Special Achievement Award for Aberystwyth academic

A leading Welsh academic working on global health politics has been acknowledge for his life-time’s contribution to social science research in Wales.

Professor Colin McInnes, UNESCO Professor of HIV/AIDS Education and Health Security in Africa at the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, was presented with the Special Achievement Award at the 2017 Wales Social Research Awards held at the National Assembly for Wales on Thursday 7 December.

Congratulating Professor McInnes on his success, Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “On behalf of everyone here at Aberystwyth University, I extend my warmest congratulations to Professor McInnes on this much deserved award. He has helped to redefine our understanding of health as a political phenomenon in the age of globalization and it is no exaggeration to say that he has been instrumental in establishing the field in the UK and internationally.”

In a supporting statement for the award, Professor Kelley Lee from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada described Professor McInnes as an “outstanding scholar of international reputation”.

Professor Lee added: “Professor McInnes is a highly respected scholar who has contributed ground breaking and highly original analyses that bridge the fields of International Relations and Public Health. He has achieved this by playing a lead role in deepening analysis of global health issues using the lenses of foreign policy, security and governance/diplomacy. His theoretical and empirical contributions have been complemented by his frequent involvement in high-level policy discussions in the UK and internationally.”

Hosted this year by the Social Research Association and sponsored by Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance Mark Drakeford AM, the awards recognise and celebrate outstanding research by social science researchers in Wales.

This year’s Wales Social Research Awards saw academics from the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University shortlisted in each of the Awards four categories.

As well as Professor McInnes, also shortlisted were:

Dr Catrin Wyn Edwards (Early Career Researcher of the Year award). Dr Edwards has been researching the linguistic integration of migrants into sub-states, specifically Catalonia and Wales, and Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada.

Dr Huw Lewis, Dr Elin Royles and Dr Catrin Wyn Edwards (Research Impact Award). Working within the WISERD Centre for Welsh Politics and Society at Aberystwyth, Dr Huw Lewis, Dr Elin Royles and Dr Catrin Wyn Edwards have been shortlisted for their work on informing and influencing the policy discussion that fed into the preparation of the Welsh Government’s new national language strategy, Cymraeg 2050: A Million Welsh Speakers, published in July 2017.

Dr Berit Bliesemann de Guevara (Research Innovation Award). Working with researchers at Cardiff University, Dr Bliesemann de Guevara has been nominated for the project “Using a drawing workshop to explore the infertility experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic women in Wales”.

According to the latest review of UK research quality, REF 2014, 95% of the research activity submitted by Aberystwyth University was of an internationally recognised standard or higher, with world leading research (4*) identified in all 17 of the Units of Assessment submitted.

The Department of International Politics was rated top in Wales, with over 75% of its research considered world leading or internationally excellent (REF2014).