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University of York wins Times Higher Education Award for Support for Early Career Researchers

Posted on 3 December 2012

The University of York has won the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers with its Research Leaders programme, which aims to improve the take-up of professional development activities.

“York has built on existing resources to create a programme for emerging research leaders that is changing the way principal investigators understand and engage with their teams in terms of leadership and management,” said award judge Janet Metcalfe, who is chair and head of Vitae, the body that promotes career development among research students and staff.

The programme sought to improve the numbers of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers taking professional training by targeting their managers directly. It familiarises line managers with the importance of career development and the support materials available. Elements of existing leadership initiatives are brought together so that managers up to professorial level can see the need for professional development in the wider context.

Feedback suggests that the programme has improved both leadership skills and researchers’ engagement with support services. Every participant reported feeling better equipped to develop the transferable and career skills of researchers.

This is a hugely well-deserved award which recognises the outstanding and innovative efforts of an inspiring group of people

Professor John Local, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research

The university’s victory was witnessed by more than 1,000 people, who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane for the awards ceremony hosted by David Walliams. Universities from all over the country gathered to celebrate the greatest ideas, the finest practice and the very best researchers and teachers in the sector.

John Gill, editor of Times Higher Education, said: “Anyone looking for evidence of the pioneering spirit, adaptability and sheer quality of our higher education sector need look no further than the winners of this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.”

The University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor John Local, said: "This is a hugely well-deserved award which recognises the outstanding and innovative efforts of an inspiring group of people."

Also nominated in the THE Awards were Professor David Smith and the Heritage and Homelessness Project 2011-12.

Professor Smith of the Department of Chemistry was shortlisted for Most Innovative Teacher of the Year. Professor Smith’s YouTube videos explaining the organic chemistry of everyday life have received over 300,000 views, and he has encouraged his undergraduate students to make their own videos as part of their assessments, helping them to inform and inspire the next generation of chemistry learners.

The Heritage and Homelessness Project 2011-12, developed by the Department of Archaeology, was shortlisted for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year. The project has brought together homeless people and academic archaeologists to map, document, photograph and record how homeless people are perceived in Bristol and York.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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