UCL Urban Laboratory


Second Annual Provost's Awards for Public Engagement

11 January 2011

An urban food festival, a film competition about health, an exhibition about disposal of museums' collections and work engaging with the Deaf community about research into deafness are among the activities carried out by UCL staff and students recognised in the second annual Provost's Awards for Public Engagement in 2010.

Four prizes, to be awarded by UCL Provost Malcolm Grant, showcase UCL's ever-broadening approach to working with citizens outside the institution. 

In addition to the individual prizes, UCL's Studies received a prize as the department that has shown the greatest change in culture, with respect to public engagement, in the last year.  The department has brought public engagement to the heart of its mission, building on its long tradition of engaging with communities.

Marina Chang, a former MSc student of Urban Studies from 2008 to 2009 and a PhD student in UCL's Development Planning Unit, has won the award in the student category, largely for this spring's Junctions project.  Food Junctions brought over 150 UCL students and staff from27 departments together to deliver a staggering 60 events to a local audience in the King's Cross area.

Activities ranged from skip gardening to discussing the consumption of pets.

Marina's award recognises her leadership of Food Junctions, her management of the many partnerships that continue to bear fruit, and the way she has built upon the project to create further opportunities for interaction between UCL staff and student sand local people outside the university.  Marina led a hard-working and enthusiastic team with drive and commitment to deliver an impressive range of activities.

The Public Engagement Awards are organised by the UCL Public Engagement Unit, one of the six UK Beacons for Public Engagement. The Beacons act to encourage public work among universities and create a culture in which universities share their research, teaching and learning with a wider public audience. The Beacons for Public Engagement are funded by the UK Funding Councils, Research Councils UK, and the Wellcome Trust.