The Student Choice Awards recognise outstanding staff members and allow students to show appreciation for their hard work.

For the 2024 awards, Students’ Union UCL received a total of 1041 nominations, comprising of 590 staff members from 77 academic and professional services departments.

Our wonderful panel of student judges read through all of those nominations and narrowed it down until they had their winners. Read on to found out who they are...

Awards Categories and Winners

Active Student Partnership

The award for Active Student Partnership recognises staff who are proactive and responsive in their approach to student feedback. These staff members engage openly and honestly with student input, involving students in addressing issues, finding solutions, and supporting them during challenging times.

This category received 69 nominations.

Winner: Rik K Ganly Thomas

“Rik has shown exceptional responsiveness to student needs by devising an annual student feedback survey, demonstrating his commitment to listening attentively and acting on feedback.

"Promptly replying to the insights gathered, he has implemented various initiatives aimed at addressing student concerns and improving their overall experience.”

Amazing Support Staff

The award for Amazing Support Staff thanks staff who are not in teaching roles but still make a huge difference to students’ learning at UCL. The award recognises staff who demonstrate an active interest in making sure students can engage fully with their learning by offering practical support and advice.

This category received 112 nominations.

Winner: Laura Baggioli

“She is supportive of and genuinely cares about all students. Whenever I have had any issues Laura is the first person I approach for help and I know this is the same for other students.

"Whenever anyone has an issue, the first advice they are always given by other students is to speak to Laura. We all know that Laura will respond quickly and be happy to help.”

Brilliant Research-Based Education

The award for Brilliant Research-Based Education is for staff who incorporate the latest research into their teaching, providing students with an insight into emerging knowledge in their chosen field and potential issues of the future.

This category received 43 nominations.

Winner: Fiona Kyle

“Dr Fiona Kyle organises weekly lab meetings for students who are on placements… During these meetings, one student presents a recent research paper and thanks to this we are able to expand our critical-thinking skills by having a peer-led discussion after the presentation.

"These meetings sparked valuable discussions that proved very useful for my project and expanded my knowledge about research in a way that couldn’t have been replaced by simply reading around a specific topic area.”

Diverse & Inclusive Education

The award for Diverse and Inclusive Education highlights staff members who are committed to ensuring their teaching takes a truly global perspective by avoiding Eurocentrism and incorporating the voices of people and communities from outside the Global North.

This category received 19 nominations.

Winner: Hélène Plun-Favreau

“Hélène actively incorporates the voices of scholars from marginalised communities, including BME, LGBT+, disabled, and women scholars, into students’ learning experiences.

"Through her efforts, she has created a learning environment that embraces diversity and promotes inclusivity. For example, she organises events to make STEM more welcoming for women, such as the recent event “Celebrating Women in Neuroscience.”

"This event provided insight into equality issues within academia and celebrated successful UCL women neuroscientists who are paving the way for change.

"Hélène has been involved in the co-organisation of events with the LGBTQ+ STEM @UCL Network, fostering a more welcoming community to queer scientists in STEM fields.”

Excellent Personal Tutoring

The Excellent Personal Tutoring award recognises members of staff who prioritise the establishment of positive relationships with their students based on mutual trust and respect, and the delivery of clear and reassuring guidance in good times and bad.

This category received 159 nominations.

Winner: Anna Remington

“Anna has been proactive in setting up meetings with me on a regular basis. Such proactiveness, I believe, is not the experience of most students and demonstrates her interest in my progress.

"I experienced her as being empathetic and understanding of the issues I faced and felt she took my perspective rather than trying to dismiss things as part of academic life.

"I felt she overall had the perspective of encouraging me to make things better for myself and get what I wanted."

Exceptional Feedback

The award for Exceptional Feedback celebrates staff who take the time and effort to provide detailed feedback, both verbally and in writing, which is designed to support the development of their students.

This category received 57 nominations.

Winner: Alecia Carter

“We were assessed not only for the content of a final paper, but for the analysis, effort, and feedback we put forward, in the final project and throughout the module.

"The combination of practical, realistic, consistent feedback and the opportunity for us students to take an active role in the response and marking process was significant; when I showed up to seminar, I felt I was there to learn the skills that would follow me through academia, not just to make the grade.”

Inspiring Teaching Delivery

The award for Inspiring Teaching Delivery recognises staff members who deliver teaching with exceptional enthusiasm, inspiring and engaging students through a variety of creative methods.

This category received 432 nominations.

Winner: Damian Phelan

“He was always there for us whenever we needed help and gave us advice on any issue. He was so supportive and understanding, always wanting to make sure that everyone in class feels comfortable with all the information presented.

"Every piece of feedback was thoroughly presented and all the tutorial work was always checked.

"Being one of the students in his tutorial group was the best thing that happened to me this year. He inspired all of us with his motivation and his genuine desire to improve education and help students become better versions of themselves.

"I also appreciated that he was always available for office hours and replied to our emails even when we had the smallest questions.”

Outstanding Research Supervision

The award for Outstanding Research Supervision recognises staff who provide exceptional support for postgraduate research students, taking a flexible and proactive approach.

This category received 147 nominations.

Winner: Rachael Dickman

“Rachael is a fantastic supervisor, who not only takes care of helping her students develop academically, but supports them as a person.

"She always has an open ear for any of her student’s issues that might come up and is the most understanding and supporting supervisor I have met.

"In a degree that is known to be challenging when it comes to mental health, she takes it seriously to look after her students’ mental health and always approaches things with an open mind and the goal to help. Through this, she created a very positive and trusting environment in her group and enables us to give our best.”

Sustainable Education

The award for Sustainable Education recognises staff who are leading the way in embedding sustainability into the curriculum and shaping future climate leaders.

This category received 9 nominations.

Winner: Andy Markwick

“Andy continually provides his students with opportunities to link our learning and teaching as student teachers to real world issues related to sustainability.

"Dr Markwick’s clear passion for the topic and how this relates to science empowers his students to confidently embed sustainability in all aspects of our science teaching curriculum and inspire confidence for us to address issues children have with anxieties/ curiosity about sustainability in the modern world."

What Do Students Value Most?

From the nominations, we've put together a new report outlining what students value most.

The report features the most valued practices in nine award categories, highlighting the exceptional learning experience at UCL. It showcases common and emerging themes and aims to benefit staff by sharing examples of excellent support, supervision, and teaching practices.

Given our deep understanding of the most valued practices as identified by students, we are well-positioned to collaborate with the university in sharing these best practices and enhancing the overall student experience.