Press release

A special message from Stephen Fry closes University’s week of discovery

Published on 12 January 2024

Former University of Dundee Rector Stephen Fry praised staff and students as they were awarded public engagement prizes

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The annual Stephen Fry Awards for Public Engagement celebrate the people and projects that engage with wider audiences, and the benefits they bring to society. The awards presentation comes at the end of the University’s Discovery Days talks.  

These awards recognised individuals across three categories: Engaged Early-career Researcher, Engaged Researcher, and Engagement Project of the Year, showcasing their pivotal role in enhancing societal benefits while honing their own skills.  

The winners were honoured at the annual Discovery Days event on Friday 12 January at the Dalhousie Building, marking a significant moment in acknowledging the transformative power of collaborative public engagement initiatives. 

The 2024 Public Engagement Project of the Year was won by ‘Exchanges: Inspiring Parkinson's Conversations’ Project. The Exchanges project was led by the Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit based in the University’s School of Life Sciences and engagement consultant, Sarah Patrick. They worked alongside freelance artist Daksha Patel and people with lived experience of Parkinson's. 

Professor Miratul Muqit, the team’s lead researcher, said, “On behalf of the patients, supporters, researchers and team we are thrilled to receive recognition and hope the work we have done will be benefit of Parkinson’s community.” 

Vincenzo Rinaldi has been named Early Researcher of the Year in recognition of his work as a virtual reality specialist at the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science. His research covers new ways of 3D imaging scenes of investigative interest.  

Vincenzo said, “It’s an honour to receive this recognition for my work and I’m looking forward to see what it can achieve in the future.” 

Dr Suzanne Duce won the inaugural Engaged Career Researcher of the Year award for her work on science-themed public and school engagement. Amongst many successes, Suzanne has organised science photo competitions in the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine. Suzanne also wrote and published an illustrated book and designed a comic about the University's drug discovery research. 

She said, “I'm thrilled to receive the Engaged career Researcher of the Year award. Why pub engage import.” 

Stephen Fry, the comedian, actor, writer, broadcaster and activist who served two terms as Rector, congratulated the winners in a video message that was played when the winners received their awards. 

In the message, he said, “It's given me enormous pride and pleasure to tell you about some of our commended and some of our winning entries. 

“But everybody who engages in this sort of out-facing work, if that's the correct verb, this kind of public-facing research and collaboration, is doing something very good, not just for the science, for the academia and academic kudos of Dundee, which seems to grow every day, but also to binding relations between the community in Tayside and Dundee and the great University itself.  

“It just makes me so proud that my name is attached to work of this incredibly high quality.” 


Hannah Adams

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 385131