The Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Services Awards



Vice-Chancellor’s Awards 2024 

Nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards closed on Monday 19 February 2024. Award winners will be announced at a special ceremony hosted by the Vice-Chancellor at the Sheldonian Theatre on Wednesday 8 May 2024, followed by a reception at the Examination Schools. There will also be a week-long showcase of nominations in the Weston Library.

Find out more on the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards page.



The page below references the nominees and winners for previous Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Services Awards. As of 2024, these are now part of the Oxford-wide Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. 



The Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Services Awards recognised the extraordinary contribution that colleagues in administrative, professional and support roles make to the University, and to furthering Oxford’s academic mission.   

In particular they celebrated colleagues who demonstrate the principles of Professional Services Together – the University’s framework for spreading best practice across our professional services.

The inaugural awards took place in the 2022/23 academic year. There were more than 140 nominations representing more than 300 members of staff, with 26 teams shortlisted. 

The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Examination Schools on Tuesday 21 March 2023. You can read more about the finalists, the winners and highly commended entries below.

Collaborating Across Oxford

Collaborating Across Oxford

For a group of people who have worked in a collaborative way across the collegiate University, especially those who have embraced the aims and values of Professional Services Together.


Supporting students in response to global emergencies group accepting Collaborating Across Oxford award

Supporting students in response to global emergencies

This nomination recognised the extraordinary work that has taken place across Oxford supporting scholars and on-course students impacted by unprecedented events from the last few years. From hastily arranging the COVID-19 Scholarship Extensions Fund and COVID-19 Assistance Fund for those impacted by the pandemic; to setting up ground-breaking scholarship schemes for those caught in the conflicts in Ukraine and Afghanistan. There were 30 people nominated in this award from central services, academic divisions, and the colleges - and many more were involved beyond them.

Highly Commended

Support for administering the one-off payment to staff in Trinity term 2022

When Council agreed to award a £1,000 ‘Thank You’ payment to all staff in July 2022, there was a lot to consider – from finding the staff data from our systems to updating payroll processes, communicating the change across the University, and setting up brand new procedures for those who wished to donate or transfer their payments to their pensions. This was a huge amount of teamwork for the 25 nominated individuals from HR, Finance, IT and communications teams – working at rapid pace for the benefit of the 15,000 people who received the payment. As a testament to their commitment, the team was nominated for the awards by no fewer than three different individuals.


Early Alert Service: testing for COVID-19 team

Teaching Support Group team

Research and Innovation Support Network (RISN) team

ESRC Festival of Social Science team

Role Model

Role Model

For colleagues who are inspiring leaders.


Chrissy Bunyan accepting Role Model award

Chrissy Bunyan, Graduate Studies Manager, Oxford Internet Institute

Chrissy was nominated by a member of her team for her exceptional leadership. The nomination highlighted Chrissy’s authentic leadership style and promoting a culture of authenticity and psychological safety. She also encourages a growth mindset, promotes continuous improvement and knowledge sharing, and is passionate about supporting training and development. In addition to her busy role Graduate Studies role, Chrissy has taken on the EDI Coordinator role, and demonstrates inclusive leadership at all times. She provides the best possible service for students and constantly seeks feedback to improve their experience – fostering a culture of accountability and transparency in the department.   

Highly Commended

Daisy Hung, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, MPLS Division  

Daisy Hung has been instrumental in driving Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) initiatives at the MPLS Division and the University. Daisy has actively engaged with university-wide initiatives, contributing her insights and experiences to improve policies and culture within the University. Her leadership has led to the implementation of a new rolling ED&I Training Programme and successful Mental Health Awareness Week activities. She is a role model who champions ED&I in everything she does, challenging and encouraging those around her to be better people. Daisy's non-hierarchical approach allows everyone to have a voice at the table, leading a culture shift towards greater inclusion.


Angela Arnold, Asian and Middle Eastern Technical Services Manager, Bodleian Libraries

Carly Nieri, Head of Development, Medical Sciences Division

People Development

People Development

For colleagues who have demonstrated a commitment to helping others around them to develop professionally and in their careers (for example, through supporting Communities of Practice or through mentoring and coaching).


Lucy Curtin accepting People Development award

Lucy Curtin, Executive Assistant, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Lucy was nominated in her voluntary capacity as the University’s EA/PA Network Coordinator. In this role, she has grown what began a decade or so ago as a small lunch club for PAs in the Medical Sciences Division, to an online network of around 150 EAs and PAs spanning the collegiate University. The network provides support and professional development opportunities for its members, and by organising meet-ups for the group, Lucy encourages inclusion and wellbeing for those doing a job that can sometimes be isolating. Her pioneering work for the network is now feeding into the new EA/PA Community of Practice, which was established last year with Lucy as one of its founding members.

Highly Commended

Oxford Coaching Network team

Anna Sanders, Anjali Shah, Clare Cory, Geis Simmons, Claire Hann and Judy Irving

This team dedicate their skills, expertise and support on a voluntary basis as coach supervisors for the Oxford Coaching Network, helping to ensure that coaching is available to staff at no cost to their Department. Through the network, one-to-one coaching is available to University employees, provided by other University staff who hold coaching qualifications. Despite busy roles across the University, these nominees participate fully and supportively as coach supervisors, shaping the development of the network in line with best practice and coaching principles and providing essential support for the network’s coaches.


Focus Continuous Improvement team (Sara Passmore, Pamela Flood, Emma Morris and Maria Morris), Planning and Council Secretariat

Roz French, Graduate Data Coordinator, Student Registry

Dan Blakey, Katherine Feddersen and Vicky Robson, Research Services

Making Things Better

Making Things Better

For colleagues who have challenged and improved processes (in particular those who have embraced continuous improvement approaches).


Violet Brand accepting Making Things Better award

Violet Brand, PPE Administrator, Department of Politics and International Relations  

Violet was nominated for the dramatic and positive changes she made in her department this year. In addition to her substantive role as PPE Administrator, Violet took it upon herself to transform the DPIR Canvas presence. Following severe difficulties her colleagues were facing with postgraduate students, Violet carefully listened to staff and students’ needs. She then taught herself how use Canvas and code HTML, and streamlined communications and automated processes. Colleagues reported that her work had ‘led to a dramatic impact' on morale, efficiency and work satisfaction, and that the difference her work made has been ‘truly transformational’.

Highly Commended

Menopause project team

Kate Butler, Tracy Fahey, Sarah Willcox-Jones and Lois May, University HR  

These nominees identified that there was a gap in the University’s provision for those experiencing negative effects of menopause, and went above and beyond in developing and launching new guidance. They consulted widely across the University and with external organisations, gathered examples of best practice and identified simple approaches that could make a significant difference to those affected. They raised awareness of the issue to help those who are affected, as well as their managers and colleagues, and provided suggestions for simple interventions.

Alison Brindle, Head of Communications, Medical Sciences Division  

Alison has implemented numerous communications-related initiatives and processes across the Medical Sciences Division, many of which are now being replicated across other parts of the University. This has included implementing a central events calendar, providing newsletter and image bank software and a website content management system, and running a successful network. She always offers her resources and time generously, and demonstrates many key principles of the Professional Services Together framework. Everything Alison does starts with the needs of her stakeholders – staff and students in the Medical Sciences Division.


Louisa Bailey, Head of Administration and Finance, Department of Earth Sciences

Judit Kovacs, Acquisitions Team Leader, Bodleian Libraries

UAS HR team (Jasmine Doris, Isobel Stokoe, Ffion Fry, Sue Childs, Anouska Bedford, Courtney Johnson, Adedeji Akinsanya and Olesya Luchinina), University HR

Outstanding Support

Oustanding Support

For colleagues who have put the needs of staff, students and other groups at the heart of how they deliver their services.


Student Visa, Compliance and Immigration team  

Student Visa, Compliance and Immigration team accepting Outstanding Support award

James Tibbert, Anna Hedge, Josephine Aldhouse, Nahid Tonge, Emily Alexander and Jamie Dalton, Academic Administration Division 

This team was nominated for the fantastic service they provide to applicants and students. The team is an exemplar of effective collaboration: working in partnership with the Home Office and other governmental agencies; local Oxford services, such as the police; with colleges and departments to offer advice and guidance at multiple levels, and provide clear information to offer-holders and current students alike. The team regularly receives high feedback scores in student surveys, and the occasional chocolate gifts are further testament to how much their support is valued by end users! 

Highly Commended

Wytham Woods team

Nigel Fisher, Lucy Kilbey, Deborah Steyl, Nick Ewart, Kevin Crawford and Neil Havercroft, Estates Services  

The Wytham Woods team was nominated for its support for research projects and public engagement activities across the arts and sciences. Alignment with the University’s strategy is fundamental to the team’s work and evident in their engagement with a wide range of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and their relationship with local communities. They demonstrate that Oxford is for everyone, whatever their background, by providing work experience placements; obtaining grants for local schools to improve biodiversity; running wellbeing days for secondary school pupils; and in October 2022 they successfully launched the ‘Bear Wood Project’ where anyone can collect and plant an acorn for a new area of woodland.


Oxford Computer Emergency Response (OxCERT) team (Kashif Mohammad, Paul Salazar-Mora, Fox Foster, Mary Bispham, Jack Cornish and Dan Smith), Assurance Directorate

Sherif Akil, IT Service Desk Analyst, Department of Social Policy and Intervention

Wayne Swan and Philip Cobden, Dunn School of Pathology

Registrar's Choice

Registar’s Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution

For commitment to all three key areas of Professional Services Together, and to supporting the University’s mission. 


Research Services team accepting Registrar's Choice Award

Dan Blakey, Katherine Feddersen and Vicky Robson, Research Services   

Dan, Katherine and Vicky were nominated for their role in the development and implementation of a new programme of work to support people development priorities and activities, following the reorganisation for Research Services in 2021. The team has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to helping their colleagues to develop in their careers, through a range of new initiatives including monthly speaker sessions, introducing a five-day professional development allowance for all staff, and developing a new intranet site dedicated to professional development - so far, over 75% of Research Services staff have participated in the new programme.