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Making the Difference Awards - Research, Innovation & Knowledge Exchange

Revised December 2023

The ‘Making the Difference’ (MTD) awards are intended to provide recognition to staff whose exceptional contribution on a one-off or short-term basis has been outstanding and worthy of reward. 

The scheme provides staff, managers, and colleagues the opportunity to nominate an individual (for whom the award is £250), or a team. A team should have a minimum of 4 members, and the maximum award is £1,000. For teams of fewer than 4 individuals, payments will be capped at £250 per person; this enables very small teams to be eligible for team awards. A team can be an existing team or a newly formulated 'task and finish' project group to achieve a particular outcome. 

The scheme is intended to reward those who can demonstrate outstanding achievement or excellence of a short-term nature which is of such a high standard that it has made a difference to students, customers, colleagues, the Directorate, or the University as a whole. Awards can be given to recognise how something is achieved (the way in which it was done) as well as what has been achieved. 

To ensure transparency all nominations must include supporting evidence provided by someone outside of their team. This might take the form of customer feedback, an email endorsing the way in which support was given or metrics of changes made and the impact of that change.

NB the MTD scheme is NOT to reward an individual who has taken on the duties of another member of staff - where possible this is to be recognised through the Temporary Responsibility Allowance facility. Line managers who wish to nominate staff for taking on additional duties that fall short or outside the requirements for a TRA should be confident that they can support the process and evidence ad indicated above.

Awards will be reviewed by a panel twice a year and include a member of the Directorate Management Team. The MTD Panel members for 23/24 are Colin Poma-Young (EDT), Linda Ko-Ferrigno (KEET) and Dave Diston (RDT). 

Principles of the RIKE MTD Scheme:

  1. Awards recognise exceptional work that is evidenced. To achieve this all nominations are to be supplemented by evidence supplied by someone outside of the individual’s team and ideally external to the Directorate. This might take the form of feedback, metrics, emails sent recognising good customer service, etc.
  2. Awards are for excellent work provided in line with EDI and work life balance considerations. They do not, in principle, recognise or reward excessive working hours.
  3. Awards should ideally align with the University’s four core Principles of environmental sustainability; collaboration across multidisciplinary boundaries; internationalisation; equality,  diversity and inclusion and/or with the Directorate Objectives 2021/22.

How to Submit a Nomination

Timeline:  Nominations will be reviewed twice a year; deadlines for nominations are 31st of January and 31st of July. 

Making the Difference Recognition Scheme R&E Nomination Form:  Nominations can be made, and are warmly invited, from colleagues outside the Directorate as well as internal. The list of questions on the nomination form are listed below so that you can prepare the text in advance and cut and paste into the form. Before submitting a nomination please refer to the main HR Guidance Notes.

 What happens after the deadline?

  • MTD panel review nominations.
  • The panel sends details of nominations and their recommendations to Justine Daniels, Director of RIKE, for approval.
  • If approved, the panel let the line manager and/or person who has nominated know that they have been nominated and given an award, and the line manager informs their member of staff.
  • This recognition of effort could then be made at the Directors' briefing.

Questions on the nomination form:

You may find it helpful to copy and paste the questions on the form listed below into a NEW document and prepare your answers before pasting them into the nomination form. 

Section 1 - details of the Award scheme as above

Section 2 - Employee Details

  • Name of person nominating and completing the form
  • Department of person nominating
  • Team or Individual Award 
  • Name of the person being nominated
  • Relationship of the nominator to the nominee
  • Team the individual being nominated typically works in the Directorate

Section 3: Nature of the Difference Made

How has the individual made a difference? (tick all that apply)

  • Work on a particular project
  • Contribution to teamwork that achieved a particular task
  • Innovative approach/solution that improves service delivery
  • Enabling or developing interdisciplinary/collaborative working
  • Raising morale and team motivation
  • Other (and prompt to provide details)

Section 4: Supporting Evidence

Details of the contribution including evidence and feedback (300 words max) and who has benefited from the support?