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Durham University News


Durham's student support, community and research work shortlisted for awards

(7 September 2017)

Durham University has been recognised for its commitment to student support, community engagement and research excellence with three projects shortlisted for prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Awards.

At the upcoming 2017 THE Awards, to be held in November, Durham University has been shortlisted in three categories.

The University’s Sexual Violence Task Force (SVTF) has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Support for Students category. The shortlisting recognises the leading work the SVTF has undertaken to address the sector-wide issue of sexual violence and misconduct at Universities, and in society more widely.

The Durham University SVTF was established in 2015 to contribute to the prevention of sexual violence and to improve the support those experiencing sexual violence receive from the University. 

Durham’s commitment to community engagement has also been recognised through the shortlisting of the Durham University Residents Forum (DURF) in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category.

The DURF is chaired by a member of the University’s Executive Committee and includes representatives from both the Students’ Union and each of the city’s seven residents’ associations. The group takes a problem-solving approach to matters that affect relations between residents and the University community, working constructively to address them.

Finally, the research excellence of the University has been recognised with the Scottish Soldiers Archaeology Project having been shortlisted for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The project began following the discovery of a historical mass grave on University land. The Department of Archaeology has lead on excavation of, and research on, the remains. This work has confirmed that the remains are those of soldiers captured during the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 and held prisoner in Durham - answering a centuries-old mystery as to where the soldiers who died in Durham were buried. The team has undertaken widespread engagement with local communities in Durham and Dunbar, as well as with descendants of survivors of the Battle of Dunbar. The project has enabled a voice to be restored to the soldiers and given those connected with their story the opportunity to reconnect with their heritage.

Speaking about the nominations Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, said: “The shortlisted projects demonstrate the University’s commitment to tackling challenging and important issues, such as sexual violence and community relations, as well as our research excellence.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to the staff, students and residents who have helped contribute to this recognition.”

THE editor John Gill said: "Once again these awards have attracted hundreds of entries from the length and breadth of the nation, and from institutions of every hue.

“All those shortlisted can be immensely proud to have made it through this first phase, and we at Times Higher Education look forward to honouring the winners for their talent, creativity and commitment at a time for the academy when these qualities are increasingly essential."

These are the 13th annual THE Awards. Known as the ‘Oscars of Higher Education’ there are 19 categories in total, covering the full range of university activity.

The ceremony will take place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday 30 November 2017.

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