Newcastle University: Awards showcase the best of partnership working

The awards recognise and celebrate the many innovative collaborations between the University and its external partners, and the value these bring to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of our city, region and around the world.

There were more than 70 entries submitted, and the winners were announced last night at an online event hosted by Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President, and Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Place.

There were six categories in total, reflecting the six areas of the University’s Engagement and Place Strategy:

· Engaging for Economic benefit

· Engaging for Societal benefit (including the health and wellbeing of our place)

· Engaging Globally

· Engaging for Cultural benefit

· Engaging with Policy and Practice

· Access and participation (Inclusive Education)

Awards were made to projects that could demonstrate mutual benefit for both the University and the partner organisation or public, a strong relationship between high-quality engagement and high-quality research and teaching, and creative and innovative approaches to engagement or outreach.

Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President, Newcastle University, said: “Public engagement is an integral part of what makes us Newcastle. It’s how we ensure that the benefits of our research and teaching have a real impact in the outside world.

“The uncertainty that the pandemic has brought with it has demonstrated more than ever the importance of working together for mutual benefit. The six winning projects are brilliant examples of how our research and teaching is adding value both in our local community and around the world, and every single one of them is thoroughly deserving of recognition. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

All the entries were reviewed by a judging panel of internal and external colleagues, led by Paul Manners, Director of the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement, and Carol Botten, Chief Executive of Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East.

The winners were:

• Engaging for Economic benefit: BEWISe (Biological Engineering: Wastewater Innovation at Scale)

• Engaging for Societal benefit: Young Person’s Advisory Group North England (YPAG NE) in PERFORM

• Engaging Globally: Colours of the Alphabet

• Engaging for Cultural benefit: Dippy on Tour

• Engaging with Policy and Practice: Co-development of the UK National Wastewater-based Epidemiology Surveillance Network

• Access and participation (Inclusive Education): The Later Life Audio and Radio Co-operative

Details of the winning projects and all the shortlisted entries are available on the Engagement website.

Professor Jane Robinson said: “Since we launched our Engagement and Place strategy, considerable progress has been made in our engagement and place activities, as well as in areas such as improving support, visibility and communications of our work in this area. The Engagement and Place Awards are a demonstration of our commitment to embedding engagement across the whole University, ensuring that our education and research can be shared, enriched and enhanced through partnership working beyond the University.”

Reflecting on his experience of the awards, Paul Manners said: “Congratulations to the six winning projects. All of the entries were of an exceptionally high standard, and the judges had a very difficult time whittling down the entries, firstly to a shortlist and ultimately to one winner in each category.”

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