A photograph of Stephen FryThe Stephen Fry Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement recognise the work of our outstanding staff and students. The awards highlight people and projects that engage a wider audience, and the benefits this brings to society.

Award winners receive a trophy and can access up to £1500 of funding to support their future public engagement activities.

The University of Dundee presents the Stephen Fry Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement each January during our Discovery Days event.

Follow this link to find out more about previous winners of the Stephen Fry Awards.


From L-R, Dr Senga Robertson-Albertyn (Engaged Early Career Researcher), Prof Mel Woods (GROW Observatory - Public EngagementProject of the Year) and Dr Amy Rogers (Engaged Researcher of the Year).

Winners of the 2020 Stephen Fry Awards

Congratulations to Dr Senga Robertson-Albertyn (Engaged Early Career Researcher of the Year), Professor Mel Woods from the GROW Observatory Team (Engagement Project of the Year), and Dr Amy Rogers (Engaged Researcher of the Year) and for their well-deserved awards. They were presented with their awards at Discovery Days 2020.

Senga Robertson-Albertyn - Engaged Early Career Researcher of the Year

Senga’s enthusiasm for public engagement is clear to everyone who meets her and she has won several awards for her work up and down the country, including both the Microbiology Society’s Engaged Researcher of the Year, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Public Engagement Innovator’s Medal in 2019.

Senga views public engagement as integral to her life sciences research. One of the first projects she developed helped teach children and communities about the bacteria that live in our gut. In this ‘Microbe Motels’ project Senga’s new ways of engaging others were so successful that she and colleagues published the work in a peer-reviewed journal.

Senga is incredibly passionate about sharing her love of science with underserved areas. She feels everyone should have access to science and be nurtured to achieve their goals….or as she puts it “everyone should have the opportunity to be awesome”. Her award-winning work on too many projects to mention, exemplifies this attitude and Senga’s caring approach to her engagement work.

Dr Amy Rogers - Engaged Researcher of the Year

Amy is a clinical research fellow whose interests include evidence-based prescribing in primary care, and policymaking. She is a passionate advocate for public engagement.

This year Amy set up the Public Involvement group that comprises members of the public who review and critique a range of research on medicines. Led by Amy, their most recent area of discussion has been how best to communicate with patients and practices to ensure participant satisfaction and optimal recruitment into clinical trials.

Amy recognises public engagement is a two-way process of mutual benefit to all those involved at a personal, but also a community level. This includes researchers themselves.

She has shown initiative and leadership in setting up and running a range of projects and groups and continues to recruit and enthuse both colleagues and members of the public in the exciting world of research at the University of Dundee. She finds this part of her job rewarding, having fun whilst achieving her goal of empowering the general public to effect positive change within research.

GROW Observatory team

The GROW Observatory helps citizens and communities who are increasingly concerned about the environment and climate change but often do not know how best to tackle issues and make change. The team has engaged thousands of volunteers across Europe to profile the continent’s soil moisture, a key indicator in extreme climate events, such as droughts, floods, forest fires, cyclones and heatwaves. This work embraces communities living with increasingly extreme environmental issues to work together to on key environmental challenges.

Over the past 2 years the team have published an award-winning toolkit ‘Citizen Sensing, a Toolkit’ for communities and organisations. It includes step by step guidelines, tools and stories of change, to help enthuse citizens to monitor their environment.

The tools developed by the team are gaining widespread use and a number of community impacts have been recorded. Just one example being that farmers in the Canary Islands realised that they were over irrigating their crops, and have reduced the use of water for irrigation by between 30 - 50%. It is clear that the team behind GROW has done so much to engage others and support them to change their lives and environment.


Commendations in 2020

Commendations were awarded in all categories in the 2020 Stephen Fry Awards. The work described in these applications excelled at engaging audiences with the University's research.

Engaged Early Career Researcher of the Year

  • Dr Paul O'Mahoney
  • Micol Zuppello

Engaged Researcher of the Year

  • Dr Lucina Hackman
  • Dr Susan Mains

Project of the Year

  • Educational Comics - Dr Golnar Nabizadeh, Professor Divya Jindal-Snape, Professor Chris Murray and colleagues
  • Mentally Healthy Tayside - Caroline Brown, Jacqui Eccles and colleagues

Selection Panel in 2020

Panel members represent the University, our cultural partners and our local community.

Avon Bartlett - Community Representative;

Jackie Malcolm - School of Art and Design, University of Dundee;

Prof John Rowan - University Executive, University of Dundee;

Jennifer Smith - Abertay University;

Leanne Wallace (Chair) - External Relations, University of Dundee.


Three Award Categories

The University recognises there are different ways to engage with people, communities and organisations.  To support all types of engagement, we award winning applications and commendations in three categories.

The Public Engagement Project of the Year is awarded to a team who have made outstanding contributions to public engagement with any aspect of the University's activity

The Engaged Early Career Researcher of the Year is awarded to a research postgraduates (RPGs) or research staff who has shown excellence in engaging audiences with the University’s research.

The Engaged Researcher of the Year is awarded to a member of staff who has shown excellence in engaging audiences with the University’s research.


Contact Us

Do you have any questions or comments about the Stephen Fry Awards? Then please contact Jon Urch at engage@dundee.ac.uk or phone 01382 386669.