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Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Impact

The Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Awards were established to recognise and reward those whose research has led to excellent impact beyond academia, whether on the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life.

Nominations are initially judged by School, with one prize of £1,000 being awarded to the best impact in each School. An external advisor selects the overall best impact nomination from these School winners, and the prize for this Award is increased to £2,000.


2016 inaugural awards

The University received 71 nominations for the Impact Awards in its inaugural year. Schlumberger selected the overall winner and the winners were announced at an award ceremony on 20 June 2016, hosted by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz. You may see the pictures from the ceremony at the bottom of this page. Pictures from the ceremony appear at the bottom of this page. The winning nominations were:



Overall winner
School of Clinical Medicine
Dr Nita Forouhi and Dr Fumiaki Imamura
MRC Epidemiology Unit


Sugar, fat and health – building evidence, awareness and policy impact

Identifying modifiable risk factors is an important step in helping reduce the health burden of poor diet. Forouhi and Imamura have advanced our understanding of the health impacts of sugars, fats and foods, through both scale and depth of investigation of self-reported information and nutritional biomarkers. They have engaged at an international level with policy and guidance bodies, and have used the media to improve public understanding with the potential for a direct impact on people’s health.
Mari Jones
School of Arts and Humanities
Dr Mari Jones
Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

The Norman French of Jersey

Norman French has been spoken in Jersey for over 1,000 years. Today, however, this language (Jèrriais to its speakers) is obsolescent: spoken by some 1% of the population. The research of Mari Jones has sought to preserve Jèrriais and has helped raise the profile of the language within Jersey and beyond, with impacts on local and national media, language policy and education, and cultural identity and development.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr Gilly Carr
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology

Victims of Nazism in the Channel Islands: A Legitimate Heritage?

The Channel Islands have long had great difficulty in coming to terms with the darker side of the German occupation. The aim of Gilly Carr’s research is to increase awareness of Channel Islander victims of Nazi persecution through creation of a plural ‘heritage landscape’ and via education. The creation of this heritage is a major achievement and will be of significant impact for the Channel Islands.

School of Biological Sciences
Professor Steve Jackson
Wellcome Trust/CRUK Gurdon Institute


Olaparib is an innovative targeted therapy for cancer developed by Steve Jackson. In 2014 Olaparib was licensed for the treatment of advanced ovarian cancer by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. The following year, NICE made the drug available on the NHS in England for specific ovarian cancer patients. 2015 saw promising findings from a clinical trial in prostate cancer and Olaparib received Breakthrough Therapy Designation earlier this year. Olaparib is currently in clinical trials for a wide range of other cancer types.
School of Technology
Professor John Clarkson and Dr Nathan Crilly
Department of Engineering

Inclusive Design: It is normal to be different

It might be hard to imagine what a Ferrari Enzo and a jar of Duerr’s jam have in common. Surprisingly, the Enzo was designed to be easier to enter than previous Ferraris and Duerr’s innovative ‘easy open’ lids were designed with better access in mind. Both changes were in direct response to the physical challenges faced by many older people and both resulted in better products for all potential customers.
The demographics of the world are changing, with longer life expectancies and a reduced birth rate resulting in an increased proportion of older people. Yet with increasing age comes a general decline in capability, challenging the way people are able to interact with the ‘designed’ world around them. The Cambridge Engineering Design Centre has worked with the Royal College of Art to address this ‘design challenge’.
We developed a design toolkit and realised what was by now obvious, that inclusive design was simply better design. When the demands made by a product in a given situation exceed the capability of the individual to respond, that person is likely to be excluded from using the product.
There is likely also to be a significant number of people who, for the same reasons, find the same product difficult or frustrating to use. Any subsequent improvements to the design to exclude fewer people are then very likely to make it easier and less frustrating to use for the majority.


The 2016 Impact Awards were held in partnership with the Public Engagement with Research Awards.

For more information about the Impact Awards, please contact Stephanie Swain at or 01223 (7)64987.