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QMUL shortlisted for a trio of Times Higher Education 2017 Awards

Known as the “Oscars of higher education”, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) has been shortlisted in three separate categories for the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2017.

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ESO/M. Kornmesser
ESO/M. Kornmesser

The annual awards celebrate the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams at higher education institutions.

Pioneering projects

The Pale Red Dot campaign, which was led by astronomers in QMUL’s School of Physics and Astronomy in partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), has been shortlisted in the Research Project of the Year: STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) category.

The campaign was a scientific and outreach project that identified an Earth-like planet around Proxima Centauri. It provided the public with a unique and real-time view of how science is carried out. The campaign is also carrying out follow-up observations of Proxima Centauri to look for more planets, as well as observations of two other stellar neighbours: Barnard's Star and Ross 154. The scientific project, known as Red Dots, will also have an outreach initiative to keep the public posted on its progress.

The study, which was published in the journal Nature, has received international media attention with coverage in all continents and generated over 4,200 news stories in the first week of publication. It also won the Guardian University Award for Research Impact 2017. Dr Guillem Anglada-Escudé, project leader from QMUL, was featured in Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, alongside fellow exoplanet hunters from NASA and University of Liege, Belgium.

Supporting the local community

QMUL’s School of Law SPITE (Sharing and Publishing Images to Embarrass) project has also been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community category.

SPITE is the UK’s first free legal advice service provided to anyone who has been a victim of 'revenge porn', or subjected to the 'sharing and publication of images to embarrass' by another individual.

From inception, SPITE has advised over 70 clients and involved 20 volunteer lawyers from firms such as Mishcon de Reya and Coram Chambers. The service has also engaged 25 QMUL undergraduate law students who work as Student Advisers. This typically mixes family, civil and criminal law as well as issues of data protection.

SPITE also won an award for the Best Contribution by a team of students at the 10th annual LawWorks & Attorney General Student Pro Bono Awards.

Value for money

QMUL has also been shortlisted in the DataPoints Merit category, which looks for interesting patterns in data as a way to measure research performance at institutions.

This year, the category highlights institutions for offering the best ‘bang for your buck’ in higher education, according to the World University Rankings data. The data lists the 980 top universities in the world, making it one of the biggest international league tables to date. It judges global university performance across all of their core activities such as teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The winners of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017 will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Thursday 30 November 2017.

More information

For media information, contact:

Mark Fuller
Head of Public Relations and Internal Communications