Light of Understanding Award

The Light of Understanding is an institution-wide Award to recognise individuals and groups who are carrying out amazing public engagement with research work. The name of the award was inspired by Sir Peter Medawar, Nobel Laureate and Alumnus of University of Birmingham, who was also a pioneer of research communication and storytelling.

The Light of Understanding Award that not only rewards brilliant work, but aims to catalyse more activity and act 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 encouraged, as these tend to be more detailed and well evidenced than nominations from others. Applications should demonstrate not only a body of public engagement work, but should take care to stipulate where and why the work is of excellent quality.

Nominations for the 2020 award are now open!! Deadline for submissions is 5pm on Friday, 29th February, 2020. To make a nomination please fill out this nomination form and return it to This form also includes the assessment criteria and an indication of the weighting of each element.

Winner(s) are decided by the an expert public engagement panel, which will include at least one external leader in the field and the award will be presented by Prof Alice Roberts at our PER Day conference, on 24th April, 2020.

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