Reward and recognition for public engagement in Life Sciences

How we have been recognised for our public engagement work, and how we as a School recognise those involved in taking our work to a wider audience.

On this page

Nationally recognised excellence in public engagement

Gold Engage Watermark

The School of Life Sciences was awarded the first faculty Gold Watermark in the UK - the highest available at the time - by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) in 2017.

The University then became the first university in Scotland, and only the third in the UK, to receive the institutional Gold Watermark from the NCCPE. 

These watermarks are awarded to universities for excellence in their support and practice of public engagement in all aspects of their work. These awards were made following a rigorous assessment involving staff from across the University and partner organisations.

Staff and student recognition

Our staff and students have been recognised by external organisations and learned societies for their excellence in public engagement. For example, Senga Robertson-Albertyn was awarded the Microbiology Society Outreach Prize in 2018 and the Royal Society of Edinburgh's Innovator's Prize for Public Engagement in 2020.

Brian Cox Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research

The annual Brian Cox Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research recognises and rewards the School’s outstanding communicators in improving understanding of the School’s research to a wider audience. The award is named after the Dundee-born Hollywood actor Brian Cox who was Rector of the University for two terms from 2010 - 2016.

  • The award is open to any individual or groups of people working at the School of Life Sciences and covers the broad scope of Public Engagement activities.
  • These activities must have the objective of connecting with the public to allow the creation and sharing of knowledge, widen our reach and meet the needs of those we interact with, inspire participation in science and make science relevant for everyone. Not only will this allow us to enhance the public’s understanding and awareness of research performed at the School and the impact this research has on our everyday lives but allow our research to benefit from engagement with the wider community.
  • Activities could include; working with schools and teachers, working with community groups, organising or participating in public events such as demonstrations, debates and lectures or publishing & broadcasting (in any media).

All previous winners are listed in our School of Life Sciences Awards page.

Researchers in the School have also been recipients of the University-wide Stephen Fry Award for Excellence in Public Engagement with Research which was established in 2012.

Science For All Badges

Since 2019, we have presented a Science For All badge as a thank you to staff and postgraduate students. This is in recognition for their efforts and contributions towards public engagement with research. Recipients are nominated or can self-nominate themselves for a badge.

Dundee Plus Award

The Dundee Plus programme, run by the University careers services, allows students to gain recognition for developing transferrable skills from activities and experiences. Public Engagement Plus is the award for those who have taken part in, or intend to take part in public engagement activities.