Churchill Fellow, Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright, is among thirteen Cambridge academics have been recognised for their outstanding teaching in the University’s 24th Pilkington Prizes.

The winners include a veterinary anaesthetist praised for developing an acclaimed Clinical Skills Centre, a pioneer of interdisciplinary Gender Studies programmes, and a Classicist as passionate about outreach as Ovid.

While the prizes reveal the diversity of teaching at Cambridge, certain themes emerge, in particular a focus on the individual student, the value of research-led teaching, the continuing importance of one-to-one teaching, innovation in teaching practice, interdisciplinary approaches, and above all, dedication to students.

The Pilkington Prizes were initiated by Sir Alastair Pilkington – graduate of Trinity College, engineer, businessman and the first Chairman of the Cambridge Foundation – who passionately believed that teaching excellence was crucial to Cambridge’s future success.

The Pilkington Prizes are organised by The Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, which supports staff by providing training, developing networks, hosting events and encouraging and funding innovation. The Centre also provides a focus for strategic priorities within Cambridge and for engaging with national and international developments in higher education.

New films about teaching at Cambridge

The University has produced a series of films about five of this year’s Pilkington Prize winners. These films go behind the scenes to show Cambridge teaching in action as well as inviting winners to explain their passion for teaching and reveal some of their trade secrets. The films feature Lecturer in German Thought, Martin Ruehl; Physics Lecturer Lisa Jardine-Wright; Sociologist Mónica Moreno Figueroa; Zoologist Andrew Balmford; and Design Engineer James Moultrie. Watch the films here.

Dr Martin Ruehl said:

“I was an undergraduate here myself so I want to give back some of what I received. I had a number of very charismatic teachers who inspired me back then. I think the trick is always to find something that’s growing out of your own research.”

Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright said:

“It is only when you start teaching a subject that you really start to understand it and all of its nuances. The most important thing for me is that my students are willing to make mistakes, and learn from them.”

2017 winners

  • Dr Anthony Ashton (Department of Mathematics)
  • Dr Jackie Brearley (Department of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Dr Jude Browne (Department of Politics and International Studies)
  • Dr Menna Clatworthy (School of Clinical Medicine)
  • Dr Richard Davies (School of Clinical Medicine)
  • Dr Ingo Gildenhard (Faculty of Classics)
  • Dr Nigel Kettley (Institute of Continuing Education)
  • Professor Jochen Runde (Judge Business School)
  • Dr Martin Ruehl (Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages)
  • Dr Lisa Jardine-Wright (Department of Physics)
  • Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa (Department of Sociology)
  • Professor Andrew Balmford (Department of Zoology)
  • Dr James Moultrie (Department of Engineering)

Read more about the 2017 Pilkington Prize winners


This article was originally published by the University of Cambridge on 22 June 2017.