N8 Research Partnership Shortlisted for Prestigous Award Celebrating International Collaboration with ARUA


The N8 Research Partnership has been shortlisted for ‘International Collaboration of the Year’ as part of the Times Higher Education Awards.

Described as ‘the Oscars of higher education’, THE Awards recognise the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life. This year’s event will focus primarily on activity that has taken place during the 2019-2020 academic year. With hundreds of entries across a number of different categories, we are extremely proud that the incredible work of our N8 Universities is being put in the spotlight.

The ‘International Collaboration of the Year’ award celebrates exceptional projects or joint ventures carried out between a UK or Irish institution and one or more international partners and focuses on collaborations at a strategic level. The N8 nomination comes as a result of the collaborative work that has taken place with the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).

The international partnership has implemented a three-year programme utilising interdisciplinary research to develop a new understanding of the African food system and help tackle global challenges of disease, poverty, climate change, and food insecurity. The partnership operates across six sub-Saharan African countries, namely Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Professor Stuart Taberner, Dean for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Leeds, commented, “These collaborations are bringing together the best academics from the UK and Africa to investigate the big and important issues affecting the peace, security and wellbeing of millions of people.

“We want to build on that success and form new partnerships which will allow us to continue the groundbreaking research that is having a global impact.”

Our nomination, for the ’N8 International Research Managers’ Network’ is as follows:

The N8 Research Partnership’s International Research Managers’ Network (N8IRM) is nominated for their work over four years (2017-2021) building an outstanding partnership with the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA). The collaboration, grounded in an equitable approach and led by the needs of the African universities has led to enormous benefits including:

  • Widening collaborations between two global place-based networks
  • Funding that brings benefits to both Africa and the Northern Powerhouse
  • Enhancing the international profile of the N8, ARUA and our members
  • Shared expertise and capacity building from research to professional services

Nominee/Key Personnel:

  • Durham: Anna Brown
  • Lancaster: Mandy Dillon
  • Leeds: Louise Heery
  • Liverpool: Billy Mitchell
  • Manchester: James Evans
  • Newcastle: Elisa Lawson
  • Sheffield: Mel Knight
  • York: Helen Wells

The THE Awards ceremony will take place on 25 November 2021 at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel. The in-person ceremony will conclude the THE Campus Live UK&IE interactive event; featuring a global network of leaders, experts and decision makers.

Click here to find out more and register your interest for the event.



We would love to hear your stories of taking part in N8 collaborations over the years, whether from the early days of the partnership when it was being set up with funding from the Northern Way, or from more recent activities.

We’d love to hear about the relationships you’ve built and friendships you’ve made as well as the fantastic research outcomes that you’re rightly proud of. You can find out more on Twitter using the hashtag #N8Fifteen.

Tweet us at @N8Research to share your stories and successes.