Award Information Award Information


Nominations are welcome for staff and students across the NRP and University (both academic and support) who have performed particularly effectively with their public engagement work over the past year.Nominations are also invited from community partners who have worked with contacts across NRP/UEA

Awards timetable for 2018/19

Awards call open                                           18 March

Deadline for nominations                               26 April

Formal notification of awards                         8 May

Award reception and presentation                12 June, 4.30-6.30pm, Council Chamber

Complete your nomination online here:


Downloadable Nomination form and guidance notes in PDF format here:

Nomination Form

Guidance notes


Engagement Award Winners 2017/18 Engagement Award Winners 2017/18

Student Awards

Eleni Vikeli – Postgraduate Research Student – School of Biological Sciences / John Innes Centre

Eleni is an official STEM Ambassador for East Anglia which facilitates her communication with teachers at school related events. She has actively organised and prepared materials for science camps & festivals, open days, school projects and activities for adults and the elderly, including an antibiotic resistance themed SAW Trust Project at the St Francis of Assisi School. The students engaged in a practical session of extraction of DNA from strawberries and live genome sequencing. Eleni has participated in national events such as the ‘I'm a Scientist: Drug Discovery Zone’ event where she engaged with students via live chat. Most recently, she facilitated an open discussion with adults visiting the ‘Superbugs Science Museum Lates’ event in London. She is a fierce advocate of Women in STEM and has played an active role in Women of the Future and International Women's Day activities, which aim to inspire young girls to pursue the STEM subjects. Her engagement activities have not been limited to the UK. During her internship as a science communicator assistant at the BecA-ILRI Hub in Kenya, she instigated a public engagement mentality to the colleagues and students to actively communicate their science, which proved so successful that she was invited to deliver this workshop annually. Her latest achievement is the initiation and curation of a blog for the Molecules from Nat u re ISP at JIC. The Molecules blog features the key chemicals that research groups from the ISP work with, and aims to make their work accessible to the public. Eleni was supported by an NRP sponsorship.

Hannah Felstead – Postgraduate Researcher - School of Biological Sciences / Biomedical Research Centre

Along with fellow 2017 Engagement Award winner Sophie Prosolek, Hannah collaborated with Pint of Science (PoS) to organise the visit of Dr Michael Foale, one of NASA’s most experienced astronauts, to UEA, which sold 500 tickets and raised £7000 for the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET). As part of Hannah’s ongoing role as Communications Manager for Norwich PoS 2018, she has participated in interviews with BBC radio Norfolk and Future Radio, discussing the importance of science communication to the general public, and why it is important to be enthusiastic and proud of the research within the local university community. More recently she has appeared on BBC Look East, to further promote PoS events in Norwich, and how vital it is for the general public to nurture an interest in science. At the start of the University term in 2017, Hannah was invited to speak with the incoming cohort of undergraduate school of BIO students. As part of this introductory lecture she spoke about the BMRC and the research groups within it, encouraging them to be proactive with their career ambitions. In December 2017, Hannah presented her research on the podium at the Anatomical Society Winter Conference in Dundee: ‘Anatomical Solutions for Clinical Problems’, where she was awarded the Annual Young Investigator Oral Presentation prize. Hannah has been invited to speak to girls from across schools in Norwich at the 'Inspiring Females' Summit in July.

Lucka Bibic – Postgraduate Researcher - School of Pharmacy

In her quest to take her own research on spider venoms as painkillers to a wider audience, Lucka decided that a virtual reality game would be a great engagement tool.  She successfully applied for funding from the UEA Alumni Fund and recruited and supervised Computing Sciences student to develop the game ‘Bug Off Pain’, which launched at the 2017 Norwich Science Festival. She was also invited to present the game at the Innovation  Showcase, hosted by UEA and Barclays Eagle Lab Norwich, and has been invited to speak at the 2018 Norwich Gaming Festival about the benefits of gamification in science. Along with three fellow PGRs in Pharmacy, Lucka formed the team 'CryoThaw' which won the ‘BiotechnologyYES 2017’ national competition and the 'People's Choice' award at the final. Lucka’s internship at Naked Scientist resulted in ten written news stories, 15 podcasts and the production of a one hour Naked Scientist radio show ‘Animation: The Reel Deal’ which was broadcast on BBC S's ‘Live Science’ and ABC Australia, reaching an audience of more than 1 million worldwide.  Her podcasts feature interviews with an impressive array of professionals including researchers from MIT, Harvard University, KU Leven Belgium and TV- celebrity from the Big Bang Theory Dr Mayim Bailik. With over 100K downloads, the podcasts cover topics ranging from gin distilling, earth science, electronic noses, linguistics, odontology, digestion, cancer, and solar flight. Lucka is very active on Twitter (@LuckaBibic) promoting science, and through her participation in campaigns such as ‘Skype with a Scientist’, she is inspiring the next generation of scientists, increasing the understanding of scientific research among high school pupils and encouraging more girls to study STEM-related subjects. Lucka was sponsored by the BBSRC Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Programme.

Oliver Cartwright – Postgraduate Researcher - School of Pharmacy

Oliver was accepted into the Brilliant Club program which identifies talented PhD candidates to teach school students from under-represented backgrounds. He has designed several innovative methods to engage students in a broad age range, including activities involving darts to show the difficulties which arise within targeted chemotherapy as well as creating mass paper aeroplane based question and answer sessions within lecture theatre settings. Zombie-based outbreaks are part of the norm when Oliver has taught programmes about infectious diseases to Key Stage 3 pupils in the rural and low-income areas of Norfolk. One of the innovative ways Oliver engaged his students was to prepare liquid nitrogen ice cream as a demonstration of engineering processes and the application of engineering sciences to everyday items, garnering the attention of organisers of the Norwich Science Festival, who have invited him to teach at the Festival opening reception. This work has significantly engaged a wide audience to interesting areas of science and engineering, and lifted the profile of the UEA and faculty of science. Additionally, Oliver was part of the School of Pharmacy's YES competition winning team. Oliver and his team presented their business model at GSK Stevenage and the Royal Society in London, demonstrating the power of pharmacy research and raising the profile of UEA, the Faculty of Science and the School of Pharmacy. Oliver’s enthusiasm for learning and teaching is a huge benefit to the research group, the School of Pharmacy and the wider community of Norfolk and the UK. Oliver was sponsored by the BBSRC Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Programme.

Sophie Prosolek – Postgraduate Researcher - School of Biological Sciences / Quadram Institute

As Pint of Science Norwich coordinator, Sophie has encouraged dozens of UEA/NRP researchers to participate in the festival and inspired thousands of attendees to follow the work of scientists across a variety of disciplines. Within a year, Sophie has coordinated 36 PoS events (nearly all of which sold out) with 2500 attendees, in addition to producing three greatly received special events during The Norwich Science Festival. She hosted and organised an event with former NASA astronaut Dr Michael Foale, with all 500 tickets sold in less than 2 weeks. Sophie founded UEA SciComm Society in November 2017 through which she has instigated several projects including a blog and local interest science magazine as an in-progress collaboration with Moore-Fuller Consulting. Through SciComm Society she has also established a local collaboration with the Norwich BID to bring events to the city which increase the footfall of 'science tourism.' She has spoken as an invited guest at the Inspiring Females STEM conference for secondary school girls, helps UEA Careers Central advertise relevant training opportunities and runs social events to bring together like-minded science communicators. Sophie is due to present a webinar on her research with Thermofisher’s ‘Labroots’ and is working with Abcam to film a short documentary about life in research. Sophie is an active part of the Science Journalism community as a member of both the Association of British Science Writers and Sound Women Network. “The speakers were dynamic, engaging and positive. The content was brilliantly pitched for the wide age-range; so accessible!” - Pint of Science event attendee. Sophie was sponsored by the BBSRC Norwich Research Park Biosciences Doctoral Training Programme

Project Awards

Dr Derwin Gregory – Lecturer, School of History

What the Americans Left Behind in East Anglia (WALBEA) is a project investigating the US military presence through the everyday objects left behind. The project brought together researchers, student archaeologists, local history societies and veterans and injured military personnel. The project collaborated with partners such as Visit East Anglia, the American Air Museum, Imperial War Museum, Duxford, the American Veterans Archaeological Recovery Program, the Waveney Valley Community Archaeology Group and Caistor Roman Project.  A broad public engagement programme ensured the widest possible reach using a combination of social media, public lectures as well as fieldwork and on-site training for British and American serving and injured military personnel giving them, “a unique opportunity to engage with their own history, develop supportive peer relationship and establish relationships with the local community that parallel those created during the ‘Friendly Invasion’”- American Veteran Archaeological Recovery Program

Dr Maria Abranches – Lecturer Dr, Matthew Barwick – UEA MA Graduate and Dr Ulrike Theuerkauf – Lecturer, School of International Development

As part of a DEV-based research project on the interplay of perceptions and realities of migration, inequalities and political attitudes in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum, Maria (left), Matthew (right) and Ulrike (below left) led a participatory photography project in Great Yarmouth in 2017, which involved five participants of different gender, age, nationality, occupation and migration experience. The participants were asked to capture their everyday experiences of social, economic and political diversity, with an aim to explore different perceptions of communal life in Great Yarmouth. A selection of 24 photos taken by the participants were subsequently exhibited at Strangers’ Hall Museum in Norwich during Refugee Week 2017, and in the Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life in October and November 2017. The event at Strangers’ Hall entitled ‘We Are All Strangers’ tied into a then newly started Museum-University partnership coordinated by DEV, which aimed at diversifying audiences and increasing public awareness of the ways in which migrants have historically contributed, and still contribute today, to tell the story of Norfolk. The event integrated the photographs with excerpts of 16th Century letters written by and to members of the Norwich ‘Strangers’ community. Details of the lives and concerns of people coming from the Low Countries to Norwich in the 1560s and 1570s, represented in the letters, resonated with contemporary migrants’ sense of community and place, illustrated in the photos. During the event, visitors had the opportunity to learn more about these topics in guided tours, and to then discuss them with university and museum partners, our research participants, other academic experts, and NGO representatives working in the area.

Photo of Matthew Barwick taken in a village in rural Maharashtra, India in 2014, during a  six month internship working as a filmmaker with the NGO, CRHP

Group Project Award

Sync Norwich – Norwich Business School/UEA Careers Office

Sync the City (STC) has taken place in Norwich every November since 2014. It’s a Startup event in which attendees are challenged to build a digital business in 54 Hours.

The event starts on a Thursday afternoon with 1 minute pitches, in which anybody attending the event can pitch a problem and solution on stage.  The best ideas are voted forward and teams are formed there and then.  Each team must take the idea to reality, building a product and business in 54 hours, culminating in a StartUp pitchoff and product demonstration on the Saturday evening to a panel of judges and public audience.

l to r: Dr Alfonso Avila-Merino, Julie Schofield, John Fagan, Paul Cutting and Sean Clark

STC provides an intensive opportunity for professionals and students to come together to create innovative outcomes. Students from UEA were the first to benefit from the experience and are now joined by students from NUA and the College of West Anglia. STC’s success stems from the fact that it is truly collaborative, involving education, local government, corporates, charities, SME’s and start-ups. Since its conception, STC has been successful in engaging a wide range of stakeholders, including local and national entrepreneurs, government officials, students, software developers and designers.  STC has contributed to raising the profile of Norwich on the national technology landscape by attracting major national innovators to attend and meet the Norwich tech community. Growing year on year, STC has become an established part of the city’s tech event calendar, serving as a springboard for highly innovative entrepreneurs (including students) to commercialise their ideas or to get access to a highly rewarded job due to the participation in the event. Since 2014, STC has attracted more entrepreneurs, government officials, students, sponsors to a city not previously nationally recognised for possessing a strong or relevant IT sector. Norwich is now placed amongst the top 10 within the country according to the Confederation of British Industry.

Achievement Awards

Dr Andrew Mayes – Senior Lecturer, School of Chemistry

An active and enthusiastic science communicator for many years, Andrew Mayes has organised and participated in a wide range of events for all ages both individually and in association with the Royal Society of Chemistry. Whether taking part in hands-on events at the Royal Norfolk Show or running heats of a national competitions for sixth form chemistry students, Andrew’s approach is energetic and innovative; communicating the excitement of science to a very wide audience. Recent innovative research on detection and counting of microplastic fragments in environmental samples and the media attention received – with commentary, clarifications, written answers and interviews provided by Andrew -  meant that his work has now reached a truly global audience.  As a result, The World Health Organisation announced a review of evidence around the possible harmful effects of microplastics on human health. Andrew was appointed scientist-in-residence at the Groundwork Gallery in Kings Lynn to support a British Science Association funded project – Waste Transformed – working with sufferers of domestic abuse and he has recently taken part in Pint of Science 2018 in Norwich, presenting “The Menace of Microplastics” to a public audience.

Lawrence Hill – Lecturer, School of Health Sciences

Lawrence Hill has worked closely with cardiac arrest survivor Luke Chapman to engage with him and other survivors to raise awareness and champion the benefits of resuscitation training both for health professionals and the wider community in East Anglia. Luke survived his cardiac arrest and is thriving thanks in part to the response of the East England Ambulance Service but also crucially, because members of his family and other members of the public knew what to do when it really mattered. Following a press release about the event Lawrence struck up conversation with Luke and a highly productive working relationship emerged. Lawrence and Luke are determined to ensure that Luke's experience serves to educate the public and other healthcare professionals to be equipped to deal with sudden cardiac arrest situations. Lawrence has used his influence and leadership to have the School of Health Sciences recognised as an accredited provider of Resuscitation Council (UK) Advanced Life Support Courses (RCUK ALS), which allows UEA paramedic programme to offer all undergraduate paramedic students the opportunity to undertake a RCUK ALS course as part of their BSc programme. This initiative has set a national precedent for other HEI paramedic programmes to consider following the lead set by UEA. Lawrence and Luke continue to work closely together, establishing The “Cardiac Arrest Survivors’ Advanced Life Support Award” which fully sponsors three places each year on a RCUK ALS course at UEA (a joint award with East of England Ambulance Service and the Cardiology Department at NNUH). In addition, the Paramedic Science Team in HSC also now run ALS courses twice a year for NHS staff as an enterprise activity generating revenue for HSC.

Dr Ciara Shiggins -  Academic Fellow, School of Health Sciences

Ciara is passionate about her research into aphasia; a specific language impairment following brain injury, commonly stroke, that can affect a person's participation and quality of life. Ciara has shown outstanding commitment to raising awareness of aphasia and communicating her research findings to the public, including how they can best support a conversation with someone with aphasia. Ciara has facilitated the Aphasia Café in Norwich – a peer support group for people with aphasia and their family members – for six years.  She also works closely with a group of people with aphasia involved in research at UEA - the Aphasia Research Collaboration. When developing her activity stand and workshop for the Norwich Science Festival, Ciara held discussions with members of the group to ensure that they felt represented. She also coordinated the involvement of several of the group members in the Festival itself, so that members of the public could meet people with aphasia and come to a greater understanding of how the condition impacts their daily lives. Festival activity aimed at younger children was evaluated using an innovative chart. Recently, Ciara collaborated with previous Engagement Award-winner Nick Walsh to deliver a Norwich Psychology Meetup on aphasia, wellbeing, and life after stroke. Ciara engages with clinical colleagues from across the East of England and shares her research, through the East of England Stroke CEN. Other international engagement activities include participation in the Collaboration of Aphasia Trialists and the Aphasia United Conference.

Dr Robert Ferdman – Lecturer, School of Chemistry

Robert has put huge amounts of time and energy into multiple engagement activities and initiatives to boost the profile of Physics at UEA with the academic community, local schools and the general public, including taking a lead role in recruitment activities by becoming the director of admissions for the degrees. Robert has revitalised the University’s relationship with the Institute of Physics and local amateur astronomy societies by getting involved with the public lecture series which involve some of the UK’s most renowned physicists speaking about their research in an accessible way. Robert has worked to publicise these lectures, achieving recognition on BBC Radio Norfolk and Visit Norwich. In March 2018, Robert instigated a day of engagement for local primary schools. He collaborated with schools and the Ogden Trust to create the inaugural ‘Earth and Space Day’, which saw 120 students in years 5-6 from four different schools come to UEA to learn about physics of the Earth and Space. Robert hosted two overlapping academic conferences for international physics colleagues in April 2018: SPINS-UK, which aims to create and bring together a network of like-minded scientists to foster collaboration and inspire students; and EPTA, a more focused meeting about using pulsar observations to study gravitational waves. Robert further boosts the reputation of UEA Physics by creating and contributing to its presence on social media outlets, including a dedicated YouTube channel, and engaging with traditional media, including a piece in the EDP.

Dr Sarah Housden – Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences

Sarah has worked alongside a Parish Nursing Team as a volunteer over the past year, drawing upon her academic and clinical expertise as an occupational therapist to benefit people living with dementia in the community. In her volunteer role as occupational therapist, Sarah has provided information and guidance for the team of volunteers regarding working with older people and those living with dementia, including authoring guidance sheets to enable volunteers to protect their wellbeing when working with wheelchair users. Sarah has also worked directly with people living with dementia and their families and friends, to provide holistic support aimed at enhancing their wellbeing and enabling individuals to access further support within the community. She has advised and supported informal carers in their role, enabling them to go on caring, thus maximising the independence of people living with dementia. She has raised the profile of UEA amongst local people, including people living in the Heartsease area of Norwich, and people working with churches of all denominations throughout Norfolk. Sarah has designed and delivered free dementia training courses for the family members and friends of people living with dementia, accessed by over 50 members of the public in its first delivery – most of whom could not have acquired the knowledge, information and skills without this local delivery of free training. ‘For me it gave insight into the frustration, fear and anxiety of people with the disability.’ – A course attendee.

Dr Thomas Roebuck – Lecturer, School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing

Tom is the founder and leader of the Unlocking the Archive (UTA) project, which began in 2015 as a partnership between LDC academics and the Norfolk Heritage Centre (NHC). He and his team have worked closely with NHC's librarians to develop innovative strategies to place Renaissance books at the heart of both the library's activities and of the diverse communities in the East of England. In November 2015, Tom organised ‘Norwich’s Renaissance Books’: a day-long hands-on drop-in session at the NHC, where members of the public handled Renaissance books under the guidance of LDC lecturers and graduate students. The following year, Tom developed a merchandise range based on the Renaissance books, which he arranged to be sold in the Forum Shop by Jarrold. The range’s success has inspired the NHC to plan a wider merchandise series based on their broader collections. In 2017-18, the project's next phase, ‘New Impressions: Redesigning Norwich’s Renaissance Books’, engaged fresh audiences with Norwich's Renaissance books. With Dr Sophie Butler (LDC) and Darren Leader Studio, Tom brought together 16 local graphic designers to create new artworks inspired by the Renaissance books. Bringing the heritage and design industries together attracted new and younger audiences to a hands-on drop-in event at the NHC, attended by over 260 people. Tom is now working in partnership with the National Trust's Blickling Estate to develop a series of creative heritage events, inspired by the incredible rare books library at Blickling, opening up this collection to new audiences, in new ways. The reach and long-term influence of UTA will be further enhanced by a project website, due to launch in Summer 2018, which gained funding thanks to a successful Higher Education Innovation Fund bid led by Tom.

UEA Engagement Awards 2009-2018

Downloadable booklet here with full awards archive