School of Social and Political Science

SPS colleagues celebrated at the CAHSS Colleague Recognition Awards 2020

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Congratulations to our SPS staff who have been recognised for their exceptional work by University staff awards.


The University’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Colleague Recognition Awards celebrate the hard work and achievements of staff from across the College, through nomination from peers.

Various SPS staff won awards, recognising qualities including: inspirational mentoring and teaching; commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion; positive community impact; and for working as an outstanding team.

The ceremony was held online on Thursday 18 June 2020. 

SPS winners

Here are the SPS winners, with quotes from their original nominations. They will each receive a certificate and restaurant voucher, as well as a trophy designed by MFA Glass student Marianne le Gallo of Edinburgh College of Art. 

  • Professor Fiona Mackay – Susan Manning Award for Inspiring Mentor
    ‘Once Fiona takes you under her wing she is unfailingly generous with her time and support. Through her calm, consistent and nurturing support she inspires each of us to pay it forward to our own colleagues and students.’ 
    Professor Fiona Mackay is a Professor of Politics and Director of genderED. 
  • Professor Andy Thompson – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    ‘Andy is modest and always keen to credit all the staff and students who collectively have helped make advances in EDI, but we are clear that Andy’s leadership has been fundamental to the progress achieved within the School.’  
    Professor Andy Thompson is Chair of Public Policy and Citizenship. 
  • Dr Oliver Escobar – Community Impact
    ‘He places ordinary communities at the heart of policymaking and gives them discussion tools to deliberate on some of Scotland’s most pressing concerns. His approach to public engagement contributes to a deeper understanding of democratic politics, never more important than in our current polarised times.’  
    Dr Oliver Escobar is a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy. 
  • SPS Research Office Pre-Award Team (Zach Allan, Shanda Doherty, Ailsa McKenzie, Emily Peppers, Simon Temperley) – Most Outstanding Team
    ‘Since the start of the 2019 financial year, the Pre-Award team has submitted over 257 research grant applications, 85 of which have been successfully funded so far at £14.5M! This achievement is an abnormally high success rate for any academic institution.’  

Additionally, Natalie Stroud, SPS Student Support Officer, received a shortlist placing for the keenly contested category of Dean of Students Award for Contribution to Student Experience. 

Overwhelming response

The College received an overwhelming number of responses when nominations for the awards opened to College staff in January, with more than 550 nominations. The final winners were chosen by a panel of colleagues from across the college. 

List of winners

You can read the full list of winners on the College news page here. 

Congratulations to all!