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Award Winner Profiles 2015

Diana Anderson

Outstanding researcher and ground-breaking method for cancer diagnosis

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Professor Anderson’s contribution to the University in terms of research has been immense. Her Hirschberger Index on PubMed is over 50, is about the level you need to be at to be invited to join the USA National Academy of Sciences.

Recently, as a result of an EU collaboration, she published the first finding of a specific mutation associated with smoking in fathers and showed its transmission to their children. This has had a major impact on public health awareness and will lead on to a better understanding of the heritable effects of smoking, which up to now have been very much overlooked.

In addition to this, she set up a spin-out company a few years ago that is developing a tool for predicting susceptibility to cancer for use in clinical settings. So successful has this been that in the last year, Professor Anderson has attracted over £1.2 million in funding.

Charmaine Normington also nominated her, principally for being such a huge inspiration throughout Charmaine’s time as an undergraduate and now an MPhil student . As one of her first PhD students myself, I too can vouch for this, so it was my very great pleasure to nominate Professor Diana Anderson for an Outstanding Achievement Award.

It meant a great deal to me to win the Vice –Chancellor’s award for Outstanding  Achievement 2015. It means that there is always something to strive for either as an individual or as a group.  This award went for ”a blood  test to determine whether or not a person has cancer” based on an idea I presented to Yorkshire Forward for an Enterprise Fellowship. It was due to the joint efforts of Consultants at Bradford Royal Infirmary and Researchers at the University of Bradford, showing how we could all work closely and harmoniously together.  The award was good for all of us and I had been working in this area of research for many years. Our joint work will hopefully continue.

Diana Anderson

Midwifery Society

Outstanding support to students

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I nominated the University of Bradford Midwifery Society for this award in recognition of their commitment to promoting clinical and professional excellence and increasing the sustainability and resilience of the profession. Also their willingness to embrace and highlight the diversity of the profession for both midwives and service users. Abbie, Kate and Gemma have worked tirelessly to improve the student experience.  They have actively promoted and succeeded in getting Team Bradford known throughout midwifery in the UK and beyond. For these reasons it was a privilege to nominate them and to see the VC celebrate those successes with us too.

"The midwifery society were thrilled to be awarded a VC award, recognising our achievements and contribution. Being acknowledged meant we could celebrate our hard work and enthusiasm for making a difference to students and professionals"

Abbie Milnes (on behalf of the midwifery society). 

Sue Baker

Outstanding support to international students

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Sue has been instrumental in international student experience and support at the University of Bradford since being appointed International Student Adviser in February 2003. Sue has contributed to the university’s strategic objectives of internationalisation and equality and diversity in 3 important areas.


Firstly, ensuring a high quality international student experience through establishing events and processes. One of the best examples is International Arrivals week. This is one of the most vulnerable times for an international student, alone and away from home for the first time. What began in 2003 as an international student point has now grown to International Arrivals Week, a joint initiative with UBU. In September 2014 there were 300 airport pickups, 200 escorted for police registration, and the information point attracted 2500 visitors over 14 days. The quality has been consistently recognised with University of Bradford’s Welcome activities rated #2 in the UK in the latest International Student Barometer.


Secondly, counselling and supporting hundreds of individuals in need. Amongst many examples, a Japanese student whose family were reported missing for over one week in 2011 following the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami; a Libyan student who was imprisoned and tortured when he went home for field work; and family and friends of a Jordanian PhD student, who suddenly took ill and died.


Thirdly, developing an international and diverse campus through setting up activities and ensuring the voice of the international student is heard in all aspects of our services to students. Sue introduced an International Student Day (January 2007) and a Cultural Week (October 2008) which developed in 2011 to an annual student-led activity - One World Week. Sue is also ensuring longer-term impact by helping to internationalise professional practice amongst UoB staff by working with HR and the Equality and Diversity Unit to introduce a course for professional services staff on Working With International Students.

Sue has made an impact at the systemic level and at an individual level. She has done this through working with many colleagues across the university and in UBU. She has gained recognition externally and respect from her colleagues (several independently contributed to her nomination, in fact Sue was in fact nominated twice, by the International Office and the Chaplin). Perhaps the highest accolade is that Sue is known amongst the international student community as “Mamma Sue”.

Student Ambassadors in Archaeology

Outstanding contribution to promoting the University through contributing to Applicant Experience Days

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We nominated the Student Ambassadors in Archaeology for the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of their enthusiastic, imaginative and informed contribution to undergraduate recruitment, one of the most important areas of University activities.

These students, mainly final and placement year students, play a vital role in promoting what Bradford has to offer to prospective students and their families. The Ambassadors are involved from the outset of the recruitment process, ringing applicants to issue a personal invitation to the Applicant Visit Days. They welcome visitors, conduct tours around the facilities in archaeology and the campus and organise activities. The latter includes preparing and delivering hands on workshops for visitors, for example in the study of pathological human remains and archaeological materials, to give prospective students an insight into the practical nature of degrees at Bradford. The Ambassadors are always willing to share their experiences in both formal question and answer sessions, and in informal discussions with applicants and families.


Archaeology has seen a 33% increase in applications for entry in 2015, accompanied by a 60% increase in the number of applicants coming to Applicant Visit Days, which has made these events even more critical to student recruitment. Whilst Applicant Visit Days also include more formal presentations and meetings with academic staff, the contribution from current students is vital and feedback from the applications makes it clear how much they appreciate hearing about the courses from people with first-hand experience.

"Winning the Vice Chancellors award for Outstanding Achievement made me and everyone involved feel very proud. It was really great to feel recognised for the work we did and to know that the University appreciated it."

Sian Barnes

End of year celebration event team

Outstanding support for staff and students

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The end of year celebration event team were nominated for this award for taking the ‘seed’ of an idea and producing a fantastic event in May 2014  which brought over 600 staff and students together. It was developed from start to finish in 8 weeks by a team made up of both students and staff with a limited budget.

This event demonstrated Team Bradford at its best and promoted engagement and teamwork at all levels of the University. The event has become part of the core events calendar and was repeated in May 2015 when over 900 people were involved.

"The End of Year Celebration Team were thrilled to receive a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement recognising all the hard work that went in to developing and delivering the End of Year staff and student Celebration and Team Bradford Tournament.

The delivery team included staff from the Sport Centre, HR, Events and Partnerships and the Communications Team, so the recognition from this award was appreciated across many areas/departments of the University.

The award citations at the presentation ceremony was inspiring and it was nice to take a moment to reflect on the successes across the University".

Georgie Bache