Staff celebrated at faculty awards ceremony

The Partnership Awards recognise staff and student successes across teaching, research and innovation, equality and inclusion, and wellbeing.

Outstanding teaching, pioneering research expertise and student excellence were celebrated at a Faculty of Biological Sciences (FBS) awards event last night.

The awards, which are part of the Leeds Partnership Awards, are aimed at celebrating the outstanding contribution of students and staff to university life, teaching and research.

In total, 23 accolades were presented at the special gala event which was attended by over 140 staff and students.  

Some of the winners will go on to be judged at the Leeds Partnership Awards on Tuesday 30 April.

“The Faculty of Biological Sciences is a special place,” said Professor Karen Birch, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Biological Sciences. “In every category, we’ve seen how committed our staff and students are to making the University such a supportive and dynamic environment to work and study.

We couldn’t do what we do – driving positive global change and training and inspiring the next generation of scientists – without such committed and talented people. I was humbled to be part of last night’s celebrations.

Professor Karen Birch, Executive Dean, Faculty of Biological Sciences
Aerial view of attendees sitting at round tables.

Inclusive awards

Historically, the awards have looked to celebrate the achievements of staff and students, but since last year, they were realigned to be even more inclusive of all those who contribute to university life.  

For the first time, FBS has also introduced some new awards to recognise world-leading Research and Outreach activity.

We have a vibrant, collaborative and supportive research community which is making a huge difference in overcoming global challenges, as well as shaping our world-class teaching.

Professor Andrew Macdonald, Pro-Dean for Research and Innovation, Faculty of Biological Sciences

Professor Macdonald added: “It felt only right to introduce some new categories to shine a light on the people who make our community what it is. The level of dedication, coupled with their bright and bold ideas, shown from all our nominees was truly outstanding.”

Four guests chat to each other

The FBS winners are as follows:

Equality and Inclusion Award  

Nominees in this category encapsulated the University of Leeds’ and Leeds University Union’s values that everyone, regardless of background, should feel like they belong within our university community.


Staff: Tim Goodall

Student: Zhané Murrell-Smith 

Feedback and Assessment Award  

Nominees in this category have used assessment and feedback to support and facilitate learning. Their approach has enhanced the overall student experience and encouraged students to become reflective learners. They have also created assessment and feedback opportunities for students, which are fair, inclusive and authentic.  

Winner: Stephen Muench 

Mentorship Award  

This award recognises those who have guided, supported, encouraged and nurtured others to develop their skills and prospects for the future, helping them to grow and progress, either personally or in their learning.  


School of Biology: Suruchi Roychoudhry

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology: Iain Manfield 

School of Biomedical Sciences: Jordan Roe 

Wellbeing Award  

The winner of the Wellbeing Award demonstrates a commitment to wellbeing on campus through their everyday work, or special initiatives.


Individual: Eleanor Todd

Group: The Student Support and Engagement Team; Rachel Sherwin, Faye Priestley, Carmin Bhadhuri, Lisa Bilella, Natalie Aspinall, John Barker

Innovation Award  

This category recognises innovative methods and approaches to engage and excite others or solve problems in relation to teaching methods, support services, engagement techniques or other initiatives.  


Group: School of Biomedical Sciences Directors of Student Education and Undergraduate Programme Leads

Individual: Alex Holmes

Global Impact Award  

This category celebrates members of our community who work with a global focus. Nominees have actively engaged in the promotion and maintenance of international or intercultural activities, education, or competence.  

Winner: Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso 

Academic Personal Tutor of the Year  

This category recognises an outstanding personal tutor who has shown consistent support and guidance throughout the student experience.


School of Biomedical Sciences: Graham Askew

School of Biology: Henry Greathead

Guests sit at tables listening to the ceremony

Professional Services Staff Member or Team of the Year  

New for 2024, this award recognises the contributions to our faculty from any staff member who does not teach.

Winner: Jane Thorn, Student Education Operations Team Leader

Teacher or Supervisor of the Year

This category recognises the individual or group who continually inspire students, using their passion and dedication for a subject area to inspire others to continually develop their thinking and academic skills.     


School of Biology: Anna Riach

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology: Chris Randall 

School of Biomedical Sciences: Clare Tweedy 

Student Academic Rep of the Year  

Nominees for this category have actively worked in partnership with others to secure positive, student-led change that makes a real difference to students. 


School of Biology: Sol Bourne 

School of Molecular and Cellular Biology: Ellen Slay 

School of Biomedical Sciences: Aicha Sandy 

Postgraduate Researcher of the Year  

This award recognises any registered Leeds postgraduate researcher (PGR) who, while undertaking their own research, makes a significant impact on our learning/research community, or the wider world.  

Winner: Zoe Cole

Student of the Year  

This award recognises a student, or student group, who has made a significant impact at Leeds during their studies. This could be through academic excellence, their contribution to co-curricular activities, or enhancing the learning experience or sense of belonging for their peers.  

Joint winners: Lauren Charlesworth and Megan Roker 

Student of the Year winners, Lauren Charlesworth and  Megan Roker smile at the camera with their certificates.

Left to right: Lauren, Dan Williams (LUU) and Megan

From left to right: Lauren Charlesworth, Dan Williams (LUU) and Megan Roker 

Student-Staff Partnership of the Year   

This award celebrates meaningful changes developed as the outcome of a partnership between students and staff. This could include, but is not limited to, co-created initiatives in student education, work around engaging student communities, or collaborative efforts on wellbeing, equality and diversity.  

Winner: Joanna Brown 

Contribution to Student Experience Award  

This award recognises any person or group, either student or staff, who has made an exceptional improvement to opportunities or experiences for students.


Student: Latifakhon Ismoilova 

Group: Technicians; Alexandra Lewis, Chris Jones, Janet Tingle, John Wright 

Research Group of the Year  

This award recognises a research group who has excelled in some significant manner in a number of different areas, for example, a journal publication, impact, innovation, or contribution to securing a major research grant. 

Winner: FBS Research and Innovation Office; Melanie Macrae, Victoria Normington, Lewis Millward, Christine Gibson, Helen Hargrave, Andreea Calin, Liam Jackson

Research Group of the winners smile at the camera.

From left to right: Helen Hargrave, Christine Gibson, Andrew Macdonald, Victoria Normington, Lewis Millward 

Technician of the Year  

This award recognises the talent, commitment and innovation of our Technical staff (Individual/team) across all aspects of faculty life.

Winner: Amelia Lesiuk 

Outreach Activity  

This award recognises projects, teams and individuals that have made outstanding contributions on behalf of the Faculty/ University through engaging with local organisations, community groups, residents and charities.  

Winner: Morgan Herod 

Early Career Researcher of the Year  

This award recognises an outstanding researcher who has excelled in some significant manner in a number of different areas, for example, a journal publication, development of a new technique or contribution to securing a major research grant. 


School of Molecular and Cellular Biology: Martina Foglizzo 

School of Biology: Emily Churchill 

School of Biomedical Sciences: Miriam Hurley


This award recognises outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in devising and implementing ambitious impact plans that have the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from our research.  


Group: Alison Dunn and Josie South

Individual: Zoe Cole


This award recognises an individual or team who have made a positive impact in the improvement of culture (Research or Teaching) within the Faculty.


Group: School of Molecular and Cellular Biology Postdoctoral Research Associates; Leon Willis, Alex Snow, Jessica Swanson 

Individual: Jennie Hibbard 

International Collaboration  

This award recognises an individual or team who work with a global focus. It aims to recognise excellence amongst those who have actively engaged in developing new collaborations, research proposals, and outputs/ impact.  

Winner: Richard Bayliss

Industrial Partnership  

This award recognises a team that has delivered significant impact by working with industrial partners. This could be through academic excellence, developing new collaborations, research proposals, and outputs/ impact.  


Group: National Pig Centre; Amy Taylor, Udani Wijesiriwardana, Ryan Clarkson, Katie McDermott

Individual: Keith Grehan 

Special Recognition Award  

This award recognises an individual who has excelled in their career, making a significant contribution to teaching, research or to the Faculty’s work in general.


Melanie Macrae

Andy Ford 

Image credit: Mike Bickerdike