Staff achievement

Dr Mark Williams

Our staff continued to lead their fields in 2020. As well as conducting ground-breaking research and inspiring our students, they are shaping our world as advisers to the Scottish, UK and international governments and to bodies such as the World Health Organization.

Dr Mark Williams was awarded the 2020 British Society for Haematology Visiting Fellow Grant to continue his potentially life-saving research into Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.  

Leading charity the Stroke Association awarded researcher Dr Christine Hazelton funding for five years to improve the lives of people suffering vision problems after a stroke.

Our staff’s contributions to healthcare were recognised by the Queen. Dr David McDonald received an MBE for services to healthcare and for his work as the National Lead for Enhanced Recovery across NHS Scotland while Dr Lesley Holdsworth, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, was awarded an OBE in recognition of her services to physiotherapy and health services.

Usman Rafiq was awarded a British Empire medal in recognition of his services to education and to students with hearing impairments. ​Usman established Hear to Help, a revolutionary hearing loss clinic at the University four years ago.

Usman Rafiq

Our teaching excellence was recognised with two prestigious awards from Advance HE. The pioneering work of Liz Simpson, Lecturer in Adult Nursing, won a National Teaching Fellowship and our Department of Physiotherapy and Paramedicine team was presented with a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE).

The British School of Fashion’s Professor Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas won the Ethics and Social Responsibility Case Award for her classes focusing on social enterprise TOMS Shoes. The non-profit fashion brand donates a pair of shoes in the developing world for every pair it sells.

Emma Kidd picked up the Best Research Award for Sustainability at the Global Fashion Conference 2020. The PhD candidate's work on sustainability also attracted international attention when she created the Fashion Detox Challenge, which encouraged shoppers around the world to take a 10-week break from buying new clothes and share their experiences in a detox diary.

Maria Renwick, Fiona Coupar, Shirley Morrison-Glancy, Katy Proctor, Rachel Hyslop, Lesley Price, Ania Escudero, Katy Proctor, Margaret Spalding and Titus Olaniyi were celebrated in The Students’ Association’s Teaching Awards – an annual event that gives students an opportunity to thank outstanding staff members who have made a positive impact on their learning experience.  

Head of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office Julie Burns won the Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant Rising Star Award. Julie was one of 100 women recognised as the leaders and role models of tomorrow. 

Dr Ima Jackson with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

From joining the NHS frontline to championing gender equality, our staff were shaping the world beyond the academic arena. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chose Dr Ima Jackson to lead her flagship National Advisory Council for Women and Girls, which champions gender equality, tackles inequality, supports women in work, and explores how to end violence and challenge gender stereotypes. Dr Jackson was also asked by the Scottish Government to lead the development of a new 'National Research What Works Institute' to help change attitudes to girls' and women's rights. 

Addictions expert Dr Andrew McAuley joined Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee virtual roundtable on problem drug use. The Senior Research Fellow shared his expertise on Scotland's drugs crisis with 11 MPs from the Scottish Affairs Committee.  

Nursing lecturer Dr Gordon Hill ran 70km to support student nurses at our partner Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh at a time when the country’s healthcare system struggled to manage COVID-19 and the college’s students battled to study and care for their families in often impoverished communities.  

School of Health and Life Sciences Dean Professor Andrea Nelson returned to nursing’s frontline to help the NHS battle COVID-19 as part of a mobile testing-centre team based at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre. Andrea was also appointed one of just six Trustees of the UK Council of Deans of Health, which works to put education at the heart of healthcare policy. 

Professor Tahseen Jafry

Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of GCU’s Centre for Climate Justice, helped chart how the UK can cut its carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050. She was part of an expert panel informing the work of a UK government-formed citizens’ assembly to gain an understanding of how the public wants the UK to tackle climate change.

Professor Sara Cantillon, Director of the Wise Centre for Economic Justice, joined the United Nations Crisis Bureau Experts Roster for Rapid Response. The group is dedicated to mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head of Nursing and Community Health Professor Jacqueline McCallum became the face of a Scottish Government campaign to recruit more nurses to the NHS. Her amazing career was showcased as an example of how far nursing can take you as part of a Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 campaign.

Dr Lesley Scobbie was appointed Scotland’s first Allied Health Professions Stroke Clinical Academic by NHS Lanarkshire. A Stroke Association Clinical Lecturer, Lesley works with community rehab teams across the health board to support stroke survivors.

Evidence given by Dr Andrew Tickell helped reshape the Scottish Government’s proposed new hate crime law. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said key recommendations made to Holyrood's Justice Committee would be taken forward in a bid to ensure The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill is passed by the Scottish Parliament after Dr Tickell called for amendments to be made around two of its defences.

​Dr Sharron Blumenthal helped revolutionise teaching methods in health after securing funding for a virtual reality (VR) lesson project, A deep dive into the depths of the respiratory system.

Professor Sebastien Chastin

Professor Sebastien Chastin was named in the top one per cent of the world’s most influential researchers in the Clarivate’s Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers 2020 list. And Professor Chastin joined a panel developing the World Health Organization’s new guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The Every Move Counts guidelines were created to help combat up to five million deaths each year caused by inactivity.

Prototype software that helps doctors quickly identify the severity of COVID-19 in patients won a GCU team second prize and funding in the UK-wide Corona Hack contest. The Data Science Research Group, led by Professor Gordon Morison, joined teams across the UK using data skills to create innovative techniques to combat the virus using publicly available data.  

Professor Billy Hare won praise for his part in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Independent Review. The BEAM Research Centre Deputy Director received special thanks from the review’s co-chairs for his part in the investigation of the design, build, commission and maintenance of the hospital infrastructure amid concerns its built environment was compromising infection prevention and control. 

Professor John McKendrick joined a Poverty and Inequality Commission team reviewing Scotland’s free school meals policy and exploring how more children who are entitled to a free meal can be encouraged to eat them every day to help mitigate the impact of poverty.

Nobel Laureate and GCU Emeritus Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus congratulated the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health on its "amazing" success as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. Recognised as a world-class research centre in social innovation, health economics, the social economy, and public health, it has attracted more than £7million in research funding.