Policy Impact and Public Engagement Awards

We are delighted to announce the winners, special commendations and shortlisted nominees for the 2020 Policy Impact and Public Engagement Awards.

Our annual awards aim to recognise the excellent work by researchers and academics on all campuses in achieving policy impact and engaging the public with current research. We received an impressive array of nominations this year; congratulations to all of you for your dedicated work. 

The winners, special commendations and shortlisted nominees for the 2020 Policy Impact and Public Engagement Awards are:

Best policy impact initiative

Winner: The Horizon Unbias project team, led by Dr Elvira Perez Vallejos, for their work to support informed policy making in a digital world.


Professor Gary Rawnsley (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNNC), for his contribution to government understanding of soft power and foreign policy.

Dr Lisa Yon (School of Veterinary Medicine and Science), for her contribution to the development of new government guidelines on elephant welfare.

Dr Peter Chapman (School of Psychology), for his work on the See Bike, Say Bike campaign.

Best public engagement initiative

Winner: Dr Helen McCabe and the Survivor Voices, Stories and Images team (Rights Lab), for their work empowering survivors of human trafficking to share their stories with the world.


Professor Christopher Gibbins, Dr Ir. Fang Yenn Teo and Yih Yoong Lip (Faculty of Science and Engineering, UNM), for their engagement with highland communities to discover sustainable solutions for water-related issues at upper Trusan River, Sarawak.

Dr Heike Bartel (School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies), for her work on eating disorders in men and boys.

Rising star award – policy impact

Winner: Dr Lorna Treanor (NUBS), for her work to support the development of an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Special Commendation

Dr Xuan Feng (NUBS China), for her work supporting local policy makers in Ningbo on talent acquisition, development and retention.


Dr Ben Barton (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNM), for his work to build policy makers' understandings of China's Belt-and-Road Initiative.

Rising star award – public engagement

Winner: Dr Ulrike Kuchner (School of Physics and Astronomy), for her work engaging the public with astronomy in creative ways, both locally and internationally. 

Special Commendation

Dr Ben Pilgrim (School of Chemistry), for his work engaging diverse audiences with chemistry research.


Dr Bavani Ramayah (Faculty of Science and Engineering, UNM), for her work to raise awareness of the challenges faced by visually impaired people.

Keystone award

The keystone award recognises a non-academic member of staff who has been instrumental in supporting the delivery of successful policy impact or public engagement work.

Winner: Deanne Hewson (Faculty of Engineering), for her dedication and commitment to increasing participation in policy and engagement work across the Faculty of Engineering.


NUBS China Executive Education Team, for their work to provide  bridge between academic insight and business practice.

Special award for pandemic response

A one-off award for 2020 (we hope), this award recognises any member of staff who has made an outstanding contribution to ensuring that UoN research plays a central part in supporting the public response, in any country or internationally, to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This category had two joint winners.

Winner: Dr Ali Cheshmehzangi (Department of Architecture and Built Environment, UNNC), for his work on the city of Ningbo’s resilience plan.

Winner: Pandemic Response Team for their work to build the University of Nottingham’s Covid-19 Testing Service.


Professor Hywel Williams (School of Medicine), for his work to galvanise a coordinated research response to the pandemic.

Dr Joanne Stocks (School of Medicine), for her work as part of the Research Data Alliance Covid-19 working group.

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