Papin Prizes

Papin Prizes recognise the skills, talent and experience of technicians in higher education and research, across the UK and Ireland.

Papin Prizes were first awarded at the inaugural Higher Education Technicians Summit in 2015 at the University of Nottingham. The third round of awards will be made at the 2019 Higher Education Technicians Summit (HETS 2019), which is taking place at the University of Birmingham on 25th June 2019.

The Papin Prizes are named after Denis Papin, a 17th century technician who worked with Robert Boyle. Papin invented the steam digester and was one of the first technicians to publish in his own name. The Papin Prizes recognise the invaluable role played by technicians in Higher Education. Their aim is:

  • To provide national recognition and reward for excellence in technical services within higher education
  • To raise the professional status of technicians in higher education

Nominations are invited from universities and research institutes for technicians across all disciplines with awards being issued across the following categories:

  • Research - A member of technical staff that has made a significant contribution to research.
  • Teaching - A member of technical staff that has made a significant contribution to the student teaching and learning experience.
  • Newcomer - An individual who has embarked on a technical career within the past 4 years and shown exceptional promise - for example, this may be a trainee or apprentice technician.
  • Core Research Facility - A member of technical staff within a central research facility/platform that has provided exceptional skills/expertise.
  • Infrastructure - A member of technical staff that has made a significant contribution to day to day infrastructure to support research and/or teaching – for example, roles may include technical staff who look after building facilities or technicians that provide key day to day services.
  • Outreach/Community - A member of technical staff that has made a significant contribution to community/outreach activities.
  • Technical Team - A technical team who have worked together to deliver excellence.
  • Lifetime Achievement - An award to recognise continued excellence and/or significant achievements across an individual's technical career.

Nominations can be made by any member of the higher education community including students, staff, collaborators and alumni. To be entered, the technician in question should be currently employed by a UK university or research institute on a part-time or full-time, fixed term or permanent basis.

Judging Criteria

Nominations must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Success – cases where the nominated individual has demonstrated technical expertise and remarkable effort to ensure targets were met/exceeded and/or particular milestones were achieved.
  • Inspiration – cases where a nominees’ technical experience and knowledge has inspired others (colleagues, students, members of the public).
  • Innovation - cases where the nominees’ inventive thinking and/or novel application of technical skills has resulted in a successful resolution to a problem, improved efficiency or has resulted in the development of new scientific/technological concepts.
  • Personal/Professional Development – cases where nominees have undertaken significant personal development and/or increased their knowledge and technical ability (outside of their routine role) to the benefit of the university and beyond.
  • Expertise – cases where nominees have built a reputation as recognised leaders in their field of technical expertise.
  • Leadership/ Collaboration – cases where strong technical leadership or collaboration has ensured a successful outcome.
  • Student Experience – cases where technical staff have gone “the extra mile” to support teaching and learning activities for students.

The deadline for Papin Prize nomination submission for HETS 2019 has now closed. Thank you all for your nominations and we look forward to shortlisting and announcing the winners in due course.