WHAT A NIGHT: Respond Africa Receive the Times Higher Education Award for Best International Collaboration 2021!

News article 26 Nov 2021
James, Anu, Hazel and Joseph, looking sharp at the awards ceremony.

We are thrilled to announce that Respond Africa have been awarded ‘Best International Collaboration of the Year’ at this years’ Time Higher Education Awards. The awards attract hundreds of entries from individuals, teams and higher education institutions from all corners of the UK and, for the first time this year, Ireland too. Nearly a thousand people gathered in London to celebrate the sector’s recent achievement in 20 categories.

Anu, James, Joseph and Hazel, looking very stylish we must say, represented the group at the ceremony at the Metropole Hotel on 25th November.

Respond Africa have come a long way since 2017. We began with seed funding of £2 million that supported initial research and by 2020, we’d secured four major grants worth more than £12 million from different funders.

It suits you Anu! Anu and Hazel having fun after receiving the award.

Today, the partnership involves 14 main research partners (four in the UK, three in Europe and seven in Africa), five civil society organisations, and policymakers and patient groups in three African countries, and it’s wonderful to receive such recognition of our achievements so far.

According to the judges “RESPOND-Africa’s entry stood out for creating a series of partnerships that have resulted in a step change in research and policy.”

They continued: “The range of partnerships including universities, civil society, policymakers and patient groups was impressive, as was the training and collaborative and inclusive nature of the partnerships, making a huge difference to people’s lives and leaving a tangible and adoptable model for other countries to consider.”

It goes without saying that our success is all down to the hard work and dedication of the team and we want to thank everybody involved. Prof Shabbar Jaffar, upon hearing the news, said “I work with such wonderful people, both here in the UK, in Europe and in sub-Saharan Africa and so building this partnership has been very easy for us all and it has been tremendous fun. Central to this partnership is that we conduct rigorous research, designed to inform health policy and practice globally for the control of high disease-burden conditions.”

We were in extremely good company, and we want to congratulate all the winners and to all those shortlisted, particularly to our colleagues at LSTM: Paul Rowley, from the Centre of Snakebite Research and Interventions (CSRI) who was highly commended in the Outstanding Technician of the Year category, and Dr Rachel Tolhurst was shortlisted in Outstanding Research Supervisor of the year category.

Shortly after being shortlisted for the award, Professor Jaffar wrote an article for THE on successful international collaborations built on trust, appropriate recognition and inclusiveness in decision-making which can be read here: https://tinyurl.com/ya2ykdtv.

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