The following prizes are awarded each year for undergraduate work of outstanding merit:
- The Jane Beattie Prize for the Best Overall 2nd Year Performance
- The Stuart Sutherland Prize for an Outstanding Project
- The Mike Scaife Prize in Cognition, Learning and Innovative Technology
- The British Psychological Society Undergraduate Award for Best Overall Degree Performance
- The Tony Gale Memorial Prize (BPS Wessex Branch) for the Best Third Year Project
The Jane Beattie Prize for the Best Overall 2nd Year Performance
The prize for the best overall undergraduate degree will now be awarded as a second year prize to the student with the highest overall mark, and is named after a former undergraduate and lecturer in the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology: Dr Jane Beattie. Jane completed her undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at Sussex in the late 70s. She then went to the US to obtain her PhD and stayed there to carry out postdoctoral research, before returning to a lectureship at Sussex.
Jane was a gifted lecturer and researcher and inspired students with her work on the psychology of decision-making. Jane died tragically early, at the age of 36, in 1997, after a year-long battle against cancer.
The Stuart Sutherland Prize for an Outstanding Third-Year Project
The Stuart Sutherland prize for an outstanding Third-year BSc project is named after the founding chair of the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Professor Norman Stuart Sutherland. Stuart completed his research training at Oxford and in Italy. He contributed to many fields of psychological research, particularly vision and learning theory.
He founded the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology at Sussex in the 60's, attracting eminent researchers to come to work here. After he retired, Stuart became an Emeritus Professor and continued to write brilliantly; in his later years, he was particularly well known for his witty and erudite book reviews.
Stuart's best known books are 'Breakdown', which is both a personal account of his own depressive illness and an exploration and critique of the available treatments for mental illness, 'A dictionary of Psychology', an entertaining and at times tongue-in-cheek glossary, and 'Irrationality', a brilliant exposition of the essentially irrational behaviour of humans.
He died in 1998, at the age of 71.
The Mike Scaife Prize in Cognition, Learning and Innovative Technology
Dr Mike Scaife was a reader in the Psychology Department in the former School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences at Sussex University. He died very suddenly on 18th December 2001, aged only 53. This undergraduate award was set up in honour of him for the best third year project that falls within the scope of his research area - the application of developmental and cognitive psychology to problems in Cognitive Science and human-technology interaction.
Two major themes of his work were:
(i) The development of a theory of 'external cognition' to understand how external representations, such as diagrams, text or multimedia, can support internal cognitive processes, such as problem-solving, information search and collaborative learning.
(ii) An in-depth understanding of the cognitive principles for the design of information for new media in education and training and the development of innovative applications for school/workplace/home.
More information on Mike's research is in the Guardian obituary written by Andy Clark and Jerry Brewer. The Sussex Bulletin obituary written by Maggie Boden.
The Interact Lab that Mike co-founded with Professor Yvonne Rogers