2017 UHR Awards for Excellence in HR

The entry deadline has passed for the UHR awards for excellence in HR in higher education. These recognise outstanding and innovative projects, teams and individuals that have led transformational change in their organisations. The winners of the 2017 UHR awards for excellence in HR will be announced at the UHR conference on the evening of 11 May 2017 in Newcastle.

Why should we enter?

To share and celebrate good practice, enable and encourage HR innovation, and show HR professional within and beyond HE, the significant impact on organisational performance that HR has in higher education.  It's also a great opportunity to encourage and motivate the HR team, especially if you win.  The awards generate much positive publicity, and entries are often featured in showcasing events and publications about effectiveness in the sector.

What are the categories?

  • Business Effectiveness through Innovation: for an innovative initiative led by, or with significant input from, HR that has driven demonstrably enhanced organisational performance through people.
  • Learning & Organisational Development: for a learning and/or organisational development initiative led by. or with significant input from HR, that achieved culture change, demonstrably positioning the organisation effectively to meet future challenges and uncertainty.
  • Equality and Diversity: for the role of HR in a successful and impactful initiative involving equality or diversity.
  • Exceptional HR: for exceptional achievement by an HR team.

Who are the judges?

Key people with experience and knowledge of good people management practices within and beyond Higher Education

• Professor Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, and President-elect of Universities UK

• Professor Gareth Jones, INSEAD and London Business School

• David D'Souza, CIPD Head of London and Head of Engagement

• Sandra Heidinger, UHR Chair, and Director of Human Resources, University of Strathclyde

How do I enter?

The deadline's now passed, but if you want to prepare for 2018, you could download a 2017 entry form and further information about categories, format of entries, and timelines, or visit the awards information page.

If you want some inspiration from previous successful projects and initiatives, you can follow the links below.

2016 winners and runners up

Business Effectiveness & Organisational Development

Award Winner The University of Strathclyde: Business Improvement Team
Runner up Edge Hill University : HR Transformation


Equality & Diversity

Award Winner Swansea University: Campus Bay Recruitment Project


Exceptional HR

Award Winner The University of Sheffield: Talent First
Runner up University of Surrey: Culture change, performance & restructuring programme


Outstanding individual achievement

Award Winner  Andrew Dodman, HR Director, University of Sheffield


HR talent for the future

Award Winner  Daniel Tanswell, HR legal & policy specialist, Goldsmiths. University of London


Information about some of the other winning and commended entries in the last few years is available below.

If you have any questions about the awards, please email

UHR 2017 Awards Information 17 December 2016
UHR 2017 Awards Entry Form 15 December 2016
Glasgow Caledonian University People Strategy Journey 2014 Awards Commendation 20 June 2014
University of Hertfordshire Leading through Coaching 2014 awards commendation 20 June 2014
University of Leeds People Management Framework project 2014 award winner 27 May 2014
University of Liverpool Apprentices project 2014 award winner 27 May 2014
Swansea University Performance Enabling Programme Next Steps 2014 awards commendation 27 May 2014
Edge Hill University Business Partnering project 2014 awards commendation 27 May 2014
University for the Creative Arts Navigating through Transition project 2014 awards commendation 27 May 2014
University of Sheffield Juice wellbeing project 2014 award winner 27 May 2014
Birkbeck, University of London 17 September 2013
University of Teesside Safety is Everyone's Business 05 July 2013
University of Lincoln CPPD 21 June 2013
University of Birmingham Sustainable Excellence project 19 June 2013
University of the Arts, London 19 June 2013
Nottingham Trent University Employer supported Volunteering 19 June 2013
Edge Hill University 19 June 2013