Usher Institute

Usher Institute Recognition Awards

Our inaugural annual 'Recognition Awards' were presented at our Usher Institute Staff Away Day by the Principal, Peter Mathieson, and Head of College, Moira Whyte.

Excellence across the Institute

The Usher Institute awards recognise excellence in 6 categories, and are open to all staff and students of the Usher Institute. Congratulations to all of this year's winners. Thanks to Moira Whyte for reading out citations taken from the nominations during the award presentations.

Most Outstanding Team: Usher Institute Communications Team

– Susan Buckingham, Dawn Cattanach, Jess Conway, Lorna Heaney and Laura Marshall

The Communications Team have made a major contribution to the quality of Usher Institute events and wider communications – including our new Usher Institute visual identity, launched this year. These efforts have enhanced our reputation, improving both our internal and external communications greatly.

They are an excellent source of expertise and advice. They make major contributions to specific project meetings and events through their involvement and organisation. The team are highly professional and reliable colleagues.

 Most Effective Community-building Initiative: Usher Institue Community Group

– Holly Tibble, Susan Buckingham, Luke Daines, David Hardman and Ailsa Morrison

The group have worked hard to develop events to increase interactions between colleagues in the Institute and building the sense of community, all above and beyond their job descriptions. The group have instigated a regular ‘Pause for Coffee’ time every month at both Teviot Place and BioQuarter sites.  These coffee breaks have been great to bring people together and meet colleagues that perhaps wouldn’t usually meet during the working day, and to meet people face to face that we might otherwise only email.  The Group’s picnic and Christmas Party also give us a chance to chat in a relaxed environment.

Highly Commended awards in this category were also received by:

  • Selina Bairami – For organising weekly yoga sessions.
  • Bruce Mason – For organising the Usher Board Games Group.

Oustanding Contribution to the Student Experience: Sébastien Georges

Sebastien works carefully, diligently, and thoughtfully in his role as PG Research Administrator. He deals extensively with queries from potential students from around the world, and manages the many questions and concerns that arise from our current students around visas, health, interruptions of study, finances, and so on. Students speak warmly of his kindness and professionalism, something which supervisors also experience – especially when he delicately prompts colleagues around essential policies around Tier 2 visas and annual reviews! The work that he does is absolutely essential to maintaining student satisfaction and wellbeing, and we are grateful and glad to have him as a colleague.

Outstanding Leadership: Professor Liz Grant

Liz was nominated by a group of 9 students and colleagues who know her as a supervisor, mentor, collaborator, manager, sponsor and teacher.

Professor Liz Grant is a true example of outstanding leadership. Before joining the University, Liz was the Health Advisor to the Scottish Government’s International Development Division, and worked in Kenya for a number of years as a Community Health Advisor. In her years at the University, she has carried out her leadership work as a Professor of Global Health and Development, Director of the Global Health Academy, and the Programme Co-Director for 3 different master degree courses. She is also the director of the Global Health PhD programme and she led the organisation of the Planetary Health Annual Meeting in Edinburgh in 2018.

She has published many papers, developed courses which have brought over many students to the University through partnerships with other Universities globally, and also supervised many successful PhD students. She has served as an inspirational mentor and role model to countless of students. She has brought in several grants, including a DFID/THET grant of £1.5 million, supporting the integration of palliative care into health systems of four African Countries. Earlier this year, she was nominated as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh for her work in global health, especially through partnerships with low-income countries, and translation of research into action.

Most importantly, while making these achievements, she has always contributed or created spaces for inclusive, positive and stimulating environments here in Edinburgh and abroad. She conducts her teaching, research, mentoring, and ambassadorial roles at the Usher in an ethical, professional, and inspirational way

Excellence in External Engagement: Global Health Governance Public Engagement Event

– Lorna Thompson, Genevie Fernandes, Devi Sridhar, Felix Stein, Marlee Tichenor, and Ross Watson

For their work in staging a public exhibition “Healthy and Sustainable Futures”.  The exhibition was innovative as it foregrounded the joys and rewards of global health work, rather than dealing in fear and threats as is usually the case. The exhibition specifically targeted underprivileged school children, sharing expertise and enthusiasm with those who need it the most. Lastly, the exhibition made clear that concrete local engagement continues to matter, even in a digital age.

Outstanding Achievement: Laura Marshall

Laura is a superb events management professional and has made a major contribution to the quality of important Usher Institute events, as well as key programmes within Usher Institute including the NHS Digital Academy and RESPIRE. Given the high profile of these events and the importance to the reputation of the Usher Institute we are delighted to recognise Laura’s outstanding work with this award.

Laura has been working at the University of Edinburgh for 15 years; initially with the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships and more recently in the Usher Institute delivering an exceptional event management service for large international conferences, key lectures and other events.

She is a real asset to the Usher Institute and we would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her expertise and commitment.

Usher Institute Away Day 2019

Many thanks to all staff who contributed to a truly excellent away day at Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club.  We had a wide variety of sessions led by individuals and teams from across the Institute. We were delighted to have many of our Affiliate Members join us, as well as some of the many new staff who have joined us in 2019.

Particular highlights of the day included traditional music by Niall Anderson, Sarah Brown and Juila Dignan - and even an impromptu ceilidh!

Thanks to the Principal, Peter Mathieson and Head of College, Moira Whyte, for joining us, and for presenting our first set of Recognition Awards.