Nottingham shortlisted twice in the ‘Oscars’ of the higher education sector

A University of Nottingham Professor and a course that brings Nottingham’s teaching programme to pharmacy students in China have been shortlisted in a national competition to highlight the best of higher education.

The University is up for awards in two categories in the Times Higher Education Awards 2017. Each year the THE Awards attract hundreds of entries that exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.

Nottingham’s two shortlisted categories are ‘Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year’ and ‘International Collaboration of the Year’.

The ‘Outstanding Research Supervisor of the Year Award’ is given to the individual who has created the most supportive, stimulating and inspirational research environment for doctoral students. Judges will be looking for nominees with a variety of qualities including a pioneering approach to supervision, demonstrable enthusiasm for the role, the ability to challenge students intellectually, and offering constructive employment and career advice post-graduation.

Professor Gerardo Adesso of the School of Mathematical Sciences was nominated by Head of School Professor Ian Dryden for his “outstanding relationship” with his PhD students. A graduate of the University of Salerno, Italy, he joined Nottingham in 2009 as a lecturer and was promoted to Professor in 2016. His world-class research and reputation around quantum correlations, and his charismatic leadership, means he receives dozens of PhD applications every year.

Professor Dryden, said: “There are a number of factors that distinguish Gerardo among other successful PhD supervisors. He nurtures the talent of potential students even before they start a PhD, through inspiring teaching, coordination of the summer research bursary programme and organisation of an undergraduate showcase for all the bursary awardees.”

He added: “Gerardo is a never ending source of guidance and stimulus for his students. He simply cares for his students as for a big family, and is outstandingly skilled and talented in bringing the best out of all of them and proudly accompanying them in their scientific and personal growth.”

Professor Adesso, said: “I am humbled and honoured to receive this nomination, which comes as a surprise! Huge thanks go to my current and former PhD students, who are a constant source of excitement, support, challenge, and reward. Having the privilege to guide them helps me mature every day as a scientist as well as a human being.

“I am also very happy that our research environment in the School of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Nottingham gets recognised as a thrilling venue for nurturing talent.”

The ‘International Collaboration of the Year Award’ recognises exceptional projects carried out jointly between a UK institution and one or more international partners. This category focuses on the collaboration rather than the research itself and judges will be looking for evidence of creative collaborations and imaginative communication of research results.

The School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham has a long-standing global reputation for the quality of its pharmacy education. Ranked 6th in the 2017 QS World Rankings (Pharmacy and Pharmacology), it has led, in partnership with the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TUTCM), the first joint UK-China pharmacy undergraduate degree programme.

The innovative and ground-breaking programme is the first collaborative programme of its type with any international university, with students spending years 3 and 4 of their studies at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham staff contributing significantly to teaching in China. The programme exemplifies vision and provides a new collaborative educational model that could be extended within China, and beyond.

Professor Stephanie Allen, Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Pharmacy, said: “Innovation in education and research is central to the School of Pharmacy’s mission and we are excited to be working with TUTCM on the delivery of this new course in International Pharmacy; it presents us with a valuable new opportunity to learn about pharmacy and its related practices in China.

“We are absolutely delighted that the innovation and hard work involved in establishing, launching and now delivering the course has been recognised by a shortlisting for this THE Award.”

The esteemed Times Higher Education Awards judging panel will toil over the treasure trove of excellence, culminating in the awards evening — where well over 1,000 people will gather for dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, on Thursday 30 November — to celebrate and reflect on the extraordinary breadth and depth of the higher education sector.

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