Students Staff

15 July 2014

Review of the Year 2013-14

Graduation 2014 gives us a chance to look back on the past academic year - the highlights, awards and successes. You can also watch our Year of Success video covering 2013 and 2014 on our Vimeo channel.

10 highlights from the year

  • The Forum Southend-on-Sea opens with a special lecture from Professor Brian Cox. The award-winning £27 million building offers state-of-the-art facilities to our students.
  • Professor David Sanders is appointed the UK’s first Regius Professor of Political Science.
  • Politics, linguistics, sociology and economics plus philosophy, history of art, american studies and dance, drama and cinematics all secure top 20 rankings The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.
  • Shakespeare's Globe Theatre unveils the world premiere of Omeros by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott at the Lakeside Theatre before it transfers to London.
  • The Institute for Social and Economic Research celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • Essex is the first university in the UK to sign a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
  • School of Health and Human Sciences is awarded £5 million to support research into improving health and social care through the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Research Design Service East of England (RDS EoE).
  • Essex is ranked third in the UK and 22nd worldwide in the latest Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 ranking of the world’s best young universities.
  • Our new Data Research Centre for Smart Analytics is backed by £5m worth of Government funding.
  • Dr Pamela Cox presents new BBC 2 series Shopgirls: The True Story Of Life Behind The Counter

Success of our members

  • Yasmin Afina wins the English category of the United Nations Academic Impact Student Essay Contest and presents her work at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York.
  • East 15’s Roslyn Hill wins the 2014 Carleton Hobbs Bursary and earns a contract for six months with the BBC Radio Drama department.
  • Elena Dirstaru, BA Film Studies, wins the Award of Merit in the Women Filmmakers category at Indie Fest with Monashay.
  • Rhys Stevenson is a finalist in the UK Blog Awards for his website Global Metal Apocalypse.
  • Sports scholar Tom Moore takes two wickets on his debut in May for Essex County Cricket Club against Surrey.
  • Kat Williams, a BSc Molecular Cell Biology graduate, is named Student Journalist of the Year by the Broadcast Journalism Training Council.
  • Student society Enactus Essex wins the Centrica Sustainability Challenge Award, the Most Improved Team Award and the Project Fair Award while competing in the Enactus UK National Competition.
  • Bitch Boxer, a one-woman show created by East 15 graduate Charlotte Josephine receives sensational reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival after winning the Holden Street Theatre Prize at the Edinburgh Fringe.
  • Dr Jorge Vazquez and Writtle College’s Dr Zoe Barker present their research on 'cow tracking' to MPs as part of a showcase for the country’s best young researchers.
  • Claire Simmons, Marina Tondo and Rafat Sub Laban win through to the finals of the Jean-Pictet Competition in International Humanitarian Law, the fifth time Essex law students have reached the final in the past six years.

Research Excellence

  • Lorna McGregor, Dr Clara Sandoval and their students help leading human rights organisation REDRESS secure a landmark judgement upholding the right to justice and reparations for exiled torture survivors from Pinochet-era Chile.
  • Historians help create one of the most important historical datasets in the world. The Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) project will offer new insights into the censuses of Great Britain from 1851 to 1911.
  • The UK Data Service secures almost £5m funding to streamline research access to data collected by government departments and other agencies.
  • Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights draws on the expertise of Professor Maurice Sunkin to criticise Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling for proposed changes to judicial review.
  • The Essex Autonomy Project is asked to advise the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on whether the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD).
  • Essex computer scientists team up with colleagues at the universities of York and Goldsmiths to develop a Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI).
  • How exactly does your brain help you watch 3D films? A £369,000 three-year research project funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is aiming to find out.
  • Visual science experts Dr Geoff Cole and Professor Arnold Wilkins offer new insights into trypophobia – the fear of holes.
  • Professors Tom Scotto and Paul Whiteley receive funding to research public reactions to the military and humanitarian situation in Syria.
  • A partnership including leading universities from across the eastern region is awarded a share of £100 million by the Natural Environment Research Council.
  • A major three-year study at Essex could lead the way to early diagnosis of prostate cancer
  • Mathematicians join forces with the Port of Felixstowe to develop new ways of improving the complex process of handling millions of containers every year.
  • The new Essex Babylab opens to investigate infant and child cognitive development, including their ability to learn and understand.
  • The International Monetary Fund uses research from the Institute for Social and Economic Research to explore policies addressing income inequality.
  • The Research Centre for Micro-social Change is awarded multi-million pound funding to further develop its work on individual and family behaviour and social change.
  • The Routledge Handbook of International Human Rights Law co-edited by Professor Sir Nigel Rodley and Scott Sheeran is launched with a quarter of its chapters written by Essex researchers.


  • Our Frontrunner scheme helps win the Outstanding Support for Students Award at the Times Higher Education Awards in recognition of the way Essex integrates innovative schemes into effective support services for students.
  • The Political Studies Association's prestigious Judges’ Award is presented to the British Election Study - Essex academics have played a major role in its development over the past five decades.
  • Accountancy Professor Prem Sikka receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Accounting and Finance Association.
  • Professor Nigel South receives a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his contribution to critical criminology from the American Society of Criminology's Division on Critical Criminology.
  • Director of the Centre for Criminology Professor Dick Hobbs wins the Outstanding Publication Award from the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime for his book Lush Life: Constructing Organized Crime in the UK.
  • Professor Anthony King and former Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Ivor Crewe win the Practical Politics Book of the Year at the Paddy Power Political Book Awards, for The Blunders of Our Governments.
  • Angela Livingstone, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, receives the Rossica Translation Prize 2014 for her translation of Phaedra by Marina Tsvetaeva.
  • This Luminous Coast by Professor Jules Pretty is awarded the New Angle Prize for East Anglian Literature.
  • Nursing lecturer Dr Annemarie Brown receives the Patient Wellbeing Award at the Journal of Wound Care Awards 2014 for her research on reducing leg ulcer recurrence rates.
  • Our Languages for All project receives the European Language Label 2013 from the European Commission for being an innovative language-learning project.
  • Director of Creative Writing Professor Philip Terry is shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2013 for his book tapestry.
  • Dr Chris Saker in the Department of Mathematical Sciences is named Lecturer of the Year in the Essex Teaching Awards.

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