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Award Winner Profiles 2017

U Project team

Outstanding contribution to the U Project scheme


The U Project was nominated for the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Outstanding Achievement, in recognition of their enthusiastic, imaginative and informed contribution to Choices 4 All and All Saints Primary School.

The wonderful contribution of these students is even more incredible, when you take the fact they are all first year students from the Faculty of Social Sciences. The U Project was formed after a local child Ashad Khan, took his own life due to the impact of bullying at school. The purpose of the project is to educate primary school pupils to the different forms of bullying, but also empower them to raise awareness when it occurs and make a positive impact on their fellow pupils. Through guidance by a team led by Sabheen Raja, Anne Howard and Ibrahim Razari and collaboration with first year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics the pupils have recorded, edited and produced a short film on bullying that will be aired in a launch event at the University on the 3rd of May 2017.

The commitment that the students have shown feeds into the wider Choices 4 All initiative and demonstrates a wholehearted contribution to the University's mission statement “Making Knowledge Work”;  they have shown a willingness to be a genuine difference to the lives of individuals and their families, by maximizing the knowledge they have acquired, creating opportunities and being positive role models.

Felix Kankwamba
Student Union

Institute of Cancer Therapeutics team

Outstanding contribution to research - 'crocus smart bomb'


The team comprising senior inventors Prof Paul Loadman, Prof Laurence Patterson, and Dr Robert Falconer of the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT), were nominated in recognition of their contribution to the invention, development and commercialisation of ICT-2588, the ‘crocus smart bomb’.

ICT-2588 is a novel anti-cancer therapy based on the natural product colchicine, originally isolated from the autumn crocus plant. Colchicine itself is an excellent anti-cancer compound but too toxic to be administered to patients. Technology developed by the ICT team has enabled this drug to be inactivated such that it can be safely administered at therapeutic doses and is only reactivated when it reaches the tumour.

The team successfully developed routes to synthesise the compound, established a robust laboratory screening system to test compounds that led to the identification of ICT-2588, and carried out a series of experiments to assess the effects of the agent in animal models. ICT-2588 therefore represents the culmination of many years of research.

The science behind the invention took centre-stage at the British Science Festival, 2011. This generated unprecedented media interest, with the invention being described in national newspapers and television news outlets both nationally and internationally. The press coined the phrase ‘crocus smart bomb’ due to the selective release of the toxic cancer drug in the tumour.

ICT-2588 has shown very low levels of toxicity in pre-clinical testing and the ICT’s spin-off company, Incanthera, has now raised sufficient funds to run a first-in-man clinical trial that we hope will begin next year.

Professor Richard Morgan
Director, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics and Professor of Molecular Oncology

Visa Support team

For reducing the University's visa refusal rate


Over 300,000 international students study at UK universities each year. To study in the UK international students need a CAS letter from a registered sponsor in order to apply for their Tier 4 visa. All sponsors are required to meet key performance metrics to maintain their licence, including meeting visa refusal, enrolment and course completion rates.

The University has consistently exceeded metrics for enrolment and course completion rates, but in early 2016 the University’s visa refusal rate was 9.4%, just under the maximum threshold of 10%. In order to minimise the significant business risk that the University was facing, the Visa Support team worked closely with the Academic Registrar to develop and deliver the Visa Support Action Plan. This highly targeted and time critical plan focused on significantly increasing levels of engagement with applicants to ensure that they were better supported to make successful visa applications.

The core focus of the plan was to engage with applicants earlier in the admissions process to provide them with the appropriate information, advice and guidance to support them in their visa application. Focus groups with existing international students, organised in conjunction with the Student’s Union, informed the development of the plan.

The first step was to raise awareness of the need for applicants to start considering their visa application much earlier in the cycle, through email and telephone contact delivered as part of the international Customer Relationship Management plan. Applicants who firmly accepted their offer were subsequently asked to complete a pre CAS questionnaire, which requested information on their immigration history, details of their proposed funding sources and information about whether they intended to come to the UK alone or with dependents.

From the information provided by each individual applicant, the Visa Support team were able to provide personalised advice through mock interviews and webinars, and to refer applicants to an enhanced information repository on the University website to minimise credibility refusals. In order to significantly reduce the high number of maintenance refusals, the team also obtained and checked individual applicant’s bank statements and sponsor letters, which enabled them to identify and prevent further refusals.

In addition to working with the applicants themselves, the team identified that a key success factor in reducing the number of refusals was to ensure that stakeholders were well informed to enable them to provide a better quality of advice, providing training for recruitment staff and international agents. The team also undertook additional training themselves to update their knowledge, increased their involvement in networking activities to learn from best practice across the sector and developed a closer working relationship with the University’s UKVI Premium Account Manager.

In addition to reducing the University’s visa refusal rate by over 400%, the Visa Support team have also made a significant contribution to the excellent results achieved in the International Student Barometer survey. The team has been ranked third in the UK and seventh in the world for the quality of their visa advice and third in the UK for the support provided to international students.

The team’s pro-active, professional and dedicated approach to resolving the significant risk presented by the previously high level of visa refusals has improved business processes, enhanced the applicant experience and ensured that the University has been able to retain its Tier 4 licence. By February 2017, the team had successfully reduced the University’s visa refusal rate to just 1.97%, a reduction of 7.43% in just over twelve months. This is a fantastic achievement, exceeding initial targets and expectations and I would like to congratulate the team for their focused hard work which has delivered this success.

Claire Pryke
Associate Director (Recruitment Operations)


Outstanding contribution to the GENOVATE project


The GENOVATE project contributes to the University's objective of equality and diversity with intersections with the internationalization, excellence and sustainability. It is a gender equality change acceleration programme led by the University of Bradford involving seven HEIs. Commencing in January 2013, the GENOVATE project has emerged as an internationally recognised structural gender change project, with its leadership cited as a model of good practice by the European Commission.

Under the leadership of the international director, Professor Udy Archibong, GENOVATE has made significant contribution to income generation with a strong rationale for an impact case study to be included in the next REF exercise. The project has benefitted from high-level international networks across many disciplines within and outside of the Higher Education sector. Through its extensive partnership with regional and national networks, GENOVATE work will continue to make significant contributions in the sector. It demonstrates commitment to all the University's objectives of excellence, internationalisation, equality and diversity and sustainability.

The significant achievements for the GENOVATE team fall into three categories:-

1. GENOVATE cafe – GENOVATE has built a credible foundation in promoting constructive dialogue and critical conversation on gender equality since 2013 through its world café style open method participatory approach. This will be continued after the project; for example, a customized version of GENOVATE café is built into the IWD celebration 2017 as a trial run of the continuing approach to gender equality café.

2. Athena SWAN – The contribution to gender balanced governance in research and innovation and gender inclusive culture which contributed significantly to the achievement of Institutional Athena SWAN Broze Award. GENOVATE structures and track record heavily driving the next phase of Faculty/Schools/Disciplinary Athena SWAN work.

3. GENOVATE International Conference and other events: GENOVATE has built a reputation for delivering high quality events and conferences, which have helped to draw strategic global collaborators to the University. The events, have attracted high profile speakers who seek to stimulate cross-disciplinary exchange and open dialogue with policy makers, whilst showcasing recent gender equality work of the university. GENOVATE's success has been celebrated far and wide through local and national conferences, learning circles and has culminated in a University of Bradford led international conference in Brussels in November 2016. The conference was attended by 95 people, from over 18 European countries.

Mark Garratt

Director of External Affairs

Midwifery Society

Delivery of the Understanding Baby loss and Bereavement Support conference


During this academic session they have held numerous small events that are open to their members, applicants to midwifery from local schools and colleges and qualified health professionals.

Most notable is the free conference they hosted on Baby Loss here on campus on the 4th February 2017. The Audience was drawn from Lincolnshire to the boarders, made up of 400 delegates (plus a waiting list).

To do this the society committee worked collaboratively with” Our Angels” and other key baby loss charities, creating together a complex programme. During the preparation and on the day they demonstrated excellent leadership and organisational skills.

The agenda was interspersed with sessions from experts in service provision, research evidence, NHS policy makers, and most importantly parents who told their stories – the focus being on how to make things better when a baby dies around the time of pregnancy and birth. I had the privilege to chair the day and witness the profound impact the content had on all the participants.

During the breaks there were stands from the key national baby loss charities, talking though there services and providing materials for the delegates. The students own activities raised over £500.00.

The post event evaluations were outstanding and I am thrilled their work has been recognised by the VC.

Dr Julia Pansini-Murrell
Head of School (Lead Midwife Educator)

The committee of the Midwifery Society have been overwhelmed by the impact the Understanding Babyloss and Bereavement Care conference has had both locally and nationally. Co-hosted with Chris Binnie and Our Angels Charity, it was intended to reach and educate professionals of varying disciplines who may come into contact with families who have suffered the devastating loss of a baby; but first and foremost, our aim was to provide student midwives with a basic skillset and dialogue when supporting bereaved families. By doing this, it was hoped that they (ourselves included) would be less fearful and more proactive, in order to provide effective and compassionate support the very first time such sensitive situations are presented during clinical placement.

Winning the Vice-Chancellor’s Award has been an incredible mark of recognition. We believe that such an accolade will only enhance the positive impact of the conference further, as it continues to influence practice and hope that it’s successful formula will be recreated for many years to come.

Natalie Turner (on behalf of the Midwifery Society Committee)
Student (BSc Midwifery)

Tanner Gibbins-Klein

Providing Trans Healthcare Training


Having had the privilege to work closely alongside Tanner for 2 years now in the student representation system, I can safely say I know him pretty well. I have witnessed him dedicate his time and energy into training students in trans healthcare matters, in hope to increase equality and diversity for this under-represented group. Through his training, Tanner has also joined the NHS Clinical Reference Group for Gender Identity Services, where he works with lead clinicians and commissioners from across the UK to make recommendations directly to NHS England about service delivery and enhancement.

Since starting in 2015, Tanner has trained over 300 students at the University of Bradford and hundreds more at medical schools across the country such as Leeds, Oxford, Edinburgh and Imperial College London , to name a few. Within Bradford especially, Tanner has enabled students to contribute to a more knowledgeable, open and supportive environment on campus, allowing equality and diversity to be upheld across all groups of people at the University. He has not only empowered students but has also helped increase their cultural awareness and develop their personal and professional interactions.

Education about trans issues, and their specific health needs, is not currently offered on any curriculum and there is no requirement for such training in most jobs. Tanner’s initiative to start this training should be applauded.

Zainab Garba-Sani
Student (BSc Clinical Sciences)

I was very proud and humbled to be recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. After spending four years at the University of Bradford, I hope that this award will help to continue the profile-raising of trans issues across the university, Bradford and the entire country. Equality and Diversity is, as it should be, at the heart of a lot of what we do here at the University of Bradford, and being able to contribute to that has been a real honour.

Tanner Gibbins-Klein
Student (BSc Clinical Sciences)

Engineering and Process Excellence team

Development of partnership with Jaguar Land Rover


The Engineering and Process Excellence (EPE) programme in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) was launched in 2011 to innovatively develop advanced capability in JLR employees for engineering design, product and process improvement.  Delivering engineering products and systems smarter, quicker and more reliably one might say. 

It was conceived around a core of academically accredited research-led short courses developed within the Automotive Research Centre at Bradford, led by Professor Felician Campean, underpinned by collaborative research with the global automotive industry over many years.  Working closely Technical Specialists from JLR, led by Steve Fannon, these were significantly enhanced and integrated in a curricular framework that blends formal learning with workplace based experiential learning and research, with pathways for postgraduate progression to a full Masters award.

In the last 5 years the EPE programme has attracted more than 2000 JLR engineers, with a financial return of over £2M to the University.  The programme has provided significant impact for JLR also, with a direct financial benefit from over 1000 Lean Six Sigma Green Belt projects estimated at around £100M.

External accolades for the programme include a commendation from SEMTA (Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance) as runner up in Skills Innovation 2017 and a recent Accreditation panel from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, who highlighted the programme as a remarkable and innovative model of industry – academia collaboration.

Felician and his team, which includes Dr David Bryant and Dr Guilhermina Torrao, put a huge amount of effort into this undertaking that goes well beyond their normal duties and the University has clearly reaped the rewards in terms of high quality innovative engineering activities, external esteem and financial income.  I wholeheartedly congratulate them for this achievement.

Martin Priest
Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

Wolfson Foundation Grant team

Achievement of a successful bid to the Wolfson Foundation


The Wolfson Foundation is a prestigious body that makes grants, following expert review, to support only the most excellent research.  This year the University received its first grant from the foundation – sharing a £1 million award with the University of Leeds and Bradford Teaching Hospitals.

This was a major achievement and reflects enormously well on the academic and professional leadership of Professor Alison Blenkinsopp and Harriet Dunbar- Morris.
It was a long road to travel, involving exemplary collaboration with our partners to put forward an exciting vision for a world leading translational health research facility on the hospital site.

Alison and Harriet distinguished themselves through their contributions.  But the grant also brings to life key parts of our strategy: excellence, collaboration and the advanced healthcare theme.  I am therefore delighted that the Wolfson bid team have been recognised in the Vice-Chancellor’s award for outstanding achievement.

Bill McCarthy
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations)

Paramedic Science team

An outstanding new course Paramedic Science


I nominated the Paramedic Science team for this award to highlight how thankful everybody on the course is for allowing every one of us to pursue our dream career.

Both John and Anthony have first-hand experience of what the job of a paramedic entails and this comes across with their teaching.

I’m so glad the team have been given this award and I want to thank them very much for all their hard work in starting the course and the continuing hard work to develop the course along the way.

Gemma Nuttall
Student (BSc Paramedic Science)

Physiotherapy team

Continued excellence to sustain NSS satisfaction scores


Times are changing for healthcare education.  Students are now required to take the student loan instead of receiving a bursary for fees and living expenses.  The likely impact upon applicant behavior has been difficult to predict.  The Physiotherapy and Sport team had already been working hard to review their established programmes, but they didn’t satisfy themselves with a simple update of their BSc programmes.  They analyzed the risks of the funding changes, and decided they needed to do something really different.  Something that would address issues with which they were seeing their graduates battling, and opportunities for a new market they were confident was there.  The team came up with an Integrated MPhysio in (Sport and Exercise Medicine) that specifically addresses the new challenges, and provides whole new opportunities for Bradford graduates.  It is the first specialist, integrated master’s programme in physiotherapy, and was commended as such by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.   The professional body identified the Bradford team as leading a potential shift in the future direction of education for the physiotherapy profession.  On another note, bringing in new cohorts of sport-oriented Physiotherapy students should do no harm to Team Bradford’s chances in the Varsity!
Throughout all this activity, the team have maintained their dedicated student-centred ethos, responsive to feedback and centred around strong staff student relationships.  They have achieved NSS satisfaction scores in excess of 90%, ever since the survey began. The programme is currently ranked 7th in the Times Higher, and just this week we learned that they are now ranked 2nd in the Complete University Guide, up from 3rd last year. 

Vice-Chancellor – for their innovation and continued dedication to the student experience, I am extremely pleased to present to you members of the Physiotherapy and Sport programme team, who have consistently achieved excellence and innovation on behalf of the University of Bradford.

Pam Bagley
Dean of the Faculty of Health Studies

Forensic Division team

Excellence in teaching and student support


I first met the team in 2012. Having previously studied History and Egyptology, I was uninspired and in desperate need for a change. That’s when I found the FACSI programme. Rob, the Andy’s, Chris and the late John McIlwaine have been part of my life ever since.

The Forensic Archaeology programme challenged me in every way possible. From the study of decomposition and the analysis of human remains to practical skeletal excavations and the law of evidence, it was a challenging but exciting year for me. It was also a year of great personal difficulties, but I was able to continue with the support of this team. There were many days when I came in ready to give up, and drop out, doubting my academic ability. I would leave having been distracted by conversations about the role of Gurkha’s in World War One, war grave excavations in Belgium, how bodies decompose in aquatic environments, and many other topics that seem rather grim to most. These conversations not only distracted me during nervous times, but they inspired me.

When it came to our dissertations, how on earth would I write a 15,000 word dissertation? Again, the team swooped in and helped me develop a project on military identification systems, utilising my historical skills to produce an original archaeological study. Every single member of the forensic archaeology team gave me invaluable career advice. Most notably, the advice to take a break between my MSc and PhD. At the time, as I’m sure you can imagine, I felt deflated upon hearing this advice, desperate to continue my studies. But as usual, they were correct. Rob and Andy Wilson held regular meetings with me for the three years I was away from the University of Bradford. Despite their workload, they always made time to meet with me, guide me and offer feedback. They supported me with professional introductions and even collaborated with me on posters and presentations. Andy Holland would spend time with me after his taphonomy classes finished, explaining simple things like the nitrogen cycle to me, knowing my scientific knowledge was significantly behind my peers. Chris has continued to support my plans and ideas, always offering a kind word for any situation.

In 2016, after two years of failing to secure PhD funding, I was successful in obtaining full funding from the AHRC Heritage Consortium, with Bradford University as my lead university. This would not have been possible without the endless meetings, draft readings and interview preparation offered to me by the team at Bradford. With six months until I started my PhD, they showed no signs of stopping, hauling me in for regular meetings and getting me ready to hit the ground running upon my return in October.

I have been a student at four universities now, working at two, and I have never known such kindness and willingness to go above and beyond to help others. Every member of staff has helped me through difficult situations, whether academic of personal. They’ve helped me with funding applications, programme applications, career advice and references throughout the years. They support each of their students, attending our seminars & presentations where possible. They send us links to opportunities that we might find exciting, they sign us up to workshops they believe will help us to learn, and they promote our work to professionals in the field. The support I have received has gone above and beyond the services I have seen offered at Russell Group Universities.

So far I’ve explained to you how the FACSI team have helped me. The alumni and community involvement in the Forensic Archaeology programme is testament to just how much this team has touched the lives of their students. The programme is enhanced by the involvement of experienced archaeologists, police officers, police dog handlers and lawyers- many of whom are former students or colleagues. They return to help new students, because they are so grateful to the team at Bradford. We are all indebted to you for the knowledge you have given us, the jobs you have prepared us for, and how fun you have made it.

The Forensic Archaeology team prepared us for work. We were given realistic expectations about the jobs available in our field, and what steps we needed to take to get there. The team takes the time to get to know every single student. They know our strengths and our weaknesses and they guide us in a way that works for us as individuals. In an economy where Universities must focus on statistics and figures, the Forensic Archaeology team made sure we were always progressing in our own individual way. We never felt like just another number- a feeling that is far too common in higher education for staff and students alike.

No amount of time would ever be enough for me to express my sincere gratitude not only to the four members of the forensic archaeology team present, but to other members of the archaeology department such as the wonderful Jo Buckberry, Karina Croucher, Randy Donahue and Ian Armit to name but a few. So I will conclude by thanking each of you; Rob, Andy, Andy and Chris for your continued support, guidance and friendship over the past five years. Not only from myself, but from your many alumni who are now working in the broadest range of professions across the world. Our time at Bradford has been better for having you in it, and we are truly grateful for you.

Sarah Ashbridge
Student (PHD Archaeology)

I think all of us at the awards ceremony were moved by Sarah’s excellent and heartfelt speech. The forensics team have always tried to go beyond simply reacting to the demands of the immediate, and in particular mentoring students through Masters, into research and indeed into their early careers is a long-term game.

I was fortunate to have been generously helped in the early stages of my career and it seems only right to try and do the right thing for my students. My hope is that they will take this on and assist where they can, their colleagues and juniors as their careers develop.

Rob Janaway (on behalf of the Forensic Science team)
Head of Forensic Programs

Operational Finance Income teams

Excellence service to international students


International students have so many added pressures, not least being miles away from family and friends; I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be in a different country, with strange customs and a strange currency. It must be so daunting for new students to not only worry about their academic achievements but also paying their fees and settling into a new climate and culture.

So how do we at the University of Bradford compare across the sector? Well, we have achieved high scores in the International Student Barometer in our support services for many years, but one team in particular has consistently provided an outstanding service.

Our Payzone and Finance team ranked 1st in the UK and 6th in the world in the International Student Barometer, autumn 2016 wave. It’s not an accolade which will necessarily be used for marketing purposes; it’s not something we would naturally pick to put at the side of the Richmond building. “we make paying your fees easy”, But to our International students, studying hundreds of miles away from home, for some of which financial worries can impact on their whole student experience, our Payzone and Finance team provide a service to our students which means it’s one less anxiety for them.

The team have continually ranked highly in the International Student Barometer:

2014 1st in the UK
2015 2nd in the UK
2016 again 1st in the UK

The team provide an outstanding service to students. For them they are simply just doing their job, but as clearly stated by our students they go over and above expectations and provide a sustained service which is far better than some of our competitors.

This is why I nominated the team for a Vice –Chancellor’s award for Outstanding Achievement. The awards recognise and celebrate the many unsung heroes of our University; of which I believe, and our International Student Barometer results would concur, the Payzone and Finance team most definitely are.

Victoria Foxley-Sayles
Change and Project Support Officer

External Affairs BEP team

Outstanding work on the External Affairs BEP programme


On the 14th April last year Executive Board signed off my proposed new structure under the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions work stream of the Bradford Excellence Programme. This pioneering transformational change programme was designed to create a fit for purpose structure that would deliver operational excellence, enable us to hit our business objectives, whilst also delivering a cost saving of £600,000.

125 days later on 1st August the new structure was live. After over 100 individual consultations with staff in scope, numerous consultations with Faculties, Professional Services and Union staff, the writing of over 30 new job descriptions, over 130 matching and slotting processes for staff affected, many 14 hour plus days and numerous sleepless nights, we delivered the project on time and with the savings required. The programme was developed and delivered to an incredibly high standard of Excellence, whilst ensuring that all Equality and Diversity principles were adhered to.

Now, I am sure all of you in this room will understand the emotional strain this project placed on staff affected by the change, but I hope you will also recognise the impact this project had on those who had to deliver the change. Numerous staff made significant contributions to this successful and challenging project, from staff in HR and Finance, to the Internal Communications team in my Directorate.

However, I nominated four people who went beyond the call of duty to ensure the first major restructure within Bradford Excellence Programme was a success and exemplar for other work streams to follow. They worked incredibly long hours to ensure that the restructure was carried out in an empathic, compassionate, professional and transparent manner.

Mark Garratt
Director of External Affairs

We were delighted to be recognised with a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Achievement for our work on the BEP Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions restructure.

This was a challenging, but rewarding project to be involved in, whilst also managing student recruitment activities before and during clearing 2016, Marketing and Communication initiatives and supporting staff through change.

Claire Pryke (on behalf of the External Affairs BEP team) 
Associate Director (Recruitment Operations)

WiFi team

Delivery of sector leading Wi-Fi


Our University Strategy sets out our ambition to be a world renowned technology University.  This is an ambition with implications.  And Professor Gwendolen Bradshaw was determined that one of the implications should be that our University becomes sector leading for the availability of Wi-Fi.

Easier said than done.  Selling the vision, scoping the technical requirements, engaging technology partners, managing the £1 million budget through all the challenges and unexpected obstacles that come with any sizeable IT project.  This requires strong leadership, a focussed and capable team, and resilience and optimism in abundance.

The Wi-Fi project team demonstrated all of this and have made a very real difference to the experience of students and staff across campus.  They are worthy winners, of a Vice- Chancellor’s award for outstanding achievement.

Bill McCarthy
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations)

Georgina Bache

Leadership in the delivery of the inaugural World Technology Universities Congress


Georgie has been instrumental in the delivery of the 50th anniversary year which encompassed a range of high profile and engaging events, many of which contributed to the strategic objective of excellence and internationalisation.

During an extremely busy year a new event was introduced in the form of a Congress for the World Technology Universities Network. The Congress was a complex event and one that Georgie wanted to take an operational lead on. She was able to take a series of ideas developed by the Vice-Chancellor and senior managers and turn them into reality. She managed all correspondence to invitees, speakers and potential members of the network, and influenced the content and format of the programme. She was able to marshal resources across the university and in doing so brought innovative approaches to the delivery of the congress. An example of this is the event app that was developed by IT for delegates to view the congress programme, presentation slides and campus information. During the congress itself she ensured a personal approach, being available throughout the two days and responding to the needs and requests of senior managers and delegates. For this she received excellent feedback from both staff and delegates.

The event attracted 25 members from around the world, as well as business and other leaders, with 14 institutions declaring intent to join the network officially. This is a huge achievement and one that indicates the great success of the congress itself as well as the strong position the University of Bradford holds on the world stage. Georgie has continued to work on the network, alongside the Vice-Chancellor, to encourage more universities to join and attend the next congress event in August 2017. In doing so she is working hard to see how the network could be established and sustained.

Georgie always shows commitment and dedication for the work she does. She strives to deliver a high quality professional experience for event participants. This event in particular showcased Georgie’s skills in event leadership, project management and first class customer service. It gives me great pleasure to nominate Georgie for an outstanding achievement award.

Eleanor Clyde-Evans
Head of Engagement and Partnerships

Zainab Garba-Sani

Outstanding contribution to volunteering within the Students' Union


Zainab has been a student representative for a number of years, volunteering her time in our representation system. She started as a representative for students on her Clinical Sciences programme, and with time has progressed to be one of the lead representatives in her academic faculty, representing the views of the entire student body in the Faculty of Life Sciences.

For academic representation to work well, it relies on a partnership approach between our academics, support staff, senior managers and the student body. Zainab is the model representative, displaying professionalism beyond her years in facilitating the views of the student body. She has that rare ability to communicate equally well with all that come into contact with her, and win their respect.
But she is not just a representative; she volunteers her time all across the University community, and I am sure there are many in attendance this evening who will recognize Zainab when the comes to the stage to receive her award.

Remarkably, in addition to being a representative, a full-time student, a Student Ambassador, and STEM Ambassador, Zainab has also found the time to introduce and manage the DKMS society within the Students’ Union. DKMS is an international charity whose sole aim is to eradicate blood cancer, which I think we will all agree is an excellent objective.

Zainab is active in fundraising, and donor recruitment. She works with our sports team, our societies and our media areas to raise awareness of these activities. She has been responsible locally for leading students in the University DKMS society to raise thousands of pounds for DKMS. She has also represented the University, by leading on activities that has resulted in over 160 individuals registering as stem cell donors, and act that can be lifesaving.

This is an incredible achievement from one of our students. It is this kind of activity that results in our students been recognised nationally, and internationally.

I often find working with volunteers that there can be two types of student I come across. There are those Students who need support, guidance, and a helping hand towards an opportunity which can assist in their development. And then there are those students like Zainab, who merely need the space and tools to deliver on their vast potential. Zainab is truly an outstanding student, and is fully deserving of the award we celebrate in her receiving this evening.

Daniel Batchelor
Academic Support Advisor

To have been awarded with a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Achievement is a true honour. It was surreal hearing all the outstanding contributions and remarkable successes at the Awards and to have been classed amongst these.

Being part of the University of Bradford community has been incredible and has taught me so much. Daniel Batchelor's citation was truly moving and I would like to thank him and all those who have supported me in my journey. I shall be forever grateful for the opportunities I have had and to those who have helped make it all possible.

My volunteering experience has helped me develop as a person and has also enabled me to support other students in enhancing their academic experiences and transferable skills. I believe empowering students is just one way in enhancing society as a whole as we have so much to give. I have also enjoyed giving back to society through my work with DKMS.

My work with DKMS has shown me the love and care spread throughout our university whilst the student representative system has highlighted staff and student dedication towards providing excellent teaching and enhancing student experience. Working alongside the students and staff has been enlightening and has shown the power of teamwork. Together I would like to think we have helped support the University's mission in making knowledge work!

I hope this award inspires more students to dedicate their time in volunteering to help create a better tomorrow! Once again, I am truly humbled and grateful for this award. Thank you. 

Zainab Garba-Sani
Student BSc Clinical Sciences


Kim Selby

Promotion of research and understanding of personal wellbeing of staff and students


I nominated Kim Selby (final year Nursing Student) for her promotion of Research and Understanding of personal wellbeing of University Staff and Students and members of the local community around End of Life Care and Specialist Palliative Care.  She does this through the University and Community End of Life and 'Dying Matters' Steering Group and by participating in Dying Matters events like Death Cafes plus two Conferences on End of Life Care held at the University.

In her capacity as President of the University Nursing Society in 2016-17 she promoted student involvement in the Death Cafes in the University and at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford in 2016 and 2017.

Marjorie Gardner

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, celebrating everyone's achievements.

I feel extremely lucky to have won the award, and even more so that Marjorie nominated me for my work with the 'Let's Talk Death' group. Knowing that I have made a difference means a lot.  I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in the planning and arrangements for the events over the last three years.

Once again I would like to say thank you to my inspirational lecturers, nurses, other students, and everyone who has helped. Without their continued support and help the events would not have happened.

On a personal note I'm a little overwhelmed that I've won, but I feel extremely lucky, thank you.

Kim Selby
(Student Adult Nursing & President of The Nursing Society)

Caroline Priestley

Developing and maintaining relationships with schools and colleges


Caroline’s role within the UK and EU Recruitment Team is highly varied. Caroline’s main responsibility is to engage with the University’s target schools and colleges across the North East region, this means Caroline gets to regularly visit the most glamourous of places such as Grimsby, Rotherham and Barnsley. Caroline also acts as our link contact in the team for the Faculty of Management and Law, and is responsible for the account management of our Irish based recruitment agency. But Caroline’s main key responsibility in our team, and the one I think I’m correct in saying is the responsibility Caroline has the most passion for, is her role as the team’s Adult Learner Adviser.

Adult Learners make up around 33% of our student population here at Bradford, and they bring with them a wealth of experience that no doubt compliments the experience of our entire student population. Caroline is a passionate believer in Lifelong Learning, understanding the complex sacrifices and challenges our mature students often make in order to return to learning.

Caroline delivers higher education guidance sessions to groups of Adult Learners in colleges across a wide geographical area in the North East and West. Many of the University’s competitors are based within this area, and will also be trying to establish relationships with the colleges Caroline delivers in. With this in mind Caroline works extremely hard to maintain and develop relationships with Access Teams and individual tutors in colleges. Caroline provides an outstanding account management service to these teams, providing a quick and efficient service and she regularly receives fantastic feedback from Access Tutors in college, with many of them deciding to only work with Bradford as a result of the relationship Caroline works hard to build.

Not only does the feedback received from Access Tutors reference Caroline’s efficiency and knowledge, but also her contagious, magnetic positive attitude. I have personally witnessed this out on the road with Caroline; it is Caroline’s unique style and contagious laugh that wins the trust of the mature learners she comes in to contact with.

The decision to return to study and progress onto university for a mature student has often been made after serious consideration of finances, employability factors and the impact on wider family members. When Caroline delivers to groups of Adult Learners she goes beyond just informing them of the facts about higher education, and promoting Bradford. Instead she goes out of her way to show understanding and compassion of their individual circumstances, and the commitment they are making to education and improving their career prospects.

Through her unique style Caroline manages to raise confidence and self-belief whilst also subtly promoting the University of Bradford as the first choice institution for these students, focussing on promoting the aspects of Bradford that are particularly appealing for mature students. There are countless examples of mature students who weren’t considering applying to Bradford, but after working with Caroline couldn’t contemplate applying anywhere but Bradford.

Caroline regularly goes above and beyond in her role as Adult Learner Adviser, often giving out her contact details and personally keeping in touch with individual students throughout the entire application process, this can sometimes mean having difficult conversations when things don’t go quite to plan for these students. Caroline never gives up, providing one-to-one support and guidance for mature applicants.

And when mature students arrive here and begin their studies, Caroline’s work doesn’t stop there. Caroline collaborates with the Academic Skills Advice team for the Trans:It Programme offered to mature learners at the point of enrolment, ensuring that the friendly face students saw back in college is there waiting for them at the start of their university journey and this continues throughout their time here. Caroline genuinely cares about the progression of these students, and it makes graduation a truly special occasion for Caroline when she gets to see mature learners she has known since the very start of their journey succeeding and going on to forge successful futures for themselves and their families.

It’s impossible to go anywhere with Caroline on campus without her being stopped and embraced by a mature student she has supported, and I have lost count of the amount of times I have heard a student say they are only studying here at Bradford because of Caroline’s influence.

Well done Caroline, you are an asset to the university and you should be extremely proud of the significant impact you have made to lives of many of our mature students.

Katie Miller
UK and EU Recruitment Manager

I was delighted to be nominated for a Vice-Chancellors Award for Outstanding Achievement, by Katie Miller and by a student Daniella Tracey. I work with all the local Further Education Colleges to help and support Adult Learners in their journey to university and their transition. I thoroughly enjoy watching them start their courses and graduation is always a special time when I see the end of all of their hard work and meet their proud families. Many of them are inspirational to their children as well as their wider family.

It was a proud moment last night to be recognised for the work that I do with Adult Learners and the citation that Katie gave was a lovely summary of not only the work that I do, but the passion that I have for lifelong learning.

It was also a thoroughly enjoyable evening and chance to find out about all of the work that is going on around Bradford. Thank you for this recognition and for a fantastic evening.

Caroline Priestley
UK & EU Recruitment Officer