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Professor Sir David Watson Award – shortlist announced

A new international awards scheme hosted by the University of Brighton in memory of its former Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Watson has announced its shortlist for the inaugural running of the award. The ‘Professor Sir David Watson Award for Community-University Partnerships’ recognises the combined efforts of community and university partners towards making a difference to the lives of people in their shared community. The scheme, the first of its kind, will reward achievements by community and university partners working together to build a healthier, just, and sustainable community. The shortlist comprises:

  • Bournemouth University, England: BU PIER, a public involvement in education and research partnership. www.bournemouth.ac.uk/pier
  • Cardiff University, Wales: Community Gateway, building a long-term partnership with residents of a Cardiff inner-city suburb. http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/community-gateway
  • National University of Sciences & Technology, Pakistan: Social Well-being, a community service volunteer club and community service learning course. https://www.facebook.com/nust.csc/
  • St. George’s, University of London, England: Inside Science, broadening access to science by contributing to the education programme that is offered to prisoners.
  • University of Victoria, Canada: Residential and Indian Day School Art Research (RIDSAR) contributing to reconciliation in Canada and resurgence in Indigenous communities through art based collaborative research and exhibition practices.
  • Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Wales: Outside In, service users and community members participation in the delivery of social work learning. http://completingthecircle.webs.com/

The award is supported by an international group of networks and leaders in the field, including the Talloires Network, a global network of community-engaged universities that Sir David helped to build and lead, and Drs Budd Hall and Rajesh Tandon, the UNESCO co-chairs for Community Based Research. Sponsors also include the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement, University of Winchester and Engagement Australia which helps develop best practice university-community engagement in Australia.
Sir David, who died in February 2015, created the University of Brighton’s award-winning Community University Partnership Programme CUPP which has supported scores of partnership projects over the past 12 years. Each year hundreds of academics, students and community partners work together to produce benefits for the community whilst enriching teaching and research. CUPP now supports other universities in the UK and across the world to develop similar initiatives in their own contexts.
Individual donors to the award fund will select the winning application, to be announced in September.
The University of Brighton will be re-running the award in future years. To donate to the award fund, go to: Just giving David Watson Award

Why the David Watson award for community-university partnerships?

David Watson GownThe Sir David Watson Awards recognises the combined efforts of community and university partners towards making a difference to the lives of people in their shared community. These awards have been created in memory of Professor Sir David Watson, honouring his leadership in encouraging community-university engagement*.

Community-university engagement is still an emerging field, which can make establishing and developing effective partnerships between community movements and academics difficult. Each year, the awards will recognise outstanding examples of community-university engagement from across the world, highlighting their impact and raising awareness.

Across the globe, innovative collaborations between communities and academia are addressing some of today’s most complex challenges around social justice, community resilience and inequality. The award scheme will offer winning projects a modest financial reward – but, more importantly, the awards will attract national and international publicity and exposure. This will allow participants from around the world to share stories of their combined efforts, deepening the impact of their work locally and helping to raise awareness of community-university partnership work globally.

The ‘Professor Sir David Watson Award for Community-University Partnerships’ will acknowledge his leadership in community university engagement and social responsibility in higher education. It is sponsored by the Talloires Network, a global network of community-engaged universities that Sir David helped to build and lead, and and supported by an international group of networks and leaders in the field, including Drs Budd Hall and Rajesh Tandon, the UNESCO co-chairs for Community Based Research.

The award process was launched at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement conference in Bristol, UK on 29 November 2016.

For further information about giving  Just giving David Watson Award

* Watson, D. (2007) Managing Civic And Community Engagement (Managing Universities and Colleges: Guides to Good Practice). Milton Keyes: Open University Press.tnlogo-jpg

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