Nottingham academics receive Queen's Award at Buckingham Palace

Her Majesty the Queen presents the Award to Prof David Greenaway
28 Feb 2012 10:30:00.000


Academics from The University of Nottingham met Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to receive the highest royal honour for university research.

Staff and students visited Buckingham Palace to receive a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher & Further Education, the most prestigious national recognition for UK universities.

The Prizes are a biennial award scheme, part of the UK’s national honours system, celebrating excellence, innovation, and impact in the UK’s Higher and Further Education sector. They recognise and celebrate winners’ outstanding work which is making a real and practical impact for the benefit of human progress.

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Nottingham won the honour for its research to help feed the world’s growing population – cutting-edge work which encompasses everything from growing more crops with less fertiliser, to improving the nutrition, safety and taste of food on the plate.

The University is home to one of the largest communities of plant, crop, animal and food science experts in the UK, carrying out world-leading research to find new ways of feeding a hungry planet.

Global Food Security

Worldwide, around a billion people are hungry and nearly 200 million children are severely malnourished. With the world’s population expected to increase from seven billion to nine billion by 2050, coupled with climate change, the challenge of feeding the world has never been more pressing.

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, received the prize from Her Majesty the Queen.

He said: “We are extremely honoured and proud to have received this award for our work in the area of global food security. It recognises the important contribution the University is making to this vital area of research at our UK and Malaysia campuses.

“It also acknowledges the significant input of our staff and research students in furthering understanding in this field and driving forward new initiatives.”

Professor Greenaway was joined by Professor Yang Fujia, Chancellor of the University, and senior academics involved in global food security research: Professor Jerry Roberts, Professor Katherine Smart and Professor Sayed Azam-Ali. Five postgraduate students involved in this area of research were also invited to the Palace reception as part of the University of Nottingham party.

A hallmark of excellence

Professor Jerry Roberts, academic lead of the University’s Global Food Security Priority Group and Dean of the Graduate School, said: “Staff at The University of Nottingham have been training agricultural scientists from across the world for over a century.

“Our internationally acclaimed research is focused on the provision of a safe and secure supply of nutritious food and this task will become even more acute over the coming years. The recognition of our work with the award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize provides the perfect incentive to meet and overcome the challenges of the next decade.”

Prize-winning institutions will be able to use the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes logo for four years, as a hallmark of excellence.

Professor Katherine Smart, head of the University’s School of Biosciences, said: “The award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize is an enormous honour for the University and our School of Biosciences in particular.

“Our scientists within the School are immensely talented and this award recognises their outstanding achievements in research. Global Food Security is critically important for present and future generations, and The University of Nottingham is perfectly placed to meet some of the key scientific challenges that this issue raises.”

The Queen’s Award summary includes the following: 

“The University is widely recognised for its strong contribution to sustainable agricultural production within the UK and internationally, embracing academic excellence and practical farming… The work is both strategic and of practical benefit to the farming industry and society in general.”

Global Food Security is one of the University’s priorities in research — key areas of critical mass in which a combination of expertise and investment are having real impact, using the expertise of many different academics including scientists, engineers and social scientists.

More information is available at: http://www/  

Global Food Security is also a key project within the University’s new appeal, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, which is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

More information is available at:  Impact: The Nottingham Campaign  

The ‘Diamond Jubilee’ winners received their awards, a silver gilt medal and certificate signed personally by the Queen, on February 24th 2012, in a presentation ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news


Story credits

More information is available from Professor Jerry Roberts, Academic Lead of the University’s Global Food Security Priority Group, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9516339,; Professor Katherine Smart, Head of the School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9516214,  
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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