Projects that saw researchers working together with local pharmacists on interventions for drug users, co-creating digital health technologies, and working with the volunteering sector in Sierra Leone are among those shortlisted for the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards 2021.
Record number of applications
We at the Public Engagement Unit have been thrilled by the response to the call for applications for this year's Engage Awards, receiving the most submissions for the Awards since we began running the scheme in 2013. Whittling down the applications to a shortlist was certainly a hard task for the judging panel, chaired by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jonathan Knight, and made up of Marianne Ellis (Head of Department of Chemical Engineering), Janet Bultitude (Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology and winner of Leadership Engage Award 2019), Dom Galliano (Head of Public Engagement at University College London) and Emily Malik (Director of EcoWild). However, after much deliberation locked in a Microsoft Teams breakout room for three hours, the panel are delighted to reveal the shortlist.
This category aims to reward projects that have successfully shared research knowledge with people outside of the University. The shortlisted applicants are:
- Ben Ainsworth, Lecturer, Department of Psychology, for Germ Defence, a web-based app that gives evidence-based advice, using behaviour change techniques to improve people’s infection control at home.
- Jo Daniels, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, for her media engagement surrounding her research on the impact of psychological distress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Naomi Heffer and Mike Richardson, Doctoral Students, Department of Psychology, for their work sharing research around sensation, perception and cognition.
- Tiffany Taylor, Department of Biology & Biochemistry, for the children's books she's authored around topics of genetics and evolution.
This category aims to reward projects that have successfully worked with people and public groups outside of academia. The shortlisted applicants are:
- Alice Chadwick El-Ali, Doctoral Student, Department of Social & Policy Sciences, for her work with a Sierra Leonean network of volunteering organisations to co-produce platforms for dialogue and discussion about the role of young volunteers during the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.
- Katie Maras, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, for her work with Avon and Somerset Police to improve services for autistic people in the criminal justice system.
- Jenny Scott, Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, for her work with people who use illicit drugs and those who deliver frontline care from pharmacies on interventions to improve take-up of emergency medication by drug users during the COVID-19 emergency.
The Award will recognise a strong commitment to public engagement and promoting learning among researchers. For this category, we asked applicants to submit a portfolio of activity that demonstrated how their work in their department has influenced and encouraged others to engage with public groups. Chris Budd, Department of Mathematical Sciences, is the applicant who made the shortlist for this category and as part of the judging process, Chris has been asked to give a six-minute presentation to the judging panel.
Local and Civic Engagement
This category aims to reward projects, teams and individuals that have made outstanding civic contributions on behalf of the University. The shortlisted applicants are:
- Josh Hale, Volunteer Coordinator, The SU Bath, for his work with charity, social enterprise, faith and voluntary organisations across Bath and North East Somerset with 3SG.
- PPE Project, submitted by Alex Lunt, Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, for the production of personal protective equipment for the NHS during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Julie Morton, Programme Manager, Vice-Chancellor's Office, for the Beyond the Car project that brought together researchers, local councillors and policymakers, residents and organisations such as Sustrans and the Royal United Hospitals to explore issues around air pollution and transport.
Join us to celebrate
We warmly invite you to join us, the Vice-Chancellor and the shortlisted applicants for the Engage Awards presentation at our online Engage: Public Engagement in Practice 2021 event. The event is taking place on Friday 21 May 2021, 1-2pm, and will also feature the Public Engagement Showcase, an opportunity to experience first-hand the amazing engagement work happening across the University of Bath. Book your ticket in advance by filling out the Engage Public Engagement in Practice ticket registration form.
Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards 2021
Established in 2013, the Vice-Chancellor's Engage Awards aims to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of colleagues who engage people beyond the University with their research. Four categories of the Engage Awards focus on public engagement with research and are open to all Education and Research staff and doctoral students. New for the 2021 Awards, and reflecting the renewed strategic focus for the University, we've added a new fifth award category - Local and Civic Engagement - which is open to staff from all job families and doctoral students.
Dean Veall is Deputy Head of Public Engagement at the University of Bath