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THE Awards

The RECOVERY Trial has been shortlisted for a 2021 Times Higher Education (THE) Award in the ‘Research Project of the Year: STEM’ category.

Known as ‘the Oscars of higher education’, the awards attract hundreds of entries each year that ‘exemplify the talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life.’ The ‘Research Project of the Year: STEM’ category, sponsored by Elsevier, acknowledges projects that demonstrate ‘innovative research in STEM subjects that has a far-reaching impact and has caught, or has the potential to catch, the imagination of the public.’

This year, almost 600 entries were made across the 20 categories, demonstrating that universities negotiated the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to continue delivering impactful, innovative research.

RECOVERY’s nomination recognises the trial’s achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year. This includes the unprecedented swiftness at which the trial was launched in order to generate robust evidence on effective treatments for patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19. The speed and scale of the trial – involving 176 UK hospital sites – were essential factors in the discovery just three months later of the world’s first treatment for COVID-19: the inexpensive steroid dexamethasone. NHS England estimated that this treatment, now part of standard care for hospital patients with COVID-19, saved around one million lives worldwide, including 22,000 in the UK between July 2020 and March 2021.

Since then, RECOVERY has identified two further effective COVID-19 treatments: the arthritis drug tocilizumab and Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody combination, Ronapreve. The trial has also expanded internationally, launching in Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam.

THE editor John Gill said: ‘This is the 17th year that the THE Awards will recognise the best of the best in UK higher education, across 20 categories covering all aspects of university activity. But this year’s awards will reflect a period of turmoil and innovation necessitated by the pandemic, making it quite unlike any previous year.

‘For the first time this year, we have also extended our awards to include higher education institutions in Ireland, and we are delighted to say that we have had a record number of entries, reflecting the brilliance of universities across the whole of the UK and Ireland. With almost 600 institutions, teams and individuals nominated, it really is a fantastic achievement to make it onto this year’s shortlist.

‘We look forward to celebrating the incredible response of university staff in exceptionally tough circumstances when we gather for the Oscars of higher education in November.’

The full shortlist for all categories is available on the THE Awards website. The winners will be announced on Thursday 25 November 2021 at an awards ceremony in London.