Three projects delivered by Oxford Population Health have been recognised in the inaugural Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation & Engagement Awards. The awards recognise and celebrate the wide range of ways in which research undertaken at the University of Oxford makes a positive difference to the economy, the environment, and society. The awards were announced today at a special ceremony held at the University’s Examination Schools.
Winning projects were selected on the basis of having developed and delivered high-quality innovation and engagement activities at all levels. All awarded entries illustrated the value of the University of Oxford’s research when connected with or applied in the wider world, including its capacity to create, inform and enact positive change.
Six projects from Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division either won an award or were highly commended. Of these, three were delivered by Oxford Population Health in collaboration with partners within and beyond the University:
- The Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial: Winner in the COVID Response category and winner of a Vice-Chancellor's Choice Award
This study, delivered in partnership with the Nuffield Department of Medicine, is the world’s largest clinical trial investigating potential COVID-19 treatments. The trial team has discovered four effective treatments for the disease, besides proving an additional six to be ineffective.
- after birth: Engaging with maternal mental health through theatre: Highly commended
This award-winning play was developed in collaboration with Oxford-based playwright Zena Forster. The aim was to engage audiences with postpartum psychosis imaginatively, in order to encourage discussion, reduce stigma, and ultimately improve care and outcomes for women affected by severe postnatal mental illness.
- Dr Koen Pouwels’ contribution to the Office for National Statistics’ COVID-19 Infection Survey: Highly commended
At its largest, this study involved over 400,000 participants who provided regular nose and throat swabs. This enabled the survey team to generate reliable estimates of COVID-19 infection in the UK which were used to inform national policies, including decisions on lockdowns and social distancing.
Professor Sir Rory Collins, Head of Oxford Population Health, said ‘We are delighted that three of our projects have been recognised through the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation & Engagement Awards. The awards are testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved and our commitment to improving the lives of populations in the UK and worldwide.’
Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said ‘These awards offer us a welcome opportunity to recognise and to celebrate just some of the extraordinary work that is taking place across the University to strengthen this institution and to advance our mission of research and teaching. On behalf of colleagues across the University, I would like to express my appreciation for the commitment and the talent of all those involved in our work on education, diversity, innovation and sustainability.’
The winners and highly commended entries were selected by a panel chaired by Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, and consisting of academic staff from each division and directors of services which support innovation and engagement activities across the University. Projects and activities undertaken since July 2019 were eligible for submission.