The Light of Understanding is our new Institutional Award to recognise individuals and groups who are carrying out amazing public engagement work. After long consideration, we named the Award from a quote by Sir Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate and Alumnus of University of Birmingham, who was also a pioneer of research communication and storytelling. We wanted to create an Award that not only rewards brilliant work, but catalyses more activity and acts as a beacon to be passed to other researchers. Therefore, winners of the Light of Understanding are rewarded with a grant of £2,000 to spend on further public engagement activity that helps spread their good practice to other researchers.

All research-active staff are eligible and group submissions are acceptable, though we have a separate scheme to recognise PGRs. Nominations can be made by anyone and self nominations are acceptable. Applications should demonstrate not only a body of good public engagement, but should take care to stipulate where and why the work is of excellent quality.

Nominations for 2020 will open in late 2019 and the deadline will be in March 2020.  Winner(s) are decided by the Public Engagement Committee and the award will be presented by Prof Alice Roberts at our PER Day conference, on 24th April, 2020.

If you’d like to know more about nominations, take a look at our 2019 form here.

If you’d like to find out more about our wonderful inaugural 2019 winners, announced at PER Day 2019 on 5th April, check out this blog post.