Our winners for 2021-22

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Announcing our winners for 2021-22

Staff, patients and the public have nominated the research professionals from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) who they think have made outstanding contributions to new advances in clinical research in the last year.

Amongst the winners are people taking their first steps in a research career and those who are making a national impact on changes to healthcare in the fields of surgery, mental health and children’s cancer.

The awards, organised by the Research & Innovation department of NUH, also recognise the volunteers who regularly give up their time to support research teams and some of the 12,000 people a year who take part in clinical trials in the hospitals.

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

“Our staff have contributed to clinical research which has made a tangible difference to patients’ lives in so many ways, so it’s entirely fitting that we should recognise their achievements and thank them in front of their peers.”

She added: “It’s a real honour to be one of the judges and among those presenting the accolades on our awards night (which took place on 8 June 2022). The stories of our own research heroes are truly inspirational and we look forward to celebrating their success with them.”

Amongst the winners is Bernie Cook from the Paediatric Oncology Research Team at NUH, which was nominated by colleagues. The team has undergone considerable changes over the past year, while still ensuring it continued to deliver research studies for patients.

She said: “It’s wonderful that we have been acknowledged for all the hard work we have put in, and for our fantastic teamwork.

“Through our work, oncology patients receive access to treatments they would not necessarily benefit from otherwise - it’s about being able to make a difference for patients.”

The full list of winners is:

  • Polly Swain, Clinical Researcher Practitioner in the DREEAM (Department of Research and Education, Emergency Medicine, Acute Medicine and Major Trauma) Team for the Early Career Research Award
  • Dr Permesh Dhillon, clinical radiology registrar and interventional neuroradiology fellow at NUH for the People’s Research Award
  • The NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) Gastrointestinal & Liver Patient Advisory Group, who also receive the People’s Research Award
  • The NUH Paediatric Oncology Research Team – winners of the Research Excellence Award
  • The Research Volunteers; who receive the Research Excellence Impact Award and 
  • Professor Ben Ollivere,Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon and senior research leader – who has won the Research Excellence Partnership Award


In addition to the winners in these categories, the following people received special Directors's Awards in recognition of their enduring contribution to clinicla research in Nottingham:

  • Professor Chris Hollis, Theme Lead for Mental Health & Technology, at the Nottingham BRC for his national and international leadership in mental health research and links to healthcare technology
  • Professor Helen Budge, Professor of Neonatal Medicine, Director of Lifespan and Population Health and Director of Clinical Academic Training, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Nottingham – for outstanding leadership in clinical academic training 
  • Peter Hammersley, Lead Accountant, Finance, for NUH. For outstanding finance support to the NUH Research & Innovation strategy