Queen Elizabeth II

Queen's Anniversary Prizes

The University is one of only a small number of universities to have won the highly prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education more than once, receiving Royal recognition for the excellence of our work on three separate occasions.

1994 – Developments in astronomy, space and planetary science

In 1994, we received our first Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our work in Physics and Astronomy. The prize citation read: “World-class teaching, research and consultancy programme in astronomy and space and planetary science fields. Practical results from advanced thinking.”

2002 – Genetics: research and impact on science and society

The discovery of genetic fingerprinting and its profound implications for society as well as for the advancement of science was awarded our second Prize in 2002. Applications of the discovery in immigration, paternity testing and criminal investigation have affected the lives of thousands of people worldwide. It has also led to the development of powerful technologies to study heritable DNA changes and continues to influence genetics research.

2014 – Inter-connected research and expertise in history, heritage and archaeology, highlighted by the discovery of Richard III

The University team that discovered the remains of Richard III beneath a car park were honoured for their long record of exceptional research, commercial archaeology and public engagement with our third Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2014. Describing the occasion, then Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess, said: “It was a significant event for the University as it acknowledged high quality work in archaeology, genetics, engineering and many other subjects. It is a truly multi-disciplinary programme of work.”

The prestigious biennial awards are part of the UK’s national Honours system and are the highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution. A prize-winner must be able to demonstrate outstanding work at world-class level in order to receive an award.

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