Date of release: Monday, September 17, 2012

Dr Josh DavisRising stars in the academic world have been recognised in the University of Greenwich's Early Career Research Awards.

The awards scheme, now in its fourth year, saw a panel of experts judge entries from researchers in a range of disciplines across the university's three campuses. Winners received a prize of £5,000 to help them develop their ideas and their research careers.

'Excellence' prizes went to Dr Josh Davis and Dr Sofia Stathi, both Senior Lecturers at the School of Health & Social Care, and to Dr Julie Urquhart, Senior Research Fellow at the School of Science.

Dr Davis's research focuses on the way in which we recognise and remember other people's faces and voices, and the implications for eyewitnesses to a crime and for the law in general. Most recently he has been examining the abilities of police officers – so-called 'super recognisers' – who have made a large number of identifications of suspects, including rioters, from CCTV images.

Dr Stathi was chosen as a winner for her work in social psychology, looking at issues such as inter-group relations and conflict, prejudice and prejudice reduction.

Dr Urquhart, whose research looks at the vital role of marine fishing in coastal communities on both sides of the English Channel, is co-leading a €4.6 million European INTERREG project.The university has also launched a new annual prize, the Early Career Research Communicator Awards, for an outstanding researcher who has taken their work to a wide audience through talks, media appearances and other public engagements. The inaugural winner of this award was Dr Oliver Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Greenwich, whose studies have included the 'quarterlife crisis', and the impact of being honest in the workplace. Dr Robinson's research has attracted international and national media attention in the past year, including an interview on Sky News and front-page coverage on the Daily Telegraph.

There were two runners-up for the Early Career Research Communicator Awards: Dr Josh Davis, who was also one of the winners of the Excellence Awards, and Dr Vanina Torlo from the university's Business School.

Professor Tom Barnes, the university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Enterprise, says: "The university has a passion for ground-breaking research which can make a real difference to society, and all our winners fully deserve their success. The awards show how highly we value our researchers and what an important contribution they make to academic life at Greenwich with their energy and ideas."

The awards are part of the university's Early Career Researcher Initiative, led by Professor Pam Maras, which supports academics as they build their research careers. The initiative offers opportunities for training and networking as well as information about employment, funding and awards.

Picture: Dr Josh Davis.

Story by Public Relations