Women in research

This #InternationalWomensDay, we’re celebrating the Inspirational women of the Alliance – those working in our member universities who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues for their inspirational leadership, outstanding contribution to their field or collaborative approach to their work.

This category is for those nominated for their outstanding research and innovation. You can see all the categories here

Professor Claire Surr, Professor – School of Health and Community Studies, Leeds Beckett University

The research work she leads on dementia.

Professor Alison Bruce, Associate Dean Research and Enterprise, University of Brighton

Alison is a brilliant internationally renowned nuclear physicist. What makes them inspirational in addition to their research endeavours is how they support others with their research. Her leadership of research and enterprise as associate dean is exemplary.

Dr Susan Miller, Reader in Music, Leeds Beckett University

Sue combines a rigorous approach to academic research with huge talent as a musician. She inspires students and her peers with her enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise.

Professor Susan Watkins, Professor of Contemporary Women’s Writing, Leeds Beckett University

Susan has shown such a longstanding commitment to women’s writing, which she communicates brilliantly – both as the author of some very important books, and as a teacher of our students.

Professor Sandra Esteves, Professor in Bioprocess Technology for Resource Recovery: Energy and Materials, University of South Wales

Dogged determinism to succeed; to grow her independent research programme and build her own loyal team to deliver it; her commitment and work ethic to make a difference to the sustainability of our world.

Dr Penny Atkins, Principal Research Fellow, University of Brighton

For her contribution to transport policy & roadmaps

Professor Angie Hart, Professor of Child, Family and Community Health at the University of Brighton, and the Director of the world-leading and transdisciplinary Centre of Resilience for Social Justice (CRSJ).

She is most definitely a woman with impact (https://www.brighton.ac.uk/women-of-impact/angie-hart.aspx). Prof Hart has a strong commitment to positively affect the life chances of disadvantaged children and young people in England, Europe, and developing countries. Prof Hart leads and works as part of transdisciplinary teams and networks. Crucially, all of Angie’s work is co-productive in nature, applying insights from research within the context of Communities of Practice and complex systems. She has led submissions to relevant government enquiries in relation to women’s equality, disability and youth disadvantage (e.g. https://www.boingboing.org.uk/economic-impact-covid-19-young-people/). Prof Hart has built a highly successful social enterprise Boingboing (www.boingboing.org.uk/), which is a key vehicle for her co-productive research, dissemination, and knowledge transfer. Prof Hart takes overall responsibility for the strategic direction, financial accountability and development of Boingbong as a collaborative resilience research and practice development social enterprise that challenges social inequalities. She does this as Boingboing’s co-founder, Chair of the Board and director, in a voluntary capacity. It is a prime example of working differently to effect change on a global scale. Prof Hart’s research has been the catalyst for the Resilience Revolution, a whole town approach to addressing the mental health needs of children and young people in Blackpool (https://www.blackpool.gov.uk/Residents/Health-and-social-care/HeadStart-Blackpool/HeadStart-Blackpool.aspx). This programme is about building a social movement; one that both supports individuals to overcome challenges and develop their resilience, and through tackling structural inequalities that impact on people’s lives. A key feature of this is an exciting co-productive research programme, by, with and for young people. The Resilience Revolution is based on the original concept of ‘Resilient Therapy’ and its associated inequalities-related research developed by Prof Hart and collaborators. This work and research has been conducted through Boingboing and the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice at the University of Brighton. Prof Hart has also developed many practice resources which are used in the UK and beyond. Resilient Therapy (https://www.boingboing.org.uk/resilience/resilient-therapy-resilience-framework/) is an approach to supporting the most disadvantaged children and families which has been articulated in books and films. The Academic Resilience Approach (ARA, https://www.boingboing.org.uk/academic-resilience-approach/) is another of Angie’s co-creations, and is articulated in a free online suite of resources for schools. Schools throughout the UK and indeed internationally use the resource to support the resilience of individual students and to tackle whole school resilience building. Many of Angie’s PhD students have co-produced resources in their own contexts that can then be shared with others, such as the Kinship Carer’s guide (https://www.boingboing.org.uk/kinship-carers-resource-resilience-practice/) and the adult version of the Resilience Framework (https://www.boingboing.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/resilience-framework-adults-2012.pdf). In summary, Prof Hart is hugely inspirational, with research that has real world impact.

Dr. Nazanin Zand, Associate Professor, University of Greenwich

Nazanin is a passionate advocate for healthy eating, food and nutrition who has made a number of recent TV appearances explaining concepts and clarifying perceptions relating to food and nutrition to a public audience. Nazanin has pioneered the move to better inform parents and to raise awareness of the importance of early life nutrition and the changes required for the production of better baby foods. Nazanin is the programme leader for the very successful M.Sc. in Food innovation at the University of Greenwich. Many students find Nazanin to be very inspirational, a passionate advocate for her subject and a great and approachable role model.

Professor Amelia Lake, Professor in Public Health Nutrition, Teesside University

Amelia is on a mission to improve the health of the public – especially children. She was involved in a national campaign, fronted by Jamie Oliver, to restrict the sale of energy drinks to teenagers. Amelia also featured in the Timewise Power 50 Awards – a list which showcases modern-day role models who are proving that part-time workers can blaze a trail and achieve serious success.

Dr. Caroline Orr, Principle Lecturer (Life Sciences), Teesside University

It’s no exaggeration to say Caroline’s research into micro-organisms is improving lives – from helping to reduce pre-term births, to improving access to renewable energy sources. Part of our team at the National Horizons Centre, her passion and dedication to her work is clear for all to see.

Professor Tracey Reynolds, Professor of Social Sciences and Head of the Centre for Applied Sociology, University of Greenwich

Tracey is an amazing member of the University of Greenwich community. Besides her incredible work as a Professor of Social Sciences and Head of the Centre for Applied Sociology, Tracey has spearheaded a number of incredible projects such as the ‘Let Our Legacy Continue’ exhibition -http://www.greenwichunigalleries.co.uk/let-our-legacy-continue/. As well as being profiled in Stylist magazine as part of the Southbank Centre’s Phenomenal Women: Portraits of UK Black Female Professors – https://www.stylist.co.uk/travel/experiences/south-bank-centre-exhibition-black-female-professors-phenomenal-women/437808