Principal's Prize winners announced

The winners of this year's Principal's Prize for Public Engagement have been announced as part of the University Excellence Awards.

Winners include Professor Marjory Harper, who has engaged a range of audiences with her research on Scottish emigration and mental health. One of her most notable achievements - Professor Harper developed the Scottish Emigration Database, which uses digital technology to make otherwise inaccessible archival information publicly available.

The Early Career Prize was picked up by Dr Heidi Gardner for the many activities and projects linked to her research on clinical trials. Among these is the establishment in Aberdeen of Soapbox Science, which has highlighted the diversity of women in science

The Wellcome Prize went to Dr Gordon Fernie whose research led to the creation of a range of engaging activities aimed at demystifying the concept of randomisation for different audiences, using the figure of clinical trial pioneer James Lind.

Professor Jane Geddes, who is due to retire this summer, was also given a special career recognition awarded for her career-long dedication to engaging people who are curious about art but have no previous knowledge. 

Prizes are awarded to researchers to recognise outstanding achievement in research-led public engagement. Such engagement describes interactions with communities outside the academic audience. 

Winners receive a personal award in addition to a development award which is to be spent within the University.

The full list of prize winners are:

Main Prize

Winner: Professor Marjory Harper (School of Divinity, History and Philosophy)

Runner up: Dr Amy Irwin (School of Psychology) 

Early Career Prize

Winner: Dr Heidi Gardner (School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition)

Runner up: Miss Josefine Bjorkqvist (School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition)


Wellcome Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Sciences

Winner: Dr Gordon Fernie (School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition)


Outstanding Contribution to Public Engagement

Professor Jane Geddes (School of Divinity, History and Philosophy)


The awards will be presented at a celebratory reception and dinner on Thursday 13 June at 6:30pm in Elphinstone Hall