Shortlisted nominees announced for the Alliance Awards 2022


The shortlisted nominees for the Alliance Awards 2022 have been announced today (11th May 2022), with 33 individuals and teams recognised for their inspiring work across 7 categories. The Alliance Awards were established to celebrate hard work, dedication and excellence across some of the UK’s leading professional and technical universities.

Colleagues from across the Alliance membership and Doctoral Training Alliance-allied institutions submitted approximately 130 nominations for their talented peers. We called upon a panel of experts from across higher education to filter through and select a shortlist for each category – which was no mean feat! Our panellists included senior leaders from sector bodies including NCEE, Jisc and QAA, journalists from University Business and HEPI, and colleagues from research bodies like UKRI and UKCGE. All panellists emphasised how difficult it was to decide on a final shortlist.

Among the shortlisted are initiatives that provided students with immersive cultural experiences using virtual technology during the pandemic, research into phantom limb pain, supporting the health and wellbeing of university staff through music, and collaborations between students and staff to provide deeper insights into the experiences of Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnic students.

The winners from this talented and inspiring group of nominees will be announced at the Alliance Awards ceremony on 7th June, which is to be held at Kingston University’s award winning Town House building. Nominated teams and colleagues, Alliance staff and key stakeholders from across government, higher education and partnered industries will assemble for an evening of celebration.

Alliance Award

For the team or individual who have demonstrated great collaborative working whilst respecting and embracing different viewpoints

Professor Katherine Curtis and Nichole McIntosh addressed the issue of capacity in placement providers within London for healthcare students during the pandemic, by establishing A Rapid Action Placements Group. The group was co-chaired by Katherine and Nichole, and included the London Healthcare Education Group as well as universities across London, and the London HEE team. The group supported practice education continuation as well as placement capacity through multiple teaching innovations.

A collaborative project between the University of Brighton and Canterbury Christ Church University, this initiative enabled collaboration between students and staff at both institutions, to provide a deeper insight into the experiences of Black, Asian, Mixed Heritage and Minority Ethnic students undertaking practice placements in Health and Social Care and provided leadership placements for these students.

The Social Higher Education Depot, S.H.E.D, was launched in 2019 by Dr Rhiannon Jones, Associate Professor (Civic). The humble garden shed was born from cultural and socio-civic research into how spaces can be used for dialogue and how people interact with places and with one another. In July 2021, S.H.E.D. took the guise of Derby Voice, an installation involving nearly 300 young people from the city, creating murals, videos and audio installations.

Addressing concerns around the safety of women and girls across the UK, this project enabled collaboration between the University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Hertfordshire County Council and Crimestoppers – to investigate a number of projects focused on preventing violence against women and girls.

DTA Alumni Award

For the DTA alumnus who has demonstrated their commitment to one or more of the UA principles of: openness and honesty, professionalism and positivity, solutions-focused and impactful working, democratic and collaborative behaviour, an attitude that encourages fun and enjoyment – taking them forward from the DTA programme into their post PhD activities.

Katheryn Margaret was nominated for being an active, positive member of the DTA community, engaging in a range of events during her PhD including encouraging motivation during the lockdowns, celebrating international women’s day, and helping develop social activities to build a sense of community. Her commitment to impactful work has been displayed through planning and hosting the Mini-Methodology Festival in 2021, engagement with national and international conferences, and being invited to co-write a practice-focused document for the Department of Health.

Madhu, who is currently Senior Policy Officer at BEIS, has had conference papers and journal articles awarded and published – with one winning the James Watt Medal, for work considering the role of coal in the 21st century. She was nominated for her charming and professional demeanour, even whilst under pressure. At COP 26, she also organised the Glasgow Breakthrough on Hydrogen, which is part of the Science & Innovation Day.

Dr. Emma Cowley was nominated for the supportive, positive attitude that she adopted during her PhD, and for her work with adolescent girls as part of her research. This work involved online work outs, discussions and continuing to push for female empowerment. Through her social media platforms [set up for the participants], she advocated for positive and strong perceptions of girls and women – with many of the girls now remarking of the impact Emma has had on them. She now continues to advocate for change on a wider platform too, delivering seminars on physical exercise and body image, and moving into a new position continuing this motivational work.

Since completing his PhD in September 2018, Adam transitioned into a full-time role in academia as a Lecturer within Sport and Exercise Science at Birmingham City University. As a result, he is one of few research active Departmental staff and continues to undertake high-quality and impactful research to progress the research he began during his DTA PhD programme of studies. Simultaneously, Adam has excelled in his teaching responsibilities, which have been particularly testing during the pandemic, by adopting a solutions-focused


Professionals Award

For the team or individual who have demonstrated true professionalism and positivity in the face of adversity.

Fiona was nominated for her work in leading the Clinical Skills and Simulation Department in playing an essential role in supporting the national vaccination programme.

Lesley is a dedicated Occupational Health practitioner/manager, and has been nominated for exhibiting outstanding professionalism and integrity for her whole career, and for her work as the primary support individual for occupational health staff referrals.

BAME Student Advocates have been nominated for their work in helping to tackle the University’s awarding gap between White and BAME students – a key strategic objective for the institution – and advance race equality. With the Advocates’ support, the University has successfully reduced the awarding gap by 6% institution-wide in 2021.

Edward was nominated for leading the collaboration between universities, colleges and screen industry skills body ScreenSkills to form guidelines for students working on a film or TV programme, to manage Covid risks during the pandemic.

The small team at Greenwich were nominated for using the university’s values of collaboration, inclusivity and impact in their work, ensuring that Greenwich could maximise their on-campus and face to face delivery by navigating the university through over 30 iterations of government COVID guidance.

Braveheart Award

For the team or individual that have demonstrated conviction and integrity in their actions and decisions.

Irene was nominated for her life-long commitment to nursing, having faced many challenges in the UK as an overseas student from Ghana back in 1991. Since then, Irene has set up the IBB Nursing Scholarship in 2017 to fund brilliant, but underprivileged, nurses in Ghana, helping them gain access to education. She was also heavily involved in work to encourage the BAME community to take up COVID-19 vaccinations during the pandemic.

Adam was nominated for his dedication and hard work as the first ever Head of Health and Safety at the University, during the pandemic. He worked very long hours, leading the team and University through a critical period. He went above and beyond in everything he did even talking alongside the Vice Chancellor on a number of all staff briefings, answering questions and acting as a figurehead, staying calm and giving people the reassurance they needed.

Andrew was nominated for conviction and integrity during his PhD journey, following his experiences of being an Occupational Therapist on an NHS ward, and the lack of information available to patients, clear guidelines for clinicians and effective interventions within the literature on phantom limb pain. Andrew left his secure, well-paid position in the NHS to embark on a new research path to investigate the issue.

Leeds Beckett University student Lucy Keyworth was nominated for founding Leeds Paraclimbing Club during the pandemic, which encourages people with disabilities and people with mental health conditions to access the benefits of the sport during the toughest of times.

Rosa Cisneros was nominated for her consistent commitment to inclusion and excellent ethical practices in her work. She has worked tirelessly to make education accessible to vulnerable groups, and in particular the Roma community. She mobilised her skills as Flamenco dance artist, as film maker and writer to make spaces for those often excluded from the academic community, embracing thinkers and practitioners across many fields, including those working in Hip-Hop, African dance, and in the broad area of cultural heritage.

Jubilee Award

For the individual who has delivered a lifetime of exceptional service to their institution, students and to the higher education sector as a whole.

Carol was nominated for dedicating her entire working life to Nursing, spanning a period of 44 years. The last 35 of these years have been dedicated to delivering, creating and innovating within Nurse Education at Birmingham City University. Under Carol’s leadership the school has developed significantly over the past 10 years against a background of extensive national and global demand for nurses and midwives to meet the workforce requirements and growing care needs.

Roger was nominated for his work on championing equality in the NHS – particularly in exposing race discrimination in the health service through his report in 2014, named The Snowy White Peaks. He has also led reports on bullying and harassment in the NHS, and he continues to advise them at a local and national level – expertise which has benefitted Middlesex students, HE and wider society.

Vincent has been nominated for his work in transforming the role and function of Procurement within Higher Education, over 25 years of his time in the sector; he took the function from archaic paper-based processes into 21st century technology. Vincent has also been a passionate advocate for students on internships, and ensuring the university’s procurement has supported inclusivity and diversity.

John was nominated for his work in devoting a lifetime of service to Coventry University, and being instrumental in developing Coventry’s unique way of doing things, with innovation at its heart, enterprise always running through its DNA and making a difference to the diverse communities it serves.

Innovation Award, sponsored by UCAS

For the team or individual who have come up with solutions and innovations to the biggest most difficult problems or challenges.

The team was nominated for their work in creating a Virtual World Tour, which combines innovation and digital literacies to provide students with an immersive cultural experience, in the absence of global travel during the pandemic. Over 1,500 participants joined the Virtual World Tour over a four-month period. A dedicated ‘hub’ allowed participants to book a variety of live sessions and workshops as well as access on-demand activities, recordings and resources enabling virtual travel experience to 25 countries.

The department was nominated for their use of virtual technology in their teaching and learning of drug discovery. The technology has been introduced to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, to help students understand the biomechanics of how drugs effectively treat disease.

Thomas was nominated for developing experiential-based learning activities within his teaching in the Engineering department at the university, which was based on a” design and build (and test)” philosophy. As Associate Dean (Education) he led the development of Engineering programmes at the University of Hertfordshire from a clean slate, with a mission to getting accreditation from the IMechE (Institution of Mechanical Engineers), one of the most reputable PSRBs in the World.

The social work programme at Oxford Brookes University was nominated for their work in developing innovative ways to tackle lower degree outcome gaps and poorer experiences of ‘BAME’ students, particularly African/Afro-Caribbean students.

Alison and Claire were nominated for their research into the educational impact on the separations, movements and change involved with living within a Forces-family i.e. where one or more members of the family are part of the Armed Forces.

The School was nominated for their agility and innovation in the face of teaching changes due to the pandemic. The team redesigned the module’s content and additional teaching weeks by creating videos, audio clips, utilised their role player team, worked with external colleagues to include drama packages and art historian to lead a session, implemented a virtual simulation platform for more complex case scenarios, all whilst listening to the students through evaluations and feedback to modify teaching content ensuring they met the students’ learning needs.

Star Award

For the team or individual who have motivated others through their ability to stay upbeat, even in the toughest of times.

The Centre was nominated for creating a university-wide service which is dedicated to supporting the wellbeing and sense of community of all students and staff through music – particularly during the pandemic. When in-person activity had been impossible, CfM boosted morale by making fun, uplifting videos with colleagues and students from across the whole institution and supported staff and students with online wellbeing sessions slotted into lectures and staff meetings, before running teambuilding sessions face-to-face when possible.

Jinal was nominated for her work as part of the BCU student community, and her commitment to the students at the university. She was Student Representative and Student Ambassador, roles which meant she supported and helped students to settle during their first year at university – for which Jinal got the outstanding Student Representative award and outstanding Student Ambassador award.

Claire was nominated for being a driven and student focussed lead, who always puts students at the heart of everything that she does. She works to support students in their learning and personal growth, organising a range of welcoming and community activities to engage, challenge and motivate all students in both their professional and academic journeys.

Davinder was nominated for their work in going above and beyond the requirements of their role to get the best possible outcomes for internal and external clients as well as students and graduates. Davinder’s attitude was also highlighted, for being kind and supportive to colleagues.

Alexandra was nominated for being a constant source of positivity for her team during the pandemic, and for taking it upon herself to become the team’s ‘Wellbeing Champion’, which included organising weekly motivation and round-up emails, organising get-togethers and charity events and just generally making her team feel supported and valued.












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