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THES awards - bang the drum for higher education

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The Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) are introducing a series of awards which will recognise and celebrate the achievements of universities and the academics who work in them.

There are 14 categories of awards altogether, including awards for young researcher of the year and young academic author of the year, with awards of £5,000 and research project of the year. Other categories include employer of the year, outstanding support for overseas students and best student experience, which is the only award that will not be judged: students will be polled and will rate the academic reputation, teaching, social life, facilities and graduate prospects of their own institutions.

The criteria for the awards emphasises innovative projects which have taken place over the year, so we would score most highly in areas where we are ahead of the competition. All the awards are judged, apart from the student award which is based on voting by individual students.

THES Awards 2005 categories

  • Widening participation initiative of the year: awarded to the most imaginative and innovative project that encourages potential students from non-traditional backgrounds to enter higher education.
  • Research project of the year: to an individual or team that has produced exciting and innovative research with a far reaching impact on its field and has caught, or has the potential to catch, the imagination of the public.
  • Young researcher of the year: academics under 40 working in a UK institution whose research has made a significant and potentially extraordinary impact in their chosen field. The winner will receive £5,000.
  • Outstanding support for overseas students: for the scheme that helps international students gain the maximum benefit from their study.
  • Young academic author of the year: for an academic under 40 whose work is both original and has a strong appeal beyond its discipline. Entries must be from individuals (not jointly authored works). The winner receives £5,000.
  • Business initiative of the year: to an individual, department or institution whose spin-off or licence is ingenious, sustainable and potentially profitable.
  • Employer of the year: for the institution that recognises the needs of its staff by offering the most innovative induction, development or support programmes.
  • Outstanding contribution to the local community: to the most original and effective initiative that benefits the wider community - culturally, socially or economically. Takes into consideration initiatives designed to improve historically bad relationships between the two communities.
  • Best student experience: this is the only award that will not be judged. Students will be polled and will rate the academic reputation, teaching, social life, facilities and graduate prospects of their own institutions.
  • Outstanding support for disabled students: to the individual, team or institution that has pioneered the most imaginative initiative to aid and develop disabled students.
  • Most imaginative use of distance learning: to recognise the best and most innovative work in the delivery and development of distance learning to students.
  • Commonwealth university of the year: for the institution that manages to provide academic excellence and wide educational opportunities even when conditions are less than favourable.
  • Higher education institution of the year: to the institution that, through a particularly bold or innovative initiative, has advanced its reputation substantially in the course of the academic year.
  • Lifetime achievement award: to the individual who, in the editor's opinion, deserves to be honoured for his or her contribution to higher education.

The criteria for the awards emphasise innovative projects which have taken place over the year - year means from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2005. The closing date is 30 June, with finalists announced in September and the awards/presentation in November. 

Details and application forms are at http://www.thes.co.uk/Awards/2005/|

Individual entries generally need to be endorsed by the institution. So if you or your department/centre think you meet the criteria and are planning to submit an entry for any of the awards, please get in touch with Denise Annett, head of Press and Communications Division, email: D.Annett@lse.ac.uk| 

8 March 2005

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