On Thursday 22 June we were delighted to announce the winners of the Excellence Awards 2017 at a celebration at Coventry Cathedral. Congratulations to all concerned, the shortlisted entries and the winners. 

Category: Research-Inspired Teaching

Judges’ comments: The award this year goes to a team who took a holistic approach to introducing research-inspired teaching across a range of subject areas and levels of study. Throughout one full teaching week, undergraduate students from Human Resource Management, Sport, Event and Tourism Management, and Marketing presented group investigative work at level one, initial ideas for an individual research project at level two, and their final dissertation projects at level three to subject matter experts in a format of an academic research conference.The judges were impressed by the scale of the research conference involving over 800 participants and the commitment of a large multi-disciplinary team to support and work with one another to enhance research inspired teaching.

Research Inspired Teaching

Awarded to the Course Embedded Resarch Inspired Teaching Initiative: Dr. Eva Kipnis, Dr. Lara Spiteri-Cornish, Sarah Horton-Walsh, Dr. Jason MacVaugh, Helen Grimley, Dr. Adi Weidenfeld, Dr. Crystal Zhang, David Cook.

School of Marketing and Management - Faculty of Business and Law

Category: Digital Fluency and Innovation

Judges’ comments: The panel noted that this was a genuine cross-course team development.  The activity-led approach based around the innovative use of gamification is producing graduates who are highly employable. Cyber security is by definition a constantly evolving sector and it is pleasing to see that the course team are continually developing the course pedagogy to meet the needs of industry.

Digital Fluency and Innovation

Awarded to the Skills Development and Demonstration Through Virtualised Challenge Initiative: James Shuttleworth, Daniel Goldsmith, Sandy Taramonli, Christo Panchev, Derrick Newton, Xiang Fei, Antal Goldschmidt, Robert Bird, Alexandros Konios, Yasir Khan.

School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics - Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing

Category: Supporting Global Learning

Judges' comments: Awarded to a very well organised initiative to make their discipline truly “international” with transnational partners. The combination and focus demonstrates a very innovative way to develop internationalisation in a short period of time. The approach undertaken could be used as a blueprint for course teams within the University for the development of partnerships and an “internationalised” curriculum.

Supporting Global Learning

Awarded to Fashion Goes Global: Ann Muirhead, Rebecca Ryder-Caddy, Angela Armstrong, Ania Sadkowska, Scarlett Holland, Eva Schulha, Katie Turner.

School of Art & Design - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Category: Creativity and Enterprise

Judges’ comments: CU has used Flying Faculties before, but this initiative elaborates on this due to the depth of collaboration involved.  This programme takes the best of our research knowledge and puts it in an industrial context supporting CU across the corporate plan and could lead to much more activity in this area.  We are delighted that this project brings together education, teaching and TNE in a global framework.

Creativity and Enterprise

Awarded to the KPIT Postgraduate Development Programme: Michelle Connors, Bob Bird, Nerea Etura Luque, Mark Hooper, Yanguo Jing, Wendy Garner.

Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing 

Category: Equality and Diversity Volunteering Award

Judges’ comments: The Innovation stems from bringing together disciplinary expertise and applying it into a specific environment namely the British and world transplant games which promote equality for and Sporting abilities of people who have received organ transplants. There is clear evidence of this initiative linking to and supporting students and staff in both their studies and research questions. This has also supported specific student progression and includes internal work through student assignments, to external pieces such as the one on Athlete Perceptions.  Great to see that this has been sustained over several years, is not a one off, and has plans to go from strength to strength in the future’.

Equality and Diversity Volunteering Award

Awarded to the World Transplant Games Initiative: Sheila Leddington Wright, Louise Anderson, Alex Marney, Thomas Hames, Michelle Stanley.

Sports Therapy - Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Category: Outstanding Course Team

Judges’ comments: A persuasive combination of internal and external funded research projects supporting published research inspired teaching, attracting strong international collaboration and access to global networks convinced the judges this was an outstanding team.  Viewed from the student perspective with 100% student satisfaction across an impressive 7 year cohort growth of over 1000%, a wide range of industrial placements, opportunities for students to compete in annual conferences and engage in outreach through 4 weeks of bursary funded A-level mentoring, sealed the outstanding team performance award.

Outstanding Course Team

Awarded to Biomedical Sciences: Lauren Acton, Elaine Green, Claire Woodhouse, Sebastien Farnaud, Emma Frith, Yvonne Elliott.

School of Life Sciences - Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Category: Student Employability Initiative

Judges’ comments: The project was a worthy winner, which demonstrated a significant change in mindset around the placement process. The project was a very considered and thoughtful response to building successful collaborative networks between students, industry employers and their placement peers. Instead of viewing placements as having a moment in time value, this project extended the positive influence forwards to the alumni audience and to future placement students through a returners event, promotional media, social media and Linkedin peer group providing an excellent model for others to follow, in both its operation and communication.

Student Employability Initiative

Awarded to the EEC Placement Returners Event: Ciarán McMullan, Dale Richards, Neelam Thapar, Marilyn Maddams, Ateya Asghar, Ricky Atwal, Mohammed Islam, Rhiannon Bigham, Kirsten KalnsGurj Minhas, Tom Longstaff.

EC Futures - Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing

Category: Community Engagement Initiative

Judges’ comments: The winning initiative was impressive across many aspects because it has had a positive impact on the lives of Coventry children and their families.  Added to this, our students gained valuable experience in how to collaborate in communities to bring integration of movement, storytelling and science into an innovative space. We are delighted that this Porject engaged so many children and will continue to give ideas to both local and academic communities who are invested in helping children to stay active. 

Community Engagement Initiative

Awarded to the The Fun Move Project: Prof Mike Duncan, Dr Emma Eyre, Dr Jason Tallis, Miss Chelsey Lawson.

School of Life Sciences - Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Category: Research Team of the Year

Judges’ comments: This is an excellent example of an innovative project that brings together the 2 disciplines to solve real world problems through research.  The project is exemplary in it being the first time in academia that law and dance were brought together to consider the intersections between legal and artistic challenges as they relate to disabled dance.  Originally funded by the AHRC, the project team have secured further funding for the project to extend the impact of the project on dancers with disabilities and venue programmers.

Research Team of the Year

Awarded to the InVisible Difference - Dance, Disability and Law Initiative: Professor Sarah Whatley, Professor Charlotte Waelde, Dr Abbe Brown (University of Aberdeen), Dr Shawn Harmon (University of Edinburgh), Caroline Bowditch, Dr Mathilde Pavis (University of Exeter), Dr Kate Marsh, Dr Karen Wood, Hannah Donaldson (University of Exeter).

Centre for Dance Research - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Category: Outstanding Professional Services Team

Judges’ comments: The winning team has tackled a truly critical business problem in an innovative and effective way which is vital to the continued operation of the University Group. The team came up with an imaginative, thoughtful approach, making good use of data analytics, to provide highly effective and targeted interventions.  This has made a significant difference to our performance in this area, reducing the refusal rate by an order magnitude and completely mitigating a critical business risk.

Outstanding Professional Services Team

Awarded to the International Student Support Team: Alistair Logan, Becky Shield, Robyn Deterding-Male, Emily Baker, Sarah Tompkins, Hassan Abdul-Azeez, Ben Twyneham, Shervelle Kennelly, Pav Thind, Michelle Allden, Ema Oko, Mahmuda Ahmed.

International Office

Category: Student Support Initiative of the Year

Judges’ comments: This initiative is both topical and timely given several highlighted cases in the media.  Seeking to improve the coping skills and raise the emotional resilience of students and staff,  the initiative has great potential to support the learning experience and with potential impact on retention rates.  As such this is clearly in line with the promises made in the Education Strategy . The team should be commended for making a potentially life long difference to the lives of those who have participated and the initiative should be promoted throughout the university.

Student Support Initiative of the Year

Awarded to Raising awareness and lifting taboos about Mental Health issues within the student population in HLS: Sally Parkes, Theresa Pengelly, Lesley Pearson, Vikki Fessey, Annette Dix, Jane Toms, Diane Phimster, Laraine Epstein, Gay James.

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health - Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Category: Equality and Diversity Theme Award

Judges’ comments: The panel were impressed by the work of the project which brings together people from different cultures, ages, backgrounds and nationalities in a social way and for mutual benefit; as equal partners.  This fairly simple, yet innovative activity is one that the panel hopes will be copied by other areas across the Faculties.  For it demonstrates how the University engages with the local community, as well as furthering good relations and promoting equality and diversity.

Equality and Diversity Theme Award

Awarded to the Collaborative working with Sikh Union Coventry Initiative: Maninder Kaloti & Sikh Union Coventry (Jaswinder Matharu).

FAH Futures - Faculty of Arts & Humanities

Category: Creating Better Futures

Judges’ comments: Nominated by their own students, this Team has demonstrated an exceptional dedication to enhancing the opportunities available to their students.  Each clinical lead brings specialised expertise and professional practice to the course in areas critical to the profession.  There was clear evidence of research underpinning teaching. Students feel extremely well supported and recognize and appreciate the ambition demonstrated within the teaching team.  They understand that there are more options available to them on graduation both in the UK and overseas.

Creating Better Futures

Awarded to the Coventry University Midwifery Lecturers Team: Susan Lees, Susan Law, Elinor Clarke, Isobel Mcdermott, Carol Mackay, Bernadette Norman, Collette Clay.

School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health - Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Category: Outstanding Contribution to the University Group

Judges’ Comments: This is the only joint award of the evening and the judges felt that both the winning teams had demonstrated exemplary and outstanding service to the University Group.  Let’s have a look at why we have chosen these teams. The Grounds Team have designed and implemented some outstanding landscapes including the edible garden, the Lanchester garden and the wildflower meadow at the Westwood Heath Playing Fields.  The team create the designs for all these landscapes in house and operate a very small team to ensure the grounds that we enjoy are regularly maintained and fit for purpose. The Distribution Team are the unsung heroes of the University. They operate a fully flexible service including postal services, portering, drivers and facilities within a very small group of staff. The team go that extra mile to deliver an outstanding service. They are constantly reviewing their working practices, looking at new ways of working and bringing in new ideas. One initiative recently brought about annual savings of £10k on postage per year.  Their willingness to change shift patterns to match university life was recognized and highly valued.

Outstanding Contribution to the University Group 

Awarded to The Grounds Team: Phil Osbourne, David Jaques, Wendy Townsend, Stuart Grundy, Reg Worrall, Kenneth Atkins, Kenny Grinell, Adrian Alldrick, Brittany Osbourne.

Coventry University Estates


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Outstanding Contribution to the University Group 

Awarded to The Distribution Team: Ian Morley, James Carter, Don Evans, Karl Clift, Craig Harrison, Luke Forster, Alan Kyte, Gareth Smith, Kulbinder Birdi, Peter McEvoy.

Coventry University Estates


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Postgraduate Research Student Three Minute Thesis Competition and Poster Award

Awarded to Madeline Cheah 
for “Intrusion detected: reboot required”.

Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development