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Photos of Manisha Nair and Marian Knight.

Two NDPH researchers have been recognised in the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards 2020. 

Associate Professor Manisha Nair has been Highly Commended in the Early Career category for her work on the Maternal and perinatal Health Research collaboration, India (MaatHRI). Manisha established MaatHRI to conduct large-scale epidemiological research to improve maternal and perinatal health in a setting with a high burden of death and disease. 

Professor Nair said ‘MaatHRI is the largest collaboration of hospitals in India, established to help address the fact that India is among the five countries with the highest number of maternal deaths, globally. The collaboration enables us to roll out new studies quickly and efficiently. 

‘Capacity strengthening in India and the UK is a key objective of MaatHRI. So far, MaatHRI has facilitated training of more than 100 clinicians in India to improve research and clinical skills, and we are providing training to students and early career researchers from the UK and India.’ 

Professor Marian Knight has been Highly Commended in the Policy Engagement category for her team’s work on driving policy change to prevent maternal deaths. In particular, the award recognised the work of the MBRRACE-UK (Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK) design, administration and programming teams. The 2019 report, Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care, demonstrated that the leading cause of maternal deaths in the UK is cardiovascular disease and highlighted that black women are five times more likely to die as a result of complications in their pregnancy than white women. 

Professor Knight said ‘The MBRRACE-UK work involves a huge team. This award recognises in particular the contributions of the design, admin and programming teams to policy engagement and translating the findings of the work into policy change. In particular, the innovative infographic illustration of the stark differences in maternal mortality between ethnic minority and white women has widely resulted in policy actions to address this unacceptable disparity.’ 

The Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards celebrate research-led innovation that is having societal or economic impact. This year, the new category of Policy Engagement has been added to those for Teamwork, Building Capacity, Inspiring Leadership, and Early Career Innovator. 

Winners and Highly Commended entries were selected by the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards panel chaired by Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Innovation, and comprising academics from each of the four University Divisions and professional services staff who support impact and innovation across the collegiate University. 

Find out more about the Awards and all of 2020’s Winners and Highly Commended entries on the Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Awards webpages.