Winners of the University Teaching Prizes 2021 announced

This year’s University Teaching Prizes received a record 34 applications from across the University. The Panel, chaired by Professor Richard Reece, was impressed by the range and quality of applications, and the overall commitment to education and the student experience.

The award winners demonstrated both strong evidence of engagement and impact across all 3 criteria:  1. Excellence in Teaching or Supporting Learning; 2. Dissemination and Influence and 3. Above and Beyond Expectations of their roles. A showcase and award event is being planned for the Autumn term.

Division of Arts and Humanities

Winner – Frances Kamm – School of Arts

For her decolonising the curriculum work that championed, embedded and influenced the arts-based curriculum here at the University.

Highly Commended – Christopher Burden-Strevens – School of History

For his above and beyond, influence and excellence in initiatives surrounding student mental health and assessment innovation.

Division of Natural Sciences

Winner – Jill Shepherd, Sashi Kommu, Tim Fenton and Michelle Garrett – School of Biosciences

For their collaborative work on the Patient Centred Engagement of Students clinical day (PaCES), which increased students’ clinical exposure, within the BSc Biomedical Science programme.

Highly Commended – Stefano Biagini, School of Physical Sciences 

For his sustained commitment to championing and influencing equality, diversity, and inclusivity considerations.

Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS)

Winners – James Bentham, Jack Cunliffe, Rachel McCrea and the wider Year in Data Analytics team – School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR), Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and Careers and Employability Service

For their cross-divisional collaborative Year in Data Analytics initiative.

Division of Human and Social Sciences (HSS)

Winner – Amir-Homayoun Javadi – School of Psychology

For his innovative, captivating, and influential classroom-based teaching.

Highly Commended – Raluca Popp – School of Politics and International Relations

For her collaborative inclusive and student career focused work with the Q-step programme

Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice (LSSJ)

Winner – David Acheson – Centre for Journalism

For his innovative, imaginative, and inspiring online content which had a huge impact on both staff and students.

Highly Commended – Darren Weir – Kent Law School

For his extensive work in building communities of practice within Law

Highly Commended – Tracee Green and Sarah Brown – Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

For their innovative and collaborative development of practitioner-based learning.

University Prize Learning Support

Winner – E-learning Team – Education Directorate

For their sustained excellence, innovation, influence, and impact internally and externally.

Breathing advice from puppets

A collaboration involving Professor John Dickinson from the School of Sports and Exercise Sciences and a social enterprise called Breath Champs CIC helps children, families and communities to learn about breathing in fun ways. Their video gives asthma and exercise advise delivered by puppets!

The project started when Professor Dickinson met Ms Heather Henry at the Medway Asthma Self Help Charity AGM, where he is a trustee and she was a guest speaker. Heather is a Nurse Entrepreneur and founder of the BreathChamps CIC. Heather discovered that John’s research fitted into a lot of the support she was looking to offer the children she engages with through BreathChamps.

Heather’s goal is to make her town of Sale the UKs first child asthma friendly town. This means sharing asthma knowledge with local people and organisations so they look out for children and know some simple things that will help them – the same model as dementia friendly communities.

The idea for creating this video and using puppets came from Heather. Her social enterprise produces several videos like this providing information about breathing issues that are relevant to children experiencing them.

John provided five tips to encourage children to take exercise. The script for the video was produced and a local puppeteer from Hale Barnes called Jamie Marks was contacted and asked to perform it. Jamie makes all his own puppets and performs as well.

Heather said: ‘Is it easy? It’s a skill!’

When asking about the puppets used in this video John said: ‘Unfortunately I did not actually get to meet the puppets. I provided the information to Heather who then put it into a script for the puppeteers to use.

‘I would love to incorporate the puppets into lectures but I’m not sure my puppeteering is up to scratch!’

Prior to supporting the making of the video, John delivered a sport and asthma masterclass for Breath Champs. This was attended by coaches and physiotherapists with an interest in supporting athletes in overcoming breathing issues.

Children (and many adults) learn best through play, which is why BreathChamps uses puppets, games, craft, singing and stories. You can see more of this on the BreathChamps YouTube channel.

Parking permit charges from 1 August 2021

An annual increase in parking permit charges will apply from 1 August 2021. Charges will vary from 65p for a staff daily voucher to £4.24 upwards for a 12-month permit.

The staff parking permit allows you to park in a marked bay on campus from Monday to Friday from 08.00-17.00. You can register up to 5 vehicles so long as the vehicle parked on campus is ticked as the “active vehicle” on your permit the day it is parked.

Types of permits available


1. Full monthly permits

You have the option of a 12-month, 3-month or 1-month permit, which will cost from £4.24 to £10.57 per month, depending on your gross monthly salary. Payment will be taken directly via salary deduction each month.

2. Staff daily voucher

Currently only a free 12-month is option available, from 1 August 2021 there will be a charge for issuing the daily voucher permit, but you will now have the option to purchase a 3-month or 1-month permit as opposed to just a 12-month permit.

  • 12-months = £2.50
  • 3-months = £2.00
  • 1-month = £1.00

Please remember with a daily voucher permit on the days you wish to park on campus you will need to purchase a virtual daily parking voucher by logging on to your permit account. From 1 August 2021, the cost of these daily vouchers will increase to 65p per day. These daily vouchers allow you to park in a marked bay in pink or blue zone car parks, the same as a full permit.

Which option is best for you?

If you are regularly on campus Monday to Friday and need a parking space, a full permit may be the best option.

Daily voucher permits are designed for those colleagues who either don’t park on campus every day or work a shift pattern that means they are not always parked at the times a permit is required, with the new 3-month and 1-month options giving you more flexibility than a 12-month permit.

As we start returning to campus this summer, and some of us move to hybrid working on and off campus, it is advisable to look at all the options available and work out which will be the most cost-effective for you.

If you no longer require your permit, don’t forget to complete the ‘Cancel your parking permit’ form at the bottom of this webpage.

Find out more

For more information on types of permits available and costs, see the Transport webpages.

British Heart Foundation celebrates 60 years!

From the Estates team:

This year, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is celebrating 60 years of life saving research!

Since 2012 University of Kent students and staff have generated 15,636 bags of donations through the donation points on campus. That’s £218,904* raised to help support help life-saving research, driving breakthroughs for heart patients all across the UK.

These donations have allowed the BHF to be a part of breakthroughs like heart transplants and pacemakers, stents and clot busting drugs and their goals for the decades ahead are more ambitious than ever. Cures for inherited heart diseases, radically improved treatment for stroke, ways to stop vascular dementia in its tracks, and of course recovering from the brutal blow that is the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you and keep donating!

We would like to say a huge thank you to our staff and student who have donated books, bags, shoes, clothes, homeware and much more through our BHF donation points. Without you, we wouldn’t have been able to make such an impact.

Please continue to donate items that you don’t need any more through our donations points, which you can find on our map of locations.

For any waste, recycling or reuse guidance please look at our Estates website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can always email us on

*based on average value of £14/bag

Congratulations to Vicky Annis

Congratulations to Vicky Annis, Kent Sport Physiotherapy Clinic Manager, for completing her Channel swim!

Here’s what Vicky had to say about her big achievement:

Sunday 18 July 2021 will be a day I will cherish forever. The day a childhood dream came true of swimming the English Channel.

I stood upon Samphire Hoe beach at 4am, completely clear of the water, to officially begin this challenge. You could hear the water rippling against the beach and a large horn blasted from the boat, Masterpiece, that was around 50m off shore. I was told to leave all my doubts on the shore and then began making my way to the side of the boat, far enough away not to touch the boat and also not to inhale too many of the fumes. It was not completely dark even at that point and within an hour of setting off, a beautiful sun rise was emerging.

The reason for the 4am start, was to make good use of any slack water, before the flood tide started which pushes you east. I set off at a strong and comfortable pace and began making my journey south easterly. The first section to cross is the English inshore water. As my left hand entered the water, I brushed past something very slimy and warm. It was a little daunting as there was not enough light to know what I touched, but I knew I needed to just keep moving.

Once past the English inshore, I made my way into the south west shipping lane, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. I cannot deny I was somewhat entertained by these extremely large ships! The pilots know the exact positions of these ships so I could comfortably take in the views of them passing when breathing bilaterally. These ships were all moving from my left to right and the less I saw, the more I was thinking have I made it to the next zone called the separation zone. The hot sun on my back and the marginal wind made me feel as though I was in a swimming pool at times. One of the main differences is that in a swimming pool I do not have jelly fish for company. I could see a lot of jelly fish and as I looked up to the boat as I breathed, all 5 of my support crew were looking down into the water. My mind was thinking it best just be jelly fish and nothing bigger. I seemed to be so focused that day, that even when the jelly fish caught me on my face, right arm and left leg, I decided that the equivalent of a nettle sting was not going to beat me today.

I began approaching the separation zone and was wondering if I would be able to distinguish my location. The crew kept me updated during feeds, but there are all sorts of discussions about the separation zone that are not all that pleasant. It is known as the central reservation of the Channel, were only the small fishing boats and ferries cross. With such a reduced flow of traffic, there can often be a build up of various substances. During my swim, the main obstacle I encountered was sea weed, which although I needed to pull off my head and neck, it could have been a lot worse.

Half-way there!

In my mind, reaching the separation zone suggested I was around half way between England and France. That is true, but with the tides changing, it does not mean you have the same amount of time to then reach France. The ebb tide began and although I kept swimming strongly, I was being pushed west with some southerly progress. The north east shipping lane was a tough section and what I had not quite realised was the it was not as simple as going perpendicular. It was much more of a diagonal direction which seemed like a life time. You can see France by this point also, which is so difficult, because it is still a long way away.

Due to the strong progress I made in the first half of the swim, plus the ebb tide, I stayed east of the ZC2 buoy. In fact, I did not see it at all. This buoy is 3 miles from France. Having not seen it, I started to wonder where I was and if I was going to make it. On my next feed, which was thrown to me attached to a dog lead, I was told I was soon entering the French inshore water. I really wanted to kick my legs harder, but my hip flexors were so sore. I kept my arms moving and although I should not have done so, I kept having a little glimpse ahead to see whether I would hit beach or rocks. Knowing how sore my legs were, I was not sure rock climbing was going to work! A little while later, I saw the pilot getting the dinghy into the water and that was when I knew we were close. The dinghy escorts you the last part when it is too shallow for the boat. Even when you are within the last kilometre, every stroke counts to get you to the beach.

After 12 hours exactly, I reached France. A little unsteadily, I cleared the water and soon laid on my back taking in the warmth of the pebbles beneath me and looking up to the sky. In that moment, all I could think about was all of the support and encouragement I have received in the build up to this challenge and how fortunate I am.”

Support my charities

If you would like to still donate to Vicky’s chosen charities then please visit her JustGiving page!

Clearing 2021 – get involved

Help us to make Clearing 2021 a success! We need help and support from everyone; particularly around offer-making, staffing the hotline and making calls to prospective students.

The 2021 Clearing campaign was soft-launched in May, raising awareness and collecting leads from students who were thinking about using Clearing for back-up,  because they haven’t yet applied or want to change their subject or university.

Clearing ‘proper’ opened on 5 July and applications are already being processed for those who have their results. The extensive campaign is phased across awareness, consideration and decision and uses a wide range of media, targeted to specific audiences. Digital platforms TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Google are a major part of the advertising but also included are Spotify, mobile phone in-app, YouTube and Snapchat.  More traditionally, and important for both students and their influencers, there will be adverts on billboards and at bus stops, radio, SkyAdsmart, in the local press, and email campaigns through 3rd party specialists, all driven by data showing where Kent’s potential students are living and studying.

All the leads we generate, either as enquirers or applicants, will become part of our nurture and conversion email campaigns which are designed to build a relationship between the student (or supporter) and the University, focusing on the supportive and diverse student community, academic and personal support and highlighting the accommodation guarantee and free sports membership offers.

Get involved

If you’re able to help, particularly on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 August, and you’re not already on a Clearing rota, please get in touch with Laetitia Gullett via

Full training will be given and, for anyone who hasn’t done it before, it is a really rewarding experience. Clearing will be run remotely so we can guarantee we have the staff cover we need, with full support for everyone taking part and supervisors on hand to help at all times.

Thank you for all your help and support.

The Gulbenkian with red flowers at the forefront of the image.

Covid-19 update – 20 July 2021

From Nikki Hyde, Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development

As you will be aware, Government Covid-19 guidance changed earlier this week (Monday 19 July) and most legal restrictions have now been lifted in England.

In keeping with the Government’s emphasis on a gradual return to workplaces for those who have been working from home, our roadmap for staff returning to campus remains unchanged:

  • Any staff who wish to start working back on campus are now free to do so, but they should talk to their line manager first to ensure that returns are managed and gradual.
  • From 20 September, all staff are expected to work on campus, albeit with increased flexibility offered by the new Hybrid Working Scheme where possible.

While the restrictions have ended, staff still working at home should only come back on campus as much as they are comfortable with from now until 19 September.

A range of guidance, activities and initiatives will be available soon to help support staff with a gradual return to campus from mid-August, and to support teams manage new hybrid ways of working.

The return to campus process of requesting approval from HR and the requirement for a logged Risk and Concern Conversation is no longer in place. However, the framework for holding conversations with staff and the option of logging any concerns remains in place if line managers feel this is appropriate.

Updated risk assessment

The University is currently revising its Covid-19 risk assessment following the receipt of new Working Safely guidance from the Government and has begun the process of consulting with Staff and Union reps. Once the risk assessment is finalised and published, we will update our staff FAQs and supporting guidance.

Although all social distancing requirements and therefore current building occupancy limits are being removed, the resulting changes to campus layouts and signage will take time to implement. During this period, until the risk assessment is finalised, staff should follow existing rules and signage, where still in place. In line with Government guidance, we recommend face coverings continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces, and where possible natural ventilation should be increased by keeping doors and windows open.

Thank you for helping us manage the process of safely returning staff to campus. If you have any questions, please contact


Nikki Hyde | Deputy Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development


MacBook Air beside gold-coloured study lamp and spiral books

Care first webinars w/c 26 July 2021

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 26 July – 30 Friday July) webinars are as follows:

Monday 26 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 27 July 2021 – ‘Prioritising time effectively & establishing old routines’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 28 July 2021 – ‘Unwelcome behaviour online and how it affects our Mental Health’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 29 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support with financial concerns’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 30 July 2021 -‘Maintaining working relationships as people return to work’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Home Office computer desk display

Care first webinars w/c 19 July 2021

Our official Employee Assistance Programme provider, Care first offers a numbers of services and provide useful advice and support, including weekly webinars.

This week’s (Monday 19 July – Friday  July) webinars are as follows:

Monday 19 July 2021 – ‘How Care first can support you’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Tuesday 20 July 2021 – ‘Drinking sensibly as restrictions ease’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Wednesday 21 July 2021 – ‘Recognising others choices’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Thursday 22 July 2021 – ‘Return to work anxiety: things to consider’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

Friday 16 July 2021 -‘Preparing for the School Summer Holidays if working from home’
Time: 12.00-12.30 – to register please click on this Go to webinar link

NIHR Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex

ARC KSS – call open for Individual Development Awards

Applied Research Collaboration Kent, Surrey and Sussex (ARC KSS) has launched its second round of Individual Development Awards (IDAs), to help support individuals to build their research careers across the region.

All Awards need to closely align with one or more of the ARC KSS research themes and will be allocated to applicants that can demonstrate a clear path in their career development, as well as evidence of how this award will help them towards their research goals.

The two IDA opportunities currently available are:

1. The SpringBoard Awards  – aimed at health or social care professionals (including social work and public health), employed by an ARC KSS member organisation. The awards provide either £1000 or £5000 to undertake activities aimed at developing research skills. The activities that will be funded can be found in our full Remit document (link below) Closing date: 10 September 2021 at 5pm.

2. Investment in future research leaders Award – aimed at employees of an ARC KSS member organisation including health, public health, social care or social work professionals or individuals in academic posts. These awards will enable the individual to undertake their first small scale project as lead. More details of eligible activities can be found in the full Remit document.

Closing date: 31 October 2021 at 17.00.

For further details and how to apply please see these Individual Development Awards 2021documents

A webinar Q and A session will take place for applicants on 9 August at 11.00. To attend please complete our registration form

The session will be recorded and available to view on our website if you are unable to attend.