Sussex researchers recognised for impact on society

Prof Michael Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), was one of the judges for the Sussex Impact Awards 2017.

The third annual Sussex Impact and Research Awards, announced this week, recognised University of Sussex researchers whose work has made outstanding differences in society and on particular individuals and groups.

Announcing the awards at a celebratory reception on Tuesday (13 June) in the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA), Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell said: “These awards celebrate the impact of Sussex researchers, which cannot be achieved without both a solid grounding in high-quality research and the training of further generations of researchers.”

Panel judge Laura McDermott, Creative Director of the Attenborough Centre, joined the Vice-Chancellor and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Michael Davies to present the Impact Awards.

Laura commented: “I’ve been delighted to help to judge these awards, which has given me an insight into the effects of Sussex research on many aspects of social, economic, health and environmental affairs, alongside the cultural and creative fields that are close to our hearts at ACCA.”

Awards were made in each of three categories of impact (cultural and creative; policy and practice; and public engagement).

Other awards celebrated the contributions of Sussex staff to the sustainability of the research community, and recognised an outstanding emerging researcher as well as doctoral supervisors nominated by their students.

The winning entries are detailed below.

Cultural and creative impact

Sussex research changes the ways people understand and shape their lives – individually, historically, and in society today. Research across the University does this through a range of cultural and creative impact. The winning entry was:

  • Dr Hope Wolf (pictured right, School of English), for ‘Sussex Modernism’

Impact through policy and practice

This award celebrates the diversity of research undertaken at Sussex that influences government policy, business and innovation, social care, conservation and climate policy, and public health. The winning entry was:

  • Dr Fabio Petito (School of Global Studies), for ‘Freedom of religion and effective foreign policy’

Public engagement impact

This award recognises the ways in which Sussex researchers are reaching out to the public directly, and working with different organisations, groups and communities to help tackle the challenges they face.
In this category, two awards of equal value were made:

  • Professor Dave Goulson (School of Life Sciences), for ‘Raising awareness of bee declines and how we can all help to reverse them’
  • Professor L. Alan Winters (School of Business, Management and Economics) and the UK Trade Policy Observatory (pictured right) for ‘UKTPO Influencing the debate on Brexit’

Emerging Researcher Award

This award recognises research of the highest calibre from individuals in the early stages of their career.

Applications showed a range of innovative work that is already transforming academic fields and creating new interdisciplinary research territory.

Dr Stephen Wilkins, the Acting Director of Research Staff Development, presented the award and said: “Early-career researchers bring new insights and energy to their fields, and face significant pressures from the highly-competitive environment.”

The winner was:

  • Dr Zhengguo Sheng (School of Engineering and Informatics), for ‘Doing more with less wiring: enabling green communications for the next generation of vehicles’

Student-Led Doctoral Research Supervisor Awards

For the first time, a new category of awards were made, on a joint initiative between the Students’ Union and the Doctoral School team, to recognise outstanding doctoral supervisors at Sussex. All nominations were made by doctoral students themselves.

Presenting the awards, Michael Davies remarked both on how doctoral supervision was key to the sustainability of the research culture, and how it had been one of the most personally enjoyable elements of his own academic career.

Four awards were made:

  • For outstanding PhD supervision in the Social Sciences, Dr Elizabeth Harrison (School of Global Studies)
  • For outstanding PhD supervision in the Sciences, Professor Anna Franklin (School of Psychology)
  • For outstanding PhD supervision in the Arts and Humanities, Professor Kate Lacey (School of Media, Film and Music)
  • For an outstanding PhD supervisory team, Dr Pam Thurschwell (School of English) and Dr Niall Richardson (School of Media, Film and Music) (pictured right)

Congratulations to all the winners and applicants. Look at the Sussex Impact and Research Awards 2017 programme to view all of the 2017 entries.

The awards reception concluded the third annual Sussex Impact Day.

During the day, videos of past winners showed the impact of their research. These videos can be watched below.

People attending the event shared their ideas on Twitter using #SussexImpactDay. Here are some highlights.


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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2018