UCL News


UCL celebrates the best of public engagement

7 June 2018

The Provost's Public Engagement Awards celebrated staff and students' contributions to the local community and further afield, to coincide with the 10 year anniversary of UCL's Public Engagement Unit.

Know Your Normal

The annual awards ceremony recognises the hard work of UCL staff, students, and their community partners in making the university's research and teaching accessible to the wider world, which is a principle theme of UCL's 2034 strategy.

In 2018, the Provost awarded seven prizes and commended more than 50 teams and individuals for their efforts and achievements: from students to established academics, professional staff and community partners.

The award-winning projects illustrate UCL's distinctive approach to public engagement, characterised by a focus on collaborative models of engagement, the involvement of diverse and often underrepresented public groups, and a spirit of experimentation to encourage wider learning.

Among the award winners was Extreme Citizen Science (UCL Geography). This research group received an award for empowering citizens to explore and experiment with the world around them through more than 500 innovative workshops and events organised in nine European countries. The Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) was recognised for 'Know Your Normal', a research project focused on understanding the experiences of mental health in young autistic people.

Also awarded was Dr Andrea Rigon (UCL Development Planning Unit), who co-founded the Sierra Leone Urban Research Centre to support the development of wellbeing initiatives for residents in informal settlements, and Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (UCL Migration Unit) who was recognised for her outstanding commitment to promoting social justice for refugees.

Annabelle South from UCL Professional Services was acknowledged for her work communicating the results of the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit's studies, focused on cancer and infectious diseases. Doctoral researcher Nicola Anataki (UCL School of Architecture) was awarded for her work with primary school students in India, where she involved them in the construction of their learning environments. The Eve Appeal won the Community Partner Award, for enabling the UCL Institute for Women's Health to pursue its mission of reducing the burden of women's cancer.

Eve Appeal

The full list of winners is:

  • Community Partner Award - Athena Lamnisos and Angus MacLennan (The Eve Appeal, a gynaecology cancer research charity)
  • Early Career Researcher Award - Dr Andrea Rigon (UCL Development Planning Unit)
  • Established Award - Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (UCL Migration Unit)
  • Institutional Leadership Award - Extreme Citizen Science (UCL Geography)
  • Professional Services Staff Award - Annabelle South (UCL Policy & Research Impact Coordinator)
  • Student Award - Nicola Antaki (UCL Bartlett School of Architecture)
  • Team Award - Know Your Normal (UCL Centre for Research in Autism and Education)

The 2018 awards ceremony is part of a special anniversary year for UCL, which marks ten years since the UCL Public Engagement Unit was established. The celebration formed an occasion for the Provost to call on the UCL community to reflect on how we can further develop public engagement over the next ten years.

Laura Cream, Head of Public Engagement (UCL Culture), said, "The more diverse the communities we listen to and audiences we engage with, the richer UCL, its research and teaching, will be. I think the past ten years have shown our commitment to dialogue and conversation, but there is still a lot more that we could and should be doing.

Now we want to hear your thoughts about how we can develop public engagement at UCL in the future, and what stepping stones can help us on the way to 2028. We hope staff and students and our external partners will all join our conversation this year."

Provost and Lara Cream

Staff, students and everyone connected to UCL are invited to share their thoughts about the future of public engagement at the university. UCL Culture will share its findings with the Provost and the UCL Senior Leadership Team in 2019, and look forward to announcing the outcomes publicly.

Join the conversation online at ucl.ac.uk/culture/future. Those involved in the UCL community are also invited to join a free event: Public engagement at UCL: Stepping stones to the future on 20 June 2018 at 12.30. More information is available on the UCL Culture website.

Read the full list of award winners and nominees via the link below. 



  • UCL Provost's Public Engagement Awards 2018. Photos courtesy of UCL Culture and copyright Matt Clayton.


Anna Cornelius, UCL Culture

Tel: +44 20 3108 9722

Email: a.cornelius@ucl.ac.uk