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Team Teesside
Team Teesside's Star Awards

Team Teesside's Star Awards

Teesside University and the Students' Union collaborate to celebrate the excellence and service demonstrated by staff throughout the year.

The Star Awards brings together the annual presentations for long service and academic achievement, with a series of special awards that recognise the outstanding contributions made by nominated colleagues from across the University.

Each year we invite colleagues and students to submit nominations in a variety of categories, including individual and team awards. The finalists are invited to the Star Awards dinner, where we announce the winners and celebrate the best of Team Teesside.

If there is someone who you feel deserves to be recognised this year, now is your chance to help make it happen. Has someone gone above and beyond? Has a team, School or department gone that extra mile? Has a lecturer inspired you? Or is there just someone who is always happy to help out?

Use the form below to make your nomination(s) for one or all of the awards. Make sure to include a description for why you’re nominating that person or team in between 50 - 200 words. Please provide as much detail as possible as this will benefit your nomination at the judging stage.

Before you make your nomination, please read the criteria carefully and read the tips for award nominations.

All nominations must be received by 5.00pm on Friday 8 March 2024.

For further details contact events@tees.ac.uk.

Star Awards nominations eligibility criteria

Closing date

Nominations for the 2024 Star Awards must be submitted by the closing date of Friday 8 March 2024, 5.00pm

Eligibility

  • Nominations may be submitted on behalf of current Teesside University employees only.
  • Individuals and teams are not permitted to submit nominations on their own behalf.
  • Managers are not permitted to nominate colleagues within their own immediate team(s).

Who can submit nominations in which awards category?

Only COLLEAGUES can submit nominations for the following categories:

  1. Innovation, Enterprise, and Engagement
  2. Living our Values
  3. Research Excellence
  4. Professional or Technical Service Excellence
  5. Outstanding Leadership
  6. Unsung Hero
  7. Team of the Year

Only STUDENTS can submit nominations for the following categories:

  1. Fantastic Feedback
  2. Outstanding Student Support Service
  3. Outstanding Teaching

Nomination wording

Nominations must include the following:

  • A clear introduction or closing summary about why the nominee deserves to be recognised.
  • Evidence that shows exactly why that person should win the award. For example:
    What did they do?
    What was the impact?
    How has this benefitted students and staff?
    Did they overcome any challenges?
    Do they do anything that is above and beyond what is expected of them usually?
    How have they been innovative?

Team of the Year award

  • Please note nominations will only be accepted for existing, defined departments or school teams.
  • Temporary cross-functional project teams brought together to deliver a specific event or piece of work will not be considered in this category.

Hints and tips for writing a Star Award nomination

Read the award criteria carefully and make sure you’re nominating them for the correct award. Check the other awards so you are sure the award you have chosen is the most appropriate one.

Write a draft list of reasons why you think the nominee deserves to be recognised, listed against the criteria so that you can give specific examples about how they meet them.

If possible, include a clear introduction or closing summary about why the nominee deserves to be recognised.

Give evidence that shows exactly why that person should win the award. For example:

  • What did they do?
  • What was the impact?
  • How has this benefitted students and staff?
  • Did they overcome any challenges?
  • Do they do anything that is above and beyond what is expected of them usually?
  • How have they been innovative?

Quality is better than quantity. Keep your submission clear and concise and avoid sweeping general statements. It is recommended that you write around 200 words.

Proofread your statement, and make sure the information you submit is accurate and has no spelling or grammatical errors.

Ask your fellow students or colleagues if they want to submit their own nomination, but encourage them to write their own statement. Don’t all submit the same text.

Describe unique characteristics that are more than just what a great or nice person this nominee is.

Always assume that the judging panel does not know the nominee, so don’t leave out any important information.

Star Awards 2024 categories

Only COLLEAGUES can submit nominations for the following categories

Innovation, Enterprise and Engagement

This award recognises colleagues or teams who look for new and creative ways of doing things better.

This could involve asking why we do things we do, looking for improvements, and pushing boundaries to achieve greater successes.

Nominees are likely to take every opportunity to learn and develop, always
seek out new ideas and be willing to try different ways of doing things.

This could include working with commercial enterprises or spin-out companies, or workplace initiatives.

Please include details of relevant projects or initiatives the nominee(s) have been involved with that demonstrate their suitability for this award, and the benefits that have been delivered for the University, as part of your submission.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Living our Values

This award is for colleagues or teams who personify our Team Teesside ethos and demonstrate our University’s values in everything they do.

Nominees must be inclusive and respectful, forward thinking, committed to excellence and improvement, and they must see change as a positive opportunity.

When making your nomination, please give specific examples of how the person or team has demonstrated one or more of our University’s values.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Research Excellence

This award recognises research teams that demonstrate excellent teamwork and provide mentorship and support to colleagues in the pursuit of research excellence.

Nominees may include technicians, researchers, students, service users, community members, and academic colleagues.

Please provide specific examples to support your nomination.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Professional or Technical Service Excellence

This award recognises colleagues who provide either professional or technical service excellence. It is open to all non-academic colleagues across the University.

This could involve going the extra mile to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations and taking responsibility for consistently delivering a first-class service to our leadership and management teams, colleagues, students, and our partners.

Please provide specific examples to support your nomination.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Outstanding Leadership

This award recognises leaders who inspire others to reach their full potential.

Nominees must demonstrate leadership and management skills that instil confidence and motivate our people to achieve results above and beyond what is expected.

They bring out the best in others and provide support and encouragement to enable successful outcomes.

Please give examples of how this individual has had a visible and positive impact on the people they work with in your nomination.

Nominees can have leadership responsibility at any level, with the exception of Deans, Directors, and members of the University Executive Team.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Unsung Hero

This award recognises individuals who always go out of their way to do a great job and provide exceptional service, but who never shout about it or seek the limelight for themselves.

Nominees will be competent and confident in what they do, and they will always take ownership and responsibility to achieve their objectives. They can be relied upon in any given situation.

Please include specific examples of how your nominee has exceeded what would normally be expected of them in their role.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only.

Team of the Year

This award recognises a team that demonstrates excellence by aways looking for ways to improve. They will be forward thinking, and view change as a positive opportunity.

Nominees will provide exceptional customer service to students, colleagues and/or external partners, and they will be committed to the future success and sustainability of our University.

When making your nomination, please give examples of how the team works together and details of their projects and initiatives that have made a positive impact.

Nominations will only be accepted for existing, defined departments or school teams. Temporary cross-functional project teams brought together to deliver a specific event or piece of work will not be considered in this category.

Nominations for this award can be made by colleagues only. Managers should not submit a nomination for their own team.


Only STUDENTS can submit nominations for the following categories

Fantastic Feedback

This award recognises colleagues who are exceptional when it comes to giving feedback to our students.

They look for interesting and innovative ways to provide feedback, and always include clear and concise comments on what students did well and how they can improve.

Nominees will communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully at all times through active listening and providing effective interventions.

Please include examples of how your nominee has communicated effectively to students and built trusting relationships in your submission.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

Outstanding Student Support Service

This award recognises colleagues or teams that provide an outstanding service to students.

They do so by demonstrating an inclusive approach, working across barriers, and always embracing differences.

When making your nomination, please give an example of the service provided and explain why this has had a positive impact on students.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

Outstanding Teaching

This award is for colleagues who demonstrate excellence in teaching practice, and who show drive, commitment, and passion in their role.

Nominees will inspire students to achieve their potential, by finding creative ways to share their knowledge and expertise, both inside and outside the lecture theatre or classroom.

When making your nomination, please give specific examples of how they have achieved teaching excellence and the inspirational teaching methods they use to keep students engaged and interested.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.


Nominate

You can nominate a finalist below.










The information you provide will be added to a University database and will be shared with the Awards panel. If applicable the Privacy Notice also applies.

Star Awards 2023 finalists


We received over 600 nominations from students and staff for the 2023 Star Awards, highlighting the efforts and achievements of those individuals and teams who make Teesside such an inspiring place to work and study.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to submit a nomination. We announced the winners at the Star Awards dinner on Thursday 26 May, and are delighted to share them with you here.

Award Categories and Winners

Innovation, Enterprise and Engagement

This award recognises where a colleague or a team has demonstrated creativity, enterprise and innovation. They have continually challenged boundaries to succeed in their field of work or expertise. They take every opportunity to learn and seek out new ideas and apply something new or different. This could include significant involvement in commercial enterprise, a spin-out company or a workplace initiative where the individual or team has encouraged creativity and pushed the boundaries.

When making your nomination please give details of the project or initiative that has been created and / or delivered which has had significant benefit to the University.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • David Pratt - winner
  • Dr Imran Bashir
  • Susannah, Mead

Living our Values

This award recognises where a colleague or a team has applied the ‘Team Teesside’ ethos by demonstrating that the University’s values are embedded in everything they do. This will include teams and individuals who are inclusive in their approach, respectful of all colleagues, forward thinking, committed to service excellence and improvement and see change as a positive opportunity.

When making your nomination please give details of how the individual or team’s approach has demonstrated one or more of the University’s values and a respect for all colleagues.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • SCEDT Admin Team - winner
  • Samantha Forbes
  • Dr Humbul Suleman

Research Excellence

This award recognises a research team who have demonstrated excellent teamwork, mentorship and support, to colleagues in the pursuit of research excellence. The award recognises all of those working collaboratively to support research endeavour including technicians, research staff, students service users, and community members as well as academic colleagues.

The finalists:

  • Team ALPHA - winner
  • Dr Sina Rezaei-Gomari
  • Professor Nashwan Dawood

Outstanding Leadership

This award recognises a colleague who effectively leads and inspires individuals and/or teams to reach their full potential. They do this by effortlessly demonstrating leadership and management skills that instil confidence in others and motivate people to achieve results above and beyond what is expected. Through their people skills they bring out the very best in themselves and in others and provide support and encouragement to enable successful outcomes.

When making your nomination give examples of how this individual has had a visible and positive impact on the people who they work alongside. Your nominee can have leadership responsibility at any level.

Nominations for members of the University’s Senior Management Team cannot be considered.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Beverley Boden - winner
  • Dr Usman Adeel
  • Sarah Marshall

Unsung Hero

This award recognises a colleague who goes out of their way to provide an exceptional service. They do a great job, in fact, they go the extra mile and don’t shout about it! They demonstrate that they are competent and confident in what they do and take ownership and accountability for the achievement of their priorities and goals. They can be relied upon in any given situation.

When making your nomination provide evidence of how you think the nominee has exceeded what would normally be expected of them in their role.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Ellie Skene
  • Chelsea Lamprell
  • Sean Douthwaite - winner

Team of the Year

This award recognises a team that demonstrates excellence by driving forward continuous improvements. They demonstrate forward thinking and view change as a positive opportunity. By enhancing the experience of our students, staff and/or external partners, this team will have provided exceptional customer service and shown a clear commitment to the future success and sustainability of the University. This may be an existing team or a team that has been brought together to undertake a particular objective.

When making your nomination give examples of how this team have worked together and provide details of the project, activity or change initiative that has made such a positive impact.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Central Reception & Learning Support Team
  • Graduation Team - winner
  • Trainee Nursing Associate Programme Team

Fantastic Feedback

This award recognises a member of staff who is exceptional when it comes to giving students feedback. They provide different methods of innovative feedback and always provide clear and concise comments on what students did well and how they can improve. They demonstrate how they communicate openly, honestly and respectfully at all times through their active listening and effective interventions.

When making your nomination give examples of how the nominee has communicated effectively to students, fostered trust based relationships by offering time to listen, provided effective feedback and given supportive advice and guidance.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Dr Naheed Roni
  • Dr Bruno Lopes
  • Dr Quan Bing Eric Li - winner

Outstanding Student Support Service

This award recognises where a member of staff or a team has provided an outstanding service to students. Through a commitment to deliver an enhanced student experience they have demonstrated inclusion, worked across barriers and embraced differences. The service provided could be from any area within the University with a focus on student engagement.

When making your nomination give an example of the level of service provided and the impact this has had on the student experience.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Irfan Sadiq
  • Maisie Craven - winner
  • Geoff Downes

Outstanding Teaching

This award is given to a member of staff who delivers excellence in teaching practice, and shows drive, commitment and passion in their role. Inspiring students to be the best that they can be they share their depth of knowledge and expertise both inside and outside the lecture theatre and classroom, and think outside of the box when delivering lessons.

When making your nomination give specific examples of teaching excellence and how inspirational teaching methods always keep students engaged and interested.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Dr Annalisa Occhipinti
  • Dr Paul Dean
  • Dr Jonathan Robinson - winner


View a list of all nominations

Star Awards 2022 finalists


We received over 400 nominations from students and staff for the 2022 Star Awards, highlighting the efforts and achievements of those individuals and teams who make Teesside such an inspiring place to work and study.

Thank you to everyone that took the time to submit a nomination. We announced the winners at the Star Awards dinner on Thursday 26 May, and are delighted to share them with you here.

Award Categories and Winners

Innovation, Enterprise and Engagement

This award recognises where a colleague or a team has demonstrated creativity, enterprise and innovation. They have continually challenged boundaries to succeed in their field of work or expertise. They take every opportunity to learn and seek out new ideas and apply something new or different. This could include significant involvement in commercial enterprise, a spin-out company or a workplace initiative where the individual or team has encouraged creativity and pushed the boundaries.

When making your nomination please give details of the project or initiative that has been created and / or delivered which has had significant benefit to the University.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Linda Nelson
  • Dr Kath Swainston, Dr Claire O'Malley and Vik Brown - winner
  • Student Life Festival Planning Team

Living our Values

This award recognises where a colleague or a team has applied the ‘Team Teesside’ ethos by demonstrating that the University’s values are embedded in everything they do. This will include teams and individuals who are inclusive in their approach, respectful of all colleagues, forward thinking, committed to service excellence and improvement and see change as a positive opportunity.

When making your nomination please give details of how the individual or team’s approach has demonstrated one or more of the University’s values and a respect for all colleagues.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Ian Atkinson
  • Peter Briggs
  • Dr Kevin Thomas - winner

Research Excellence

This award recognises a research team who have demonstrated excellent teamwork, mentorship and support, to colleagues in the pursuit of research excellence. The award recognises all of those working collaboratively to support research endeavour including technicians, research staff, students service users, and community members as well as academic colleagues.

The finalists:

  • Dr Maria Angeles Juanes Ortiz - winner
  • Dr Tannaz Pak
  • TeamAlpha

Outstanding Leadership

This award recognises a colleague who effectively leads and inspires individuals and/or teams to reach their full potential. They do this by effortlessly demonstrating leadership and management skills that instil confidence in others and motivate people to achieve results above and beyond what is expected. Through their people skills they bring out the very best in themselves and in others and provide support and encouragement to enable successful outcomes.

When making your nomination give examples of how this individual has had a visible and positive impact on the people who they work alongside. Your nominee can have leadership responsibility at any level.

Nominations for members of the University’s Senior Management Team cannot be considered.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Beverley Boden
  • Kelly Dunn
  • Professor Sarah Perks - winner

Unsung Hero

This award recognises a colleague who goes out of their way to provide an exceptional service. They do a great job, in fact, they go the extra mile and don’t shout about it! They demonstrate that they are competent and confident in what they do and take ownership and accountability for the achievement of their priorities and goals. They can be relied upon in any given situation.

When making your nomination provide evidence of how you think the nominee has exceeded what would normally be expected of them in their role.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Nicola Brennan - winner
  • Michelle Dickson
  • Philip Graham

Team of the Year

This award recognises a team that demonstrates excellence by driving forward continuous improvements. They demonstrate forward thinking and view change as a positive opportunity. By enhancing the experience of our students, staff and/or external partners, this team will have provided exceptional customer service and shown a clear commitment to the future success and sustainability of the University. This may be an existing team or a team that has been brought together to undertake a particular objective.

When making your nomination give examples of how this team have worked together and provide details of the project, activity or change initiative that has made such a positive impact.

Nominations for this award can be made by staff only.

The finalists:

  • Health & Safety - winner
  • Student and Library Services
  • Teesside Sport

Fantastic Feedback

This award recognises a member of staff who is exceptional when it comes to giving students feedback. They provide different methods of innovative feedback and always provide clear and concise comments on what students did well and how they can improve. They demonstrate how they communicate openly, honestly and respectfully at all times through their active listening and effective interventions.

When making your nomination give examples of how the nominee has communicated effectively to students, fostered trust based relationships by offering time to listen, provided effective feedback and given supportive advice and guidance.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Dr Quan Bing Eric Li - winner
  • Dr Naheed Roni
  • Dr Helen Tidy

Outstanding Student Support Service

This award recognises where a member of staff or a team has provided an outstanding service to students. Through a commitment to deliver an enhanced student experience they have demonstrated inclusion, worked across barriers and embraced differences. The service provided could be from any area within the University with a focus on student engagement.

When making your nomination give an example of the level of service provided and the impact this has had on the student experience.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Dr Lee Copping
  • Annalisa Occhipinti - winner
  • Dr Helen Tidy

Outstanding Teaching

This award is given to a member of staff who delivers excellence in teaching practice, and shows drive, commitment and passion in their role. Inspiring students to be the best that they can be they share their depth of knowledge and expertise both inside and outside the lecture theatre and classroom, and think outside of the box when delivering lessons.

When making your nomination give specific examples of teaching excellence and how inspirational teaching methods always keep students engaged and interested.

Nominations for this award can be made by students only.

The finalists:

  • Sajid Abdullah
  • Dr Caroline Orr
  • Dr Naheed Roni - winner


View a list of all nominations

Team Teesside is about working together to provide the best for our current and prospective students, to give them an experience they will always remember. It's also about colleagues and creating an enjoyable workplace. It's making Teesside the best place it can be. It's about achieving and celebrating success.

Cassie Lillystone, Technician Analyst, Information Technology & Digital Services

I'm new to Teesside but have worked in HE for many years. I know that if all staff, no matter their role, have a passion to deliver a fantastic student experience our students will feel this and benefit from it. I've found this shared passion at TU - this is Team Teesside.

Dr Nicola Watchman Smith, Deputy Director Student Learning, Student Learning & Academic Registry

Team Teesside is about raising aspirations, widening access and giving individuals the tools needed to reach more meaningful careers, providing them and their families with a better future quality of life.

Luke Cumiskey, International Recruitment Assistant, Department for International Development

Team Teesside has given me the opportunity for me to work somewhere for over 20 years, with talented friends who want the best for the each other, the University, the town and the region. There’s nowhere else I’d rather work and no other colleagues would could compare. Long may it continue.

Sarah Smith, Marketing Co-ordinator, Student Recruitment & Marketing

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