University Alliance Awards celebrate creativity and collaboration

A socially-distanced laboratory in a sports hall is one of the initiatives singled out in this year’s ceremony

The second annual Alliance Awards have recognised the extraordinary efforts made during the pandemic by academic and professional services projects, teams and individuals.

The awards are organised by University Alliance (UA), the mission group for professional and technical universities, to recognise and celebrate the hard work and dedication of those working in UA universities.

The winners were announced in a live online ceremony on 23 June, and will receive a specially commissioned University Alliance medal made by Birmingham City University’s Jewellery School.

“The last year has not been without its challenges, but Alliance universities have been at the forefront of navigating and supporting their institutions and communities through these difficulties, and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate the hard work and dedication of colleagues from across the Alliance at our awards today,” said University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson.

“The way our universities have come together during the pandemic has demonstrated the best of our Alliance, and the strength of our collective. I am truly honoured to be the CEO of such an inspiring group of institutions.

“I am pleased that through these awards we can recognise those individuals and teams who have gone the extra mile and demonstrated those behaviours and values that we as a group of universities feel are important.

“We received over 100 nominations from across our universities; from the estates teams to senior leaders, post-graduate researchers to the student unions – it was inspiring to hear about all the fantastic work happening across the Alliance, and I know the judges had a difficult task in picking the winners.

“I congratulate and commend all those shortlisted and look forward to seeing how all the nominated individuals, projects and teams continue to deliver impact for the communities they serve beyond the Alliance Awards 2021.”

This year also saw the addition of a new award to champion UA’s Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA) alumni.

Alliance Awards 2021: Winners

Alliance Award: Coventry University’s music technology team, for developing an internationally collaborative music creation project.

Innovation Award: University of South Wales Research Team, who developed a rapid diagnostic test for Covid-19, and Kingston University research team, who undertook co-produced research on end-of-life care for people with learning disabilities during the pandemic

Star Award: Tracey John, director of research, business and innovation at UWE Bristol, for her energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the wellbeing of her team.

Braveheart Award: Dr Louise Taylor-Bunce, principal lecturer for student experience, Oxford Brookes University, for her work in developing anti-racist practices.

Professionals Award: Staff at the University of Greenwich schools of science and engineering, for transforming the sports hall on campus into a laboratory to deliver practical learning.

Doctoral Training Alliance Alumni Award: Molly Browne, Coventry University for having a positive impact upon peers and demonstrating a collaborative, supportive and collegiate approach

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