The UHR Awards for Excellence in HR 2024

The 2024 winners have been announced

The winners of the 2024 UHR Awards for Excellence in HR have now been announced (Wednesday 15 May 2024) and we are pleased to be able to share more information today on our winning teams, projects and individuals.

Congratulations to them, and to the fantastic runners-up and shortlisted teams in all seven awards categories.

We are very grateful to our Premium Partners for #UHR24, NTT DATA Business Solutions and Shakespeare Martineau, for their support of the 2024 UHR Awards.


Our winners

The UHR Award for Organisational Effectiveness and Performance


University of Plymouth – HR Operations Team for their project ‘Process Transformation Through Robotic Processing Automation’

The University of Plymouth has successfully implemented robotic processing automation for processing student workers and ambassadors onto its HR/Payroll system. This has been shown to improve efficiency, reduce operational costs, enhance accuracy, improve data quality and compliance, and have a positive impact and experience for teams. This achievement has enabled the university to see the benefit of expanding this type of automation further across other manual, repetitive processing that happens. Tasks need to be full reviewed with a transformation change in mind to ensure that this type of automation is a successful complement to the HR Service.


University of Stirling Human Resources and Organisation Development: Agile Working Framework


University of Glasgow People and OD Induction Project Team: The University of Glasgow Induction Hub

University of Leeds People and Culture Directorate: Improving Employment Security at Leeds

University of Portsmouth People Services Team: UoP People Hub: the one-stop shop to access HR information


The UHR Award for Culture Change and Organisational Development


Manchester Metropolitan University People and Organisational Development Directorate: Reshaping the Manchester Met Education Focused Career Pathway

The aim of this project was to reshape the university’s education-focused academic career pathway around four archetypes of educational excellence, and accompanying case studies from academics who have achieved promotion to Reader and Professor. Main project outcomes include a re-focusing of these academics onto the impact and outcomes of their education, pedagogy and citizenship rather than the activities they were doing; a greater confidence in these staff members to apply for promotion; and a tripling of such promotions.


University of the Arts, London Organisational Development team (with support from HR Systems, HR Operations, EDI and Payroll: UAL’s sector-leading equal parental leave policy


Durham University HR Business Partners Team: Staff Concerns (a new approach to handling grievances)

Imperial College London – the Virtual Values Team: Imperial Together – Imperial Values

Staffordshire University HR and Organisational Development: #Staff Make Staffs – Let’s work better together

University of Stirling Human Resources and Organisation Development: Be Heard: Enabling Staff Voice at Stirling

University of Surrey HR and Surrey Senior Leadership Team working group: Surrey’s unique senior leaders’ development programme


The UHR Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


University of Glasgow People & OD and External Relations teams: Together Against Racism

The University of Glasgow’s anti-racism campaign was rooted and developed in response to the real and lived experiences of members of the university community. For an institution that prides itself on its inclusivity these experiences were totally unacceptable. Racism does not have a place at the university and the ‘Together Against Racism’ campaign marks a pivotal moment in an ongoing journey towards becoming an anti-racist institution. Through innovative teaching methods, targeted training and organisational development initiatives, the university is actively cultivating an environment where every individual feels valued and respected.


University of Leeds Organisational Development and Professional Learning, IT Services and Facilities Directorates: Digital Literacy – Learning to Log On


Queen Mary University of London Equality Diversity and Inclusion Team: Fostering & Recognising Citizenship – Staff Affinity Networks and Voice at the Heart of Inclusion

University College London B-MEntor Team: B-MEntor@UCL cross-institutional mentoring scheme


The UHR Award for Reward and Recruitment


Manchester Metropolitan University People and Organisational Development: Creating a great place to work and transforming lives together – improving our reward offering

Manchester Met recently reached  agreement with the recognised trades unions on the implementation of improvements to its reward offering, by renegotiating and reforming the lower end of the grade structure. The solution has positively impacted 600 colleagues, and delivered an increase in pay for all lower-graded colleagues. This is in addition to the national pay awards and a one-off cost-of-living payment. Staff involved include domestic and catering staff, technicians, security, library and administrative staff. It is intended as the first in a series of changes to the overall reward package that will support satisfaction, recruitment and retention, and talent attraction into these roles.


University of Liverpool Research Technical Professional (RTP) Career Pathway Steering Group: Recognising Talent – Research Technical Professional – A Career Pathway


University of East Anglia Resourcing and Compliance Teams: UEA Recruitment Transformation


The UHR Award for Wellbeing


Durham University Human Resources and Organisation Development: Health & Wellbeing Strategy

This winning nomination detailed the implementation of a comprehensive Health and Wellbeing Strategy designed to promote  a supportive work environment for staff and students to enable them to thrive. The strategy was co-created and implemented, and offers a huge range of resources and initiatives to address the muti-faceted aspects of working and studying at Durham, addressing the wellbeing of the whole community. A rigorous approach to external evaluation has backed up the findings of recent staff surveys on the approach, and includes a number of awards in addition to this one, including a National Social Value Award in 2023.


Leeds Beckett University People and Organisational Development: Leeds Beckett Wellbeing Assessment


Bangor University Staff Menopause Support


The UHR Award for Exceptional HR – our ‘Team of the Year’ category


Northumbria University Human Resources: Empowering Transformation – Northumbria University’s Journey to a Values-Driven Culture

Northumbria has undergone a significant cultural transformation, prioritising engagement and the intentional efforts of leaders and colleagues. Over 100 volunteers collaboratively developed the new Values and Behaviours Framework, addressing cultural strengths, areas for improvement, and future suggestions. The university has witnessed substantial momentum in the adoption of these values, influencing decision-making and everyday practices. For instance performance management processes now encourage reflection on demonstrating values and behaviours, complemented by a new inhouse 360-degree feedback tool. Values and behaviours have been embedded into recruitment, induction, and flexible working policies, as further examples.


University of Derby People Experience and Culture: Evolving HR Towards People Experience and Culture


Keele University Human Resources and Organisational Development: Keele Values and Behaviours Framework


The UHR Award for HR Star


University of Glasgow – Linsay Gilchrist

Linsay Gilchrist is an unsung hero of Glasgow’s P&OD community, who has made key contributions in communicating and engaging around the core HR mission and business. The nomination suggests colleagues ‘revere’ her and readily acknowledge her willingness to get stuck in, add value and contribute beyond her brief. Those colleagues lean on Linsay’s wide experience to ensure the continuing good reputation of the HR service and the success of a wide range of projects and campaigns. Her approach is constructive, engaging, focused, and confidence-inspiring. As the team’s communications and engagement lead Linsay’s contribution and commitment have meant so much to so many at Glasgow. 


Staffordshire University – Scott Allcock


Anglia Ruskin University – Kate Brimley and Sarah Wood (a joint nomination resulting from the merger of ARU with Writtle University College)

University of the West of Scotland – Dianne Winwood


Thank you to everyone that submitted an application this year. While not every entry can win, we hope you gained significantly from the opportunity to think about and put on paper the nature of the achievement, embedding those learnings for next time they will be needed. The nomination process for the UHR Awards for Excellence in HR 2025 will be open early in the New Year.


PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NOMINATION PROCESS FOR THE 2024 UHR AWARDS IS NOW CLOSED AND THE SHORTLISTED TEAMS, PROJECTS AND INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED. However we do get queries throughout the year about the awards process, so the information below is from 2024, but it is shown to help steer those considering a 2025 application.


This year there are 7 awards categories for you to consider.

Every year the UHR Awards are a great opportunity to encourage and motivate the HR team, and even the act of preparing an entry can embed learnings and create an opportunity to think about successful projects, and perhaps how to replicate that success. But it’s also great to have peer recognition for the work you’ve done, and in a specialism where much of what we do is by its very nature ‘behind the scenes’, a small pat on the back and a sincere ‘Well done!’ via a UHR Award can only be a good thing. It is a key aim for our organisation that we can learn from each other, and build our professional skills base, and the leadership that is demonstrated by our awards nominees is one way for us to do this. We want to showcase the cutting edge practices the very best teams deliver every day.

Can we give you some hints on what we think makes a winning nomination?

Our top tips. Think about…

We look forward to hearing about all your hard work and the difference it has made within your universities. We’ll be announcing the winners on day one of the UHR Conference 2024 (14 to 16 May) - its theme is Future Imperfect: Thinking Ahead. How will your entry stand out? Thinking caps on, and remember the deadline date of 8 March. We are hugely grateful for the support of all our partner organisations for conference and the awards, including this year our Premium Partners NTT Data Business Solutions and Shakespeare Martineau.

On-campus presentation of awards

There will be an opportunity for winning teams to have their trophy and certificate presented in person by a member of the UHR Executive or senior staff on either 21 or 23 May. You may want to invite your VC to the presentation or make a small and positive fuss about the achievement! It's always good to share great news via internal communications routes. You may want to discuss this opportunity with comms colleagues, considering options for local PR, photography or filming. If this kind of informal presentation works for you then let us know as part of your application response.

Please note there are two nominations forms, one for the first six awards categories listed above, and one for the HR Star Award where there are different criteria for you and our judges to note. As in past years the form is a simple Word document - easy to use, to save and return to once more when inspiration strikes! 

We look forward to hearing from you, and good luck with your nominations!



Download the nominations forms here


UHR Awards 2024 nominations form

UHR HR Star Award 2024 nominations form



UHR Awards 2023

Learn more about the winning projects and teams from the UHR Awards 2023.

Read about the winners



UHR Awards 2022

Our 2022 Award winners included an inspiring set of projects and teams and just as every year there was much for the UHR community to learn.

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UHR Awards 2021

The winners of the UHR Awards for Excellence in HR 2021 were announced at UHR’s 2021 Conference, themed ‘Refreshing HR’, on Wednesday 12 May 2021.

Read about the winners



UHR Awards 2020

It is part of our role to identify and share good practice in HR teams across HE and there is much to learn from all of our shortlisted teams. To our winners, congratulations, and to everyone who took part, our thanks and very best wishes

Read about the winners



Older awards information

Our 2019 Awards

Our 2018 Awards



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