2020/21 Research Staff Excellence Awards – Winners and Highly Commended

Many congratulations to the winners and highly commended researchers who were nominated for their outstanding achievements, impact and successes in their research. The winners and highly commended were selected by a panel comprised of academics leads for research staff and researcher development and chaired by the Associate Vice President for Research. You can read about the achievements of our winners and highly commended in Biology, Medicine and HealthHumanities and Science and Engineering.

Research Staff of the Year

Dr Paul Atherton, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Dr Atherton, aResearch Associate in the Division of Cell Matrix Biology and Regenerative Medicine, is recognised for his significant contribution to the understanding of how cells communicate with their extracellular environment, evidenced by many publications in internationally leading journals, invitations to prestigious conferences. Dr Atherton has also secured research grant funding, as a co-researcher on a BBSRC, and is recognised for providing excellent support to PGRs and Masters Students.

Dr Rob Bellamy, Faculty of Humanities

Dr Bellamy, Presidential Fellow in the School of Environment, Education and Development, has had a stellar year with seven major publications in journals of international standing in the field of global environmental change. He is recognised for his role in leading the University’s contribution to the UK-wide, and UKRI funded, Greenhouse Gas Removal Directorate Hub.


Dr Ying Chen, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dr Chen, Roll-Royce Research Fellow in the Department of Materials, has received recognition for his pioneering work on protective coatings including securing funding and support from industry partners. Dr Chen’s many impactful publications are among the most cited in this field and he is regularly invited as a discussant to conferences and industry workshops.

Best Outstanding Output

Dr Yingjuan Liu, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health

Dr Liu’s was recognised for his highly citedpaper in the International Journal of Epidemiology, which highlights the changing epidemiology of congenital heart disease globally and will enable conclusions to be drawn about the allocation of healthcare resources, particularly in developing countries.

Dr Lei Nei, Faculty of Humanities

Whilst Research Associate at Alliance Manchester Business School, Dr Neihad several publications in journals of the highest international standing including as lead author a paper in the European Journal of Operational Research which develops understanding of the factors which impact on individual’s vaccination decision-making process.

Dr Qian Yang, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Dr Yang, Leverhulme Research Fellow in the Graphene Institute, has published two significant and impactful papers on capillary condensation providing first experimental proof of the century-old Kelvin equation and opening up possibilities to address materials science at its smallest scale.


Best Outstanding Contribution to Research Impact

Dr Katherine Rogers, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health,

Through a broad range of activity, including translating, testing and validating research and practice tools in British Science Language, Dr Rogers has had a significant impact on clinical practice, health policy and practice guidelines in relation to Deaf signers’ mental health.

Dr Kate Scott, Faculty of Humanities

Dr Scott has shaped government strategy and policies on climate change and zero net carbon as evidenced by explicit reference to Dr Scott’s work on resource efficiency and materials substitution in the UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.

Dr Michael Winn, Dr Luis Bering, Dr Sarah Shepherd, Dr Imtiaz Khan, Faculty of Science and Engineering

The team of researchers in the School of Chemistry have developed an alternative and more sustainable approach for the synthesis of complex molecules including the production of pharmaceuticals and other valuable materials.

University-wide Award of Best Outstanding Contribution to the Research Environment

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Research Staff Reps have made a significant contribution to supporting the research staff community through a very challenging year, organising virtual events at all level, which played a crucial role in connecting researcher during COVID-19.