University Consultancy Team scoops national award

(Left to right) Dr Susan Kenny, Senior Consultancy Business Manager, Dr Sonja Vujovic, Head of Consultancy and Industrial Strategy Projects and Kelli Cassidy MBA, Consultancy Business Manager (former).

The University of Liverpool’s Consultancy Team has been named Knowledge Exchange (KE) Team of the Year at the PraxisAuril 2019 KE Awards.

The University’s Consultancy Team fought off stiff competition from fellow category nominees, University of Birmingham and University of Oxford, to scoop the award at a prestigious ceremony in Harrogate in front of over 450 delegates from universities, research institutes, industry and government.

The awards, organised by PraxisAuril, a body aimed at creating the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish and sponsored by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI),   are to celebrate and recognise the contribution KE professionals make in enabling universities and external organisations to work in partnership, sharing and applying research expertise and developing discoveries for the benefit of society and the economy.

The Consultancy Team, part of the University’s Research, Partnerships and Innovation Directorate,  enables staff from across the University to effectively engage in consultancy and facilities and equipment service projects and provides advice and guidance throughout the process. Dr Sonja Vujovic and Dr Susan Kenny set up the service in 2014 which has since grown to support approximately 300 projects per year from across the organisation with a contract value of over £3m in 2018/19 alone. Staff can find out more about the team’s achievements here.

Anthony Hollander, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact said: “Consultancy is a critical part of the Knowledge Exchange agenda, where academics and partners work together to solve problems, delivering real impact. It’s so important that we have professional experts guiding both parties through these interactions, as when they are done well they often lead to more significant collaborations, for example, Professor Alex Balch applying his research in modern slavery to work with the Co-Op helping to shape this important policy agenda. This national award is excellent recognition of the high quality of academic expertise we have here at Liverpool and professional service from our colleagues in the consultancy team.”

Jenny Tucker, Chief Operating Officer said: “This award is external validation and national recognition of the quality of professional service colleagues at Liverpool in helping our academic colleagues and partners to change the world. The Consultancy team in RPI is an example of a high performing team, and this service orientated and responsive approach is something I want to continue to build on in the months ahead.”

Dr Sonja Vujovic, Head of Consultancy and Industrial Strategy Projects said: “I am absolutely delighted and very proud that the team’s hard work has been recognised by this award. In just five years the University of Liverpool has gone from not having any coordinated consultancy activity and support to being a recognised sector leader.” Dr Sonja Vujovic, Head of Consultancy and Industrial Strategy Projects.

“As a key mechanism of KE which can generate immediate impact, it is great to be able to support such a wide variety of consultancy projects helping to protect academic interests, reduce any risk and administration meaning our experts can focus on delivering these important projects.” Dr Susan Kenny, Senior Consultancy Business Manager.

For further information about Consultancy and the support on offer, please visit: