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Engagement and Place Awards 2022

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Engagement and Place Awards 2022

Our Engagement and Place Awards recognise and celebrate great examples of collaboration between the University and our partners and publics.

Engagement and Place Awards Ceremony

We've honoured projects displaying the diverse ways University colleagues and students work with external partners and communities.

Our second year of the Engagement and Place Awards were hosted by:

  • Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor and President
  • Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Place

Outstanding projects nominated across six categories

The awards recognise many innovative collaborations between the University and its external partners. These bring value to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing in our city, region and across the globe.

This year's awards include:

We received an overwhelming response to the call for nominations and the calibre of the projects was outstanding. This made the task of shortlisting and judging for our panel of eight judges extremely difficult.

However, we are delighted to announce the winners for each category alongside the shortlisted projects. Congratulations everyone and we look forward to reviewing next year’s entries.

Postgraduate Award

Winner

MyCareBudget - Peter Glick

Shortlisted

Photographic exhibition of ‘Sankofa, my return back to Africa’ - Natural Langdon

Stories from the Archive - Daisy-Alys Vaughan

MyCareBudget - Peter Glick

MyCareBudget is a wiki designed by people with lived experience of running their own Personal Health Budgets. It provide resources for anyone who employs Personal Assistants (PAs) or carers. It has over 3,000 members and is still growing, gaining more than 200 users per month. MyCareBudget was born out of Peter Glick’s PhD research at Newcastle University. He co-designed it with a community of people who run a care budget either for themselves, their children, or a close relative.

Photographic exhibition of ‘Sankofa, my return back to Africa’ - Natural Langdon

The photographic and moving image project, ‘Sankofa, my return back to Africa’ was a solo exhibition by Natural Langdon. Natural is a PhD student in Film Practice in the School of Arts and Culture. It was displayed at The Frederick Douglass Centre, Newcastle University in November 2021. This occurred during the Black Britain and Beyond conference 'Sankofa, my return back to Africa’ comprises of a series of photographs and video footage. Natural co-produced the footage with the communities in Africa and Brazil. The exhibition showcases and celebrate the richness and beauty of Black cultural life. It reminds audiences that the histories as black people in the West did not start with slavery. It also invites reflection about the meaning and purpose of decolonising the University.

Stories from the Archive - Daisy-Alys Vaughan

This project looks at objects in the Great North Museum’s Shefton Collection of Greek and Etruscan Archaeology. These objects link to papers from the archive of its collector, Brian B. Shefton. This innovative online exhibition intends to highlight the relationship between archive and museum. The primary purpose was to inform and inspire wider audiences, (including older and refugee audiences). It helped to increase understanding of the history of the artefacts within the Shefton Collection. The project also aimed to engage the public with recent research on the Shefton Archive. It offered histories of objects in the museum’s collections and shared items from the Shefton Archive.

Professional Services Award

Winner

Multiverse Lab – Charlie Wilkinson

Shortlisted

Deconf – Rob Anderson

The Girls in STEM Club – Clare Fearon

Deconf – Rob Anderson

Deconf (de-centralised conference) is an Open Source library that builds virtual conference platforms. Open Lab, the Human Computer-Interaction research group at Newcastle University, developed the library. It has run several online conferences since 2020. This includes the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society’s (IFRC) climate:red conference, Mozilla’s Mozfest 2021 and 2022, and the IFRC’s planet:red conference.

Multiverse Lab – Charlie Wilkinson

Since its launch in Autumn 2020, Multiverse Lab has reached 3,145 people across the Northeast and Cumbria. This innovative public engagement project asks people, “What is the health or social care breakthrough you hope to see in your lifetime?”. Its aim is to shape the future of health and social care research. They want to make communities’ voices heard, including those under-represented in public engagement. It collected people’s responses to create a ‘lab of many voices’. The Multiverse Lab uses physical and digital methods. It has engaged with over 3000 people and collected over 500 voices telling us what their priorities are in health and wellbeing. We want these voices to make waves, and over 10 academic partners have committed to using these voices to shape how they do research.

The Girls in STEM Club – Clare Fearon

The Girls in STEM Club is a safe, online space for young women to find peer-to-peer support, advice and inspiration around all things STEM. The club is open to young girls age 14+, current university students, staff and alumnae. It is well-known that women are underrepresented across STEM. This project aims to support women continuing their journeys in STEM and raise the aspirations of the next generation. The club offers an online forum for women to connect with one another. It also offers virtual workshops to develop skills and work experience bursaries.

Early Career Academic Award

Winner

Audio Universe - Dr Chris Harrison

Shortlisted

Classics Transformed - Dr Stephanie Holton

Conflict, intimacy and military wives: a lively geopolitics - Dr Alice Cree, Dr Hannah West

Audio Universe - Dr Chris Harrison

Audio Universe is a multi-disciplinary project. It brings together researchers from different fields with a cross-section of community community. Our goals are to increase scientific discovery and make astronomy more inclusive and accessible. This goes hand-in-hand with working with the partners and public. Stakeholders directly impact the research and the research and impact activities. Launched in 2021, this project has already put Newcastle University on the international stage. It shows us as leaders of an innovative and creative research and engagement work in this domain. There has been press and media coverage around the world, and an international interest from science centres in using our work. This project is also important for the astronomy group at Newcastle, which was only formed as part of the growth of Physics over two years ago.

Classics Transformed - Dr Stephanie Holton

Classics Transformed is a multi-layered collaborative project. It promotes and supports engagement with the ancient world, across the North East and beyond. The project uses a model of co-creation between academics and students. The Classics outreach team deliver a wide variety of innovative events and activities. This is in collaboration with local and national partners. Dr Stephanie Holton and her student team are transforming how we engage with the languages and cultures of the ancient world. The team explore topics such as Tyneside’s Roman past, and making gifts for the Ancient Greek gods.

Conflict, intimacy and military wives: a lively geopolitics - Dr Alice Cree, Dr Hannah West

This interdisciplinary project uses participatory theatre to change societal understanding of the sites and spaces of war. The project engages with military partners, ex-partners and widows across the country. It explores how military conflict plays out in the military home. This is a collaborative research project with Workie Ticket Theatre CIC. This local feminist theatre company are passionate about sharing women's untold stories. The research has formed the basis of a ground-breaking piece of new theatre titled 'Magnolia Walls'. Northern Stage will show this performance in June 2022. The play features a recorded 'chorus' element performed by real military spouses. The Young Women's Film Academy filmed and edited this element. This local organisation focuses on improving the well-being of girls and young women. The research helps to shed a light on the long term consequences of war and military service on armed forces families. It could also shape future support provision.

Established Career Academic Award

Winner

Agri systems research to enhance livelihoods in developing countries - Dr Marion Pfeifer

Shortlisted

Green Finance/COP26 Policy Paper: Voluntary Carbon Markets in ASEAN: Challenges and Opportunities for Scaling Up - Dr Marwa Elnahass

Making the senses matter for global health - Dr. Duika Burges Watson

Agri systems research to enhance livelihoods in developing countries - Dr Marion Pfeifer

Small-holder farming is the major livelihood activity of rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority live below the poverty line and has faced food insecurity at certain times of the year. High yield gaps are pervasive on rain-fed farms exacerbating challenges farmers face. Yet, there are large uncertainties surrounding attainable crop yields, drivers of relative crop yields and environmental costs of solutions to closing yield gaps. These uncertainties are creating challenges for developing countries. The spread of agricultural growth corridors and establishment of agribusiness impacts farmers. This research project collects and analyses ecological and socio-economic data from Tanzania. The Udzungwa Mountain Forests and Kilombero Valley are the focus areas for data collation. The project team works with in-country partners and co-investigators to address these uncertainties. The team investigated the potential of agroforestry as integrated land management.

Green Finance/COP26 Policy Paper: Voluntary Carbon Markets in ASEAN: Challenges and Opportunities for Scaling Up - Dr Marwa Elnahass

Under the existing market calls raised to the COP26 participants, I bring a critical issue to the attention of policy makers. This will bring a voice many businesses, users and stakeholders. The main aim is to investigate the consequences of poor transparency. We also want to look at the lack of a unified financial disclosure framework to report on carbon risks and costs.

Making the senses matter for global health - Dr. Duika Burges Watson

The senses matter to health and wellbeing in ways that until Covid-19 were too often overlooked. Duika Burges Watson’s research focusses not only on an expansive definition of food systems, but also on how we experience food. Her work has drawn international attention. It has informed practitioners’ and patients’ understanding of anosmia (loss of smell as a symptom of Covid-19 infection). It also looks at parosmia (a side effect of Covid-19 when people find once-pleasurable smells revolting). It has also provided the foundation for online patient support groups that involved more than 80,000 people by late 2021. We want to transform medical and public health understandings of our relationships with food and why they matter.

Team Award

Winner

Dwellbeing Shieldfield: Community knowledge building in contested urban space - Dr Julia Heslop, Hannah Marsden (PGR), Dr Clare Vaughan

Shortlisted

Patients, policy and the pandemic - The Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research

Reaching Out: Increasing diversity and sustainable involvement and engagement with local communities in health and social care research

Dwellbeing Shieldfield: Community knowledge building in contested urban space - Dr Julia Heslop, Hannah Marsden (PGR), Dr Clare Vaughan

Dwellbeing Shieldfield is a welcoming, artistic and inclusive community benefit society. It is cooperative of Shieldfield residents and community members of all ages and backgrounds. Through projects, research and events we share life together, support our neighbours and celebrate our rich and diverse community. Our aim is for community members to play an active role in shaping life in Shieldfield. We share our knowledge about the issues and challenges that affect our neighbourhood and work. Together we look for alternative models for organising, learning and solidarity. We aim to move Shieldfield (and similar neighbourhoods) towards self-reliance, resilience and interdependence.

Patients, policy and the pandemic

This is an engagement project by the The Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research. The project team work out of Newcastle University and the Newcastle NHS Highly Specialised Services (HSS) for rare mitochondrial disorders. The teams engaged with policymakers, patients, their carers and leading charities. This will improve the health and wellbeing of their vulnerable patient community.

Reaching Out: Increasing diversity and sustainable involvement and engagement with local communities in health and social care research

This work involves the Research Design Service (RDS) Patient and Public Involvement team in the North East North Cumbria. They build and support links between health and social care researchers and the public. They work with communities that may not have had a meaningful voice in the design and delivery of research projects. Following extensive consultation, the team use innovative ways to support communities underserved by research. This includes the use of illustrative forms of communication. They also support the funding of new roles within community organisations. The RDS team work with both researcher groups and community groups. They are then able to increase understanding of the benefits of involvement in research. They also support meaningful and productive relationships between the two groups.

Vice-Chancellor and President Award

Winner

Creative Fuse North East

Shortlisted

Arrow - Newcastle University

Engaging to challenge racism and Islamophobia, and promote refugee integration - Professor Peter Hopkins

Arrow

Arrow is a bespoke innovation support programme piloted by Newcastle University. It overcomes known external and internal barriers to engagement with small to medium enterprises (SMEs). Arrow simplifies the process for SMEs to engage with Newcastle University. Arrow provides unparalleled access to a wealth of expertise, experience, and facilities. Based on SMEs’ own estimates gained through independent assessment, over the next 3 years Arrow will lead to 143 jobs created, 53 new products or services developed, £2.6m private investment and £16.9m growth in turnover.

Creative Fuse North East

Creative Fuse North East brings together the combined strengths, assets and networks of five North East universities. It supports the region’s creative, cultural and digital businesses and freelancers. We bring expertise from the region’s universities to help North East creative and cultural SMEs and freelancers grow and develop. We help them to respond to new opportunities and become more sustainable. We drive the potential for the region’s businesses to make better use of their creativity and innovation potential. We support collaboration between creative and cultural SMEs and the wider economy. Newcastle University lead this collaborative project involving the other North East universities: Northumbria, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside. We have supported over 300 businesses and practitioners in the project’s first phase (2016-2019). A similar number is forecast for our second phase that we are currently delivering.

Engaging to challenge racism and Islamophobia, and promote refugee integration - Professor Peter Hopkins

He uses diverse formats and approaches to engage non-academic audiences with research findings. He co-produces varied outputs, and uses these to promote social change and transformation. This work has informed policy, improved practice, and enhanced understanding of issues. These include: the definition of Islamophobia, the coverage of Islam and Muslims in the press and responses to hate crime. These projects have resulted in meaningful long-term collaborations with a diversity of groups. This includes: politicians, community, voluntary and religious groups, teachers and educational leaders, journalists and press regulators. Co-producing outputs for different audiences has led to a diverse range of high-quality contributions to engagement and place.