Skip to main content

Vice-Chancellor's Education Excellence Awards

The VC's Awards reward those individuals who make a marked impact on enhancing the student learning experience.

NEW: A vision for education and skills at Newcastle University: Education for Life 2030+

About the awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Education Excellence Awards aim to raise the status of education at Newcastle University by rewarding individuals and teams who have made a marked impact on the student educational experience.

The call for 2024 applications is now open. Please note the deadline for submissions is 12.00pm on Wednesday 17th April 2024.

Categories and eligibility

The award is open to all members of staff at Newcastle University, NUIS and NUMed whose work enhances the student educational experience. In addition, applications are welcome from staff of associated employers with direct and substantive involvement in the delivery of the student experience at Newcastle (e.g. staff of INTO). Groups of colleagues who work closely together are invited to apply for the team award.

Up to 5 awards of £3000 will be made across the following two categories:

Category One: Individual Award

  • Individual members of staff (academic or professional) whose contribution to education at Newcastle University is exceptional.

Category Two: Team Award

  • Teams of staff (either academic or professional services staff, or teams consisting of both) whose contribution to education at Newcastle University is exceptional.

2023 Winners

Individual Award

The two winners of the ‘Individual Award’ have developed innovative and creative approaches to education, delivering an excellent student experience alongside a strong commitment to scholarship and peer support. 


Dr Carys Watts, Senior Lecturer, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sport Sciences 

Dr Watts received her award in recognition of: 

  • Her sustained, and much valued, record of achievement and dedication to student learning and support.
  • Excellent work on the Support to Study, Virtual Exchange and Study Abroad initiatives.
  • Her collegiality and passion for teaching.


Carys commented:

"I am delighted to receive this award and to be recognised for progressing student mobility, co-creativity and enterprise activities.

Working with some incredible colleagues and teaching a diverse student community keeps me motivated, reflective and innovative in my approach to education."



Rosalind Beaumont, Senior Lecturer, Education & Research Development, School X

Rosalind receives her award in recognition of: 

  • Her record of innovation and creativity in support of student learning and staff development, both within her School and Faculty and more widely across the University. 
  • Her teaching excellence and dedication to sustainability, which was praised by the panel.
  • Support and contributions to the University’s Professional Standards Framework scheme.


Rosalind remarked:

“It’s an honour to be recognised by my peers for my work with both students and staff in different educational contexts at Newcastle over the last 15+ years. 

I’m here through a lot of determination, luck, and the countless conversations with colleagues and students which have helped shape me into the educator and colleague I am today.

Thank you to all of you who have been part of my development so far – there’s always more to do, so let’s get on with it!”


Previous Winners

  • Dr Joanna Matthan, School of Dental Sciences
  • Dr Stephanie Holton, School of History, Classics and Archaeology
  • The NU Anatomy Team, Faculty of Medical Sciences (Team)
  • The Psychology EDI Team, Faculty of Medical Sciences (Team)
  • Dr Vanessa Armstrong, School of Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Sciences
  • Dr Stacy Gillis, Senior Lecturer in Twentieth Century Literature & Culture, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics
  • Combined Honours Centre, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Team)
  • Patient Pathways, Graduate School, Faculty of Medical Sciences (Team)
  • Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the VC’s Education Excellence Awards did not take place in 2020.
  • Dr Phil Ansell, School of Mathematics, Statistics, and Physics
  • Dr Kirsten MacLeod, School of English Language, Literature and Linguistics
  • Dr Luisa Wakeling, School of Dental Sciences
  • E-Learning Unit, School of Maths, Stats, and Physics (Team)
  • Specialist Learning Team, Student Health and Wellbeing Service (Team)
  • Dr Alison Graham, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Dr Patrick Rosenkranz, School of Psychology
  • Dr Simon Tate, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
  • School of Biomedical Sciences Professional Services Team
  • Dr Sara Marsham
  • Ms Louise Campbell (Professional Staff Award)
  • Dr Clare Guilding
  • Dr J C Penet
  • No awards were made in 2015.
  • Dr Lindsay Marshall, School of Computing Sciences
  • Dr Sue Thorpe, School of Psychology
  • Dr Alison Tyson-Capper, Institute of Cellular Medicine
  • Dr Christie Harner, SAgE Faculty Office (Professional Staff Award)
  • Dr Alison Dunn, Newcastle Law School, HaSS
  • Dr James Field, School of Dental Sciences, FMS
  • Dr Patricia Oliart, School of Modern Languages, HaSS
  • Ms Katie Wray, SAgE Faculty Office (Societal Challenge Award)
  • Ms Sandy Alden, Student Wellbeing (Professional Staff Award)
  • Dr Debra Bevitt, Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences
  • Dr Jean Hall, Lecturer, Civil Engineering & Geosciences
  • Dr Venda Pollock, Senior Lecturer in Art History, Arts and Cultures
  • Dr Peter Hopkins, Reader in Social & Political Geography, Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Professor John Kirby, Professor of Immunobiology, Institute of Cellular Medicine and Faculty Postgraduate Tutor
  • Dr Jane Webster, Senior Lecturer in Historical Archaeology, Historical Studies
  • Dr Sue Haile, University Sustainability Advisor, Chemical Eng & Advanced Materials (Societal Challenge Award)
  • Dr Jarka Glassey, Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
  • Dr Tom Joyce, Senior Lecturer, Mechanical and Systems Engineering
  • Dr Franck Michel, Lecturer in French, School of Modern Languages
  • Professor Julia Newton, Clinical Professor of Ageing and Medicine, Institute for Ageing and Health (Societal Challenge Award)