New poem recognises heroes of COVID-19 research at NUH

Nottingham City Hospital February 2021

National poet Ian McMillan has praised Nottingham researchers and patients for their parts in fighting COVID-19, penning a poem called simply ‘Thank you’.

He was commissioned by Nottingham University Hospitals Research & Innovation to mark a year of work by staff in researching new treatments and vaccinations for COVID-19. 

Copies of Ian’s powerful words are being given to individual winners after a virtual awards event, the ‘COVID-19 Research Heroes’ , designed to recognise the contribution of individuals and teams working in NUH, the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and the NIHR Clinical Research Centre in battling the virus. 

The awards, being held on Tuesday, 30 March, highlight the positive effect that research has made in protecting patients, colleagues and local communities – especially over the last year.

Dr Maria Koufali, Managing Director of Research & Innovation at NUH, commented:

“We wanted a lasting legacy that people could turn to again and again, for many years to come. Ian’s style and performance strike just the right tone.”

She added: “So many people have given so much to our clinical research, and it can be hard to find the right words to express our gratitude…the words in Ian’s poem perfectly sum up the contributions made by the people of Nottingham when we asked them to help us to find treatments, vaccines and new ways to fight COVID-19.”

All staff working in R&I – whether nominated or not – were invited to the virtual event as a way of saying “thank you” for all they had done to support, plan and deliver COVID-19 research over the last year.

Everyone working across the R&I teams, as well as in the Biomedical Research Centre and the Clinical Research Facility, has played a part in helping NUH find effective treatments and vaccines, as well as contributing to the world’s understanding of Coronavirus.

Team winners will receive £1,000 per team to support their research work and a certificate as their prizes. Meanwhile, individual winners will get a copy of Ian McMillan’s poem, a special edition hoodie and a certificate. 

  • R&I will be arranging a special event to thank its volunteers and patient taskforce members for their contribution, and the COVID-19 Research Heroes awards will continue next year, with awards for outstanding research contributions in 2021-22 being recognised

And the winners are:

Team awards

  • The NIHR Nottingham Clinical Research Facility team 
  • The Core COVID-19 Research team
  • The COVID-19 Laboratory team
  • The Documas team
  • The DREEAM Research team 

Individual awards go to:

  • Abigail Sutcliffe, Clinical Haematology
  • Chloe Khurana, COVID-19 Research Team  
  • Dan Harvey, Critical Care 
  • Debborah Ashton, Respiratory Research Team 
  • Fozia Naushahi, COVID-19 Research Team  
  • Georgia Melia, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Helen Navarra, Children’s Clinical Research Team
  • Howard Gees, Sexual Health Services
  • Irfan Aslam, Operations, R&I
  • Jack Squires, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Jesse Oliver, COVID-19 Laboratory Team
  • John Sweeney, Cleaning Services, Estates and Facilities
  • Kate Frost, Public and Patient Involvement, R&I
  • Kebba Konteh, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Kerri Jenkins, Operations, R&I
  • Laura Looby, Children’s Clinical Research Team
  • Lucy Ryan, DREEAM Research Team
  • Lindsay Crate, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Nicola Bennetti, Children’s Clinical Research Team 
  •  Rhian Warman, Children’s Clinical Research Team 
  •  Sheila Hodgson, Clinical Trials Pharmacy
  • Shellie Radford, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Zoe Rose, COVID-19 Research Team
  • Wei Shen Lim, Respiratory Medicine

A special award, recognising research partnerships that have been enhanced during COVID-19 and spotlighting the specialist vaccine development expertise in Nottingham, went to:

  • The Children’s Clinical Research team and Cripps Healthcare Team

Read the "Thank You" poem

You can read and download a copy of the full poem here:   COVID-19 Heroes Awards Poem.pdf [pdf] 135KB

Recognising our COVID-19 Research Heroes

Recognising our COVID-19 Research Heroes

We have seen extraordinary examples of individuals and teams mobilising rapidly to the answer the national and international call for clinical research to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Behind the rapid acceleration of breakthrough science and translation of research findings into treatments and vaccines, the commitment and dedication of individuals and teams in Nottingham has been outstanding.

These awards celebrate our achievements and express our thanks for the outstanding contributions to COVID-19 research across our hospitals.

The COVID-19 Research Heroes Awards recognise the extraordinary clinical research undertaken in NUH, the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Nottingham Clinical Research Facility.

We aim to highlight the positive impact research has made during unprecedented times to help protect our patients, our colleagues and our communities.

These special awards recognise individuals or teams who can truly be seen as an inspiration for high quality clinical research. 

The awards cover the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 December 2020. The closing date for entries is 31 January 2021.

Making a nomination

Nominations can be submitted by anyone, including colleagues, patients, the public and our partner organisations.

You can nominate either an individual or a team - or both.

Nominations can be submitted online until 31 January 2021.