Five shortlisted from University of Leicester in the UK’s only awards for technicians in academia

University of Leicester staff shortlisted for Papin Prizes this year.

The shortlist has been announced for the UK’s only award ceremony dedicated to celebrating technical excellence and innovation in higher education and research, and five individuals and teams from the University of Leicester are in the running.

In total, 62 technicians from across the UK have been shortlisted for an acclaimed Papin Prize across ten categories, with a brand-new knowledge exchange prize introduced for the 2023 awards. 

A record-breaking 357 individuals and teams were nominated for this year’s prestigious awards which will be presented at the biannual Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS) 2023 on 4 July at the University of Warwick. 

The five shortlisted nominees from the University of Leicester are: 

Dipak Raval (School of Engineering) has been shortlisted in the Contribution to Infrastructure category: a member of technical staff that has made a significant contribution to day-to-day infrastructure to support research and/or teaching – for example, roles may include technical staff who look after building facilities or technicians that provide key services. 

Lucy Onions (Division of Biomedical Services) is shortlisted in the Core Research Facility category: a member of technical staff within a central research facility/platform who has provided exceptional skills/expertise. 

Shortlisted for the Newcomer category is Safia Saada (who has worked in her current role in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology for 10 months): an individual who has embarked on a technical career within the past 4 years and shown exceptional promise, this may be a trainee or apprentice technician. 

Ed Thomas (School of Geography, Geology and the Environment) has been shortlisted in the Outreach/Community category: a member of technical staff who has made a significant contribution to community/outreach activities. 

And the University’s in-house Video Team has been shortlisted for the Technical Team category: a technical team which has worked together to deliver excellence. 

Dr Kelly Vere MBE, Project Lead for MI TALENT said: “The Papin Prizes have fast become one of the most highly regarded awards for technicians in our sector, highlighted by the record-breaking number of nominations received this year, all of which were an incredibly high standard. 

“Many congratulations to all individuals and teams who have been nominated and thank you to the colleagues who nominated outstanding technicians and have helped to raise the profile and status of technicians within the sector.”

For the first time, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has partnered with HETS and the acclaimed Papin Prizes.

Frances Burstow, Director for Talent and Skills at UKRI said: “The Papin Prizes are the only awards wholly dedicated to celebrating the varied role of technicians and the valuable work they do to support teaching and research across all levels and disciplines. Marking the achievements and impact of this valuable community will help to create a more inclusive and dynamic research community.”

Professor Sarah Davies, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, said: “I am delighted that technicians from the University of Leicester are shortlisted in five categories, this is well-deserved and reflection of the excellent and important contribution by our technical colleagues across the University. The work by our technicians is critical to every area of the University’s endeavour and it is fantastic to be able to recognise that through the Papin Prizes. I extend my congratulations to all those shortlisted.”  

This is the fifth time Papin Prizes have been awarded at the biannual HETS event. HETS is sponsored by Midlands Innovation and URKI in partnership with Science Council and Technician Commitment.  The event is fully subscribed and has a waiting list.