University wins Research Project of The Year at Times Higher Education Awards

Friday, 08 December 2023

The University of Nottingham scooped STEM Research Project of the Year at last night’s Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for pioneering research to develop a new non-invasive treatment for Tourette’s Syndrome (TS).

The awards recognise excellence in research, student support and outreach. They were presented at a ceremony hosted by Sandi Toksvig, which was held outside London for the first time at the ACC in Liverpool.

The ‘Oscars of Higher Education’ recognise UK universities and their staff for exceptional teaching, research, student support, entrepreneurship, collaborations and outreach, with more than 70 universities being shortlisted in 21 categories.

Professor Jackson from the University of Nottingham’s School of Psychology led research that used repetitive trains of electrical stimulation to the median nerve (MNS) at the wrist to entrain rhythmic electrical brain activity - known as brain oscillations - associated with the suppression of movements.

The research showed that rhythmic MNS is sufficient to substantially reduce tic frequency and tic intensity, and remove the urge-to-tic, in individuals with TS. A prototype wrist device has been developed and proved in clinical trials earlier this year to reduce the amount and severity of tics for TS sufferers.

(L-R) Dr Barbara Morera, Professor Georgina Jackson and Professor Stephen Jackson at the Times Higher Education Awards

Professor Jackson said: “We’re honoured to receive this award for our research, the whole team has worked incredibly hard to get the project where it is today. We know from our research just how life-changing the wrist device we have developed will be for people with Tourette’s will be when it is available in a year or so.”

The THE Awards judges commented: “Building on high-quality science, the Neupulse neuromodulation device has improved the lives of many living with Tourette’s syndrome. It has received widespread media attention, is being effectively commercialised, and researchers have received thousands of enquiries from around the world.”

The university’s marketing team were also shortlisted for their innovative micro prospectus campaign winning in the Outstanding Marketing/Communications Team category.

This campaign revolutionised the traditional prospectus by merging print and digital journeys, prioritising sustainability, and meeting the needs of the Gen Z audience. Through collaborative ownership, strategic alignment, and ground-breaking practices, the team reshaped behaviour and perception both internally and externally. To drive change and reshape behaviour, the marketing communications strategy accelerated the shift to digital channels, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the pandemic.

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More information is available from Jane Icke, Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham on

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Phone: 0115 7486462

Notes to editors:

About the University of Nottingham

Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.

Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.

The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.

We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.

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