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Photo of the Founders' Awards winners and leading figures from the University of Birmingham
L to R: Professor Dion Morton, NIHR Unit on Global Surgery, Dr Audrey Nganwa, NIHR Unit on Global Surgery, Dr Yuli Shan, Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, Chancellor of UoB, Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, Kathryn Stanczyszyn, Presenter of Founders’ Awards, Professor Tom Pinkney, NIHR Unit on Global Surgery, Dr Tendayi Bloom, Professor Matthew Broome, collecting Award on behalf of Professor Rachel Upthegrove

Now in its tenth year, the Founders’ Awards are named after four of the University’s earliest influential figures and celebrate the best of its academic work.

The Josiah Mason Award for Academic Advancement recognises activity that has significantly advanced understanding within a specific academic area and has had national or international reach.

The Rose Sidgwick Award for External Engagement and Impact is given for academic activity that has created meaningful change at a civic, national or international level by delivering economic, social, environmental or cultural societal benefits.

The Florence Price Award for Outstanding Early-Career Academic recognises the work of a researcher whose work has international significance and breaks new boundaries, placing their research at the global forefront of their discipline.

The Joseph Chamberlain Award for Educational Advancement celebrates the work of an outstanding academic whose contribution to the education of the University’s undergraduate or postgraduate students has had a major impact on student outcomes and experience.

The winners of the 2023 Founders’ Awards for Excellence are:

The Florence Price Award for Outstanding Early-Career Academic

Awarded to Dr Yuli Shan, Associate Professor in Sustainable Transitions. Dr Shan has developed a significant international reputation for his ground-breaking work in environmental resources accounting and climate change mitigation in developing countries.

The Joseph Chamberlain Award for Educational Advancement

Awarded to Dr Tendayi Bloom, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Admissions Lead for Politics and International Studies. Dr Bloom has been finding new ways to provide additional opportunities for learning and growth for students, including by bringing external speakers into the classroom and taking students out of it. She is also dedicated to providing pastoral support for her students.

The Josiah Mason Award for Academic Advancement

Rachel Upthegrove, Professor of Psychiatry and Youth Mental Health, was recognised for her exceptional leadership in research and developing new interventions and infrastructure to improve the mental health of people in the Midlands and across the UK. Professor Upthegrove is leading a new Midlands Translational Research Centre for Excellence for Mental Health, underpinned by £10M of funding from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Rose Sidgwick Awards for External Engagement and Impact

Dr Dion Morton, Barling Professor of Surgery and the NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Global Surgery was recognised for improvements in accessing safe and affordable surgery worldwide. Through innovative research, training and advocacy the Unit has helped to reduce global health inequalities and improve surgical care in the low- and middle-income countries.

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday evening (29th June 2023) during the Chancellor’s Dinner, an annual gathering of over 400 staff, friends and partners of the University which celebrates the graduation period.

I am delighted to announce this year’s winners of the Founders’ Awards for Excellence. The University of Birmingham is a hub of world-leading, ground-breaking research and education and these awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our academics do day in and day out.

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham, said: “I am delighted to announce this year’s winners of the Founders’ Awards for Excellence. The University of Birmingham is a hub of world-leading, ground-breaking research and education and these awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work our academics do day in and day out.

“Our research and teaching have a real impact that will go on to shape the world we live in for the better, and I am so proud to be able to recognise that work today. Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners. They truly demonstrate why the University of Birmingham is regarded so highly as a centre of academic excellence.”