world. Watch Dr Michel Valster of the School of Computer give some fascinating insights into how facial recognition technology is being used to help track mood in pregnant women in the BBCTV Panorama investigation, Beyond Human: Artificial Intelligence and Us. 

Also on BBC iPlayer, look out for Professor Silke Weinfurtner of the School of Physics and Astronomy explaining work at the amazing Black Hole Laboratory on the Sky at Night’s Black Holes: Searching for the Unknown. 

I am also delighted to share news of awards and personal successes. 

Double role at British Microcirculation and Vascular Biology Society 

Professor Lopa Leach of the School of Life Sciences has been elected President of the  British Microcirculation and Vascular Biology Society (BMVBS) and Dr Andrew Benest of the School of Medicine is the society’s new Honorary Secretary. 

BMVBS plays a major role in microcirculation organisations internationally and actively inputs into UK science policy, while providing support for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers. It is great news that the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences has such strong representation with this influential society. 

Second term for President of Royal Pharmaceutical Society 

Congratulations to Claire Anderson, Professor of Social Pharmacy, who been re-elected as President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for a second term. 

Brain tumour researcher receives Young Investigator Award 

Dr Tim Ritzmann has been awarded Young Investigator of the Year by the British Neuro-Oncology Society. The award, which is co-sponsored by Brain Tumour Research, recognises an early career researcher who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of neuro-oncology in the UK. Tim is a National Institute for Health and Care Research Academic Clinical Lecturer in Paediatric Oncology at Nottingham, where he and his colleagues are working to understand the underlying biology of paediatric ependymoma.  

Royal Society of Chemistry Enabling Technologies winner  

Professor Mike George of the School of Chemistry has won the Enabling Technologies category at the Royal Society of Chemistry Emerging Tech Competition. The award recognised the university’s continuous-flow Vortex Reactor, which is capable of Gram-to-10 Kilo Scale production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and fine chemicals from a small footprint. 

Welcome Leap award 

Jonathan Hirst, Katherine Inzani, David Rogers, Christopher Hayes (all Chemistry), David Brook and Rebecca Trueman (Life Sciences) have been awarded £500,000 by Welcome Leap. With partners Phasecraft and QuEUra Computing, the team is exploring how to harness the power of quantum computing with classical methods to tackle drug discovery for myotonic dystrophy, a severe, progressive condition that is the most frequent muscular dystrophy worldwide.  

This is only the second successful University of Nottingham-led proposal to Welcome Leap (the first such award saw Nottingham joining Wellcome Leap’s In Utero programme,) and the third with our involvement. 

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity award 

Dr James Dixon of the School of Pharmacy has been awarded £240,000 from Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to investigate a non-viral gene therapy for Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects early brain development.  

Guidance on the use of social media in research 

Finally, the university has published important new guidance on the use of social media in research. 

The distinction between public and private space has becomes increasingly blurred online, which has complex challenges for researchers and our commitment to conduct research to the highest ethical standards. 

Research staff and students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new Social Media Research Guidance , created by the University Research Integrity and Research Ethics Committee, and research leaders and supervisors are requested to bring it to the attention of their teams and students. 

The guidance is aimed at researchers who are planning to incorporate internet mediated research and social media content in their research. 

For any queries, please contact the Research Integrity and Compliance Team 

With thanks and best wishes


Professor Sam Kingman 

Interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange 


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