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CDRC recognised for award winning research and culture

The CDRC team were delighted to collect four awards at the University of Leeds inaugural Research Culture and Engaged for Impact Awards earlier this week.

The awards celebrated the role that all members of the research community – participants; collaborators and partners; academic, research and technical staff; professional services and students – have to play in developing and promoting a positive and inclusive research culture, as well as contributing to the impact our research makes locally, nationally and internationally.  

CDRC Co-Director, Professor Mark Birkin, commented “CDRC has prospered as a research centre through an inclusive approach with a commitment to invest in the future of all team members, and through the development of robust partnerships with outside organisations.  I am delighted that these values have been recognised and validated so generously through the Research Culture and Impact Awards at the University of Leeds.”

The CDRC received awards in four of the ten categories and our colleagues at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics received a fifth:

Engaged for Impact – Building partnerships and networks 

This award recognises the importance of partnerships and networks to bring about change.

Winning project: Building networks with supermarkets to assess healthy and sustainable consumer diets

This collaboration with the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) and their 20 retailer and manufacturer members has enabled us to trial large scale consumer interventions that incentivise healthy eating. This partnership has built on previous collaborations such as the strategic partnership between Leeds Institute for Data Analytics and Sainsbury’s and the ESRC Strategic Network for Obesity cementing a leading reputation for trusted cross sector collaboration to effect change in the food system.

Team members: Dr Michelle Morris, Dr Victoria Jenneson, Dr Stephen Clark, Diogo Ann Onuselogu, Alexandra Dalton, Francesca Pontin, Hannah Skeggs (IGD), Becky Shute (Sainsbury’s), Paul Evans and Dr Emily Ennis.

Engaged for Impact – Finding a better way 

This award recognises all the ways in which new thinking and acting, new products and knowledge, lead to creating and galvanising change and innovation.

Runners-up: Building an online nutrient profile model calculator for implementation of HFSS legislation

This research revealed shortfalls in available nutritional information and practical implementation guidance for the UK Government’s Nutrient Profile Model (NPM). The NPM will be used as the basis for restricting the placement of certain foods in supermarkets as part of the UK Obesity Strategy – but data availability does not meet legislative purposes.  Having consulted with industry nutritionists from retail and manufacturing companies to develop recommendations for industry and the UK Government, the team are now developing an online NPM calculator to support implementation of legislation in an open access, scalable and transparent way.

Team members: Dr Victoria Jenneson, Dr Michelle Morris and Rosalind Martin.

Engaged for impact – Caring for the future 

This award recognises research impact that’s likely to build over time, leading to a fairer, safer and more equitable world and healthier environment. 

Winning project: Understanding and improving the carbon footprint of school meals in Leeds

Working with Leeds City Council, this project changed council practice for designing climate-friendly school menus, by co-creating a Carbon Calculator assessing food’s environmental impact. In collaboration with the Leeds Social Sciences Institute, the project team were able to design a suite of engagement activities supported by the ESRC-funded Local Accelerator Fund. This allowed the team to use data from the tool to develop an online game and classroom activities to encourage primary school children to think about the planet’s future through their own food choices.

Team members: Dr Emily Ennis, Alexandra Dalton, Dr Michelle Morris, Mel Green, Kevin Mackay (Rethink Food), Polly Cook (Leeds City Council), Ellie Salvidge (Leeds City Council) and Gillian Banks (Leeds City Council).

Research Culture – Open research and impact 

This award recognises initiatives that increase the transparency, collaboration, inclusivity, reproducibility and efficiency of research processes to build trust and accountability. It focuses on aspects such as open access and open data, and promoting the use of open platforms for sharing research data, activities, outputs and impact.  

Winning project: Opening up data science to solve real-world problems

CDRC Leeds were recognised for building trust and accountability through rigorous governance and infrastructures, including our virtual research environment (Leeds Analytics Secure Environment for Research) and our research management process. As well as encouraging transparency and reproducibility by creating diverse types of derived data products, aimed at diverse groups, from policy makers and researchers, to activists and children.

[The CDRC] appears to be a beacon of good practice and it would be useful to transfer the ways of working / methods and approaches to infrastructure and skills to others.”

Research Culture Awards Judging Panel

Team members: Professor Mark Birkin, Professor Ed Manley, Dr Nik Lomax, Dr Emily Ennis,  Adam Keeley, Dr Pete Baudains, Kylie Norman, Robyn Naisbitt, Mel Green, Oli Mansell and Paul Evans.

CDRC’s Dr Michelle Morris and Kylie Norman were also included in an award won by our colleagues at Leeds Institute for Data Analytics:

Research Culture – Equality, diversity and inclusion in research 

This award recognises initiatives that make positive changes to embed a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in research.

Winning project: Championing recruitment for diversity on the LIDA Data Scientist Development Programme.

Team members: Kylie Norman, Dom Frankis, Dr Michelle Morris and Professor Nick Malleson.

Dr Emily Ennis, CDRC Research and Impact Manager commented “These awards demonstrate CDRC’s commitment to fostering open, collaborative, and co-designed research with our external partners in a way that uses data science for public good. It has been inspiring to see our research projects recognised for their impact to society beyond academia, thanks to our partnerships in retail, education, local government, the charity sector, and education, among others.

Additionally, we have also seen recognition for research led by data scientists across a range of career stages and disciplinary backgrounds, as well as appreciation for the integral role professional services and technical staff play in building open and impactful research within CDRC.”