The science of good food in schools

The British Nutrition Foundation rewarded established, emerging and future leaders of nutrition science at its Annual Day 2018

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has recognised the outstanding achievements of top food and nutrition students and teachers from UK schools, as well as early career and established nutrition scientists, through a series of awards presented during its Annual Day 2018.

The BNF established the Education Awards scheme in 1990 to promote interest in, and raise awareness of, good practice in food and nutrition. This year saw a guest appearance from the Princess Royal, with prizes awarded to the students who received the highest grades in food and nutrition subjects by their respective examination boards, namely AQA, CCEA, EDUQAS, Edexcel, OCR, SQA and WJEC. The BNF also recognised and rewarded the hard work and dedication of each winning student’s teacher.

The BNF Drummond Early Career Scientist Award is a new annual scheme, which recognises nutrition scientists in their early career who show great potential to be future leaders in the field. This year’s award was received by Dr Caoileann Murphy, University College Dublin, with runners-up including: Dr Jing Guo, University of Reading; Dr Fiona Malcomson, Newcastle University; and Dr Keri McCrickerd, Singapore Institute of Clinical Sciences. The December 2018 edition of the BNF’s Nutrition Bulletin showcases the recipients’ work.

Also presented during the Annual Day were the 2018 Drummond Pump Priming Awards, designed to help newly-appointed university lecturers and research fellows in the field of human nutrition to undertake the pilot work needed to generate data that can be used as the basis of a more substantial grant application. Recipients of the 2018 awards were Dr Rebecca Jones, University of Bedfordshire and Dr Oonagh Markey, Loughborough University.

The BNF Prize for 2018 – which is awarded by the BNF’s Council to recognise and celebrate a contribution of outstanding merit in the field of food, nutrition and health – was awarded to Professor Susan Lanham-New, Professor of Human Nutrition, University of Surrey, whose research focuses on the area of nutrition and bone health.

Sara Stanner, Science Director at BNF, said: “We were delighted to be able to offer both the pump-priming awards and the new early career scientist awards this year, as these both recognise rising stars in the field of nutrition science, as well as the BNF Prize, which highlights those at the other end of the career spectrum who have made such great contributions to the field. This is all part of the Foundation’s role in championing the science of nutrition.”

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education, BNF, said: “There are so many incredible individuals making waves in the field of nutrition science and health, and it is wonderful to be able to celebrate their achievements. The Education Awards for school students are a particularly special part of the day, as they provide us with the rare opportunity to recognise some of the UK’s brightest students and most diligent teachers, hopefully encouraging them to continue their good work and pursue further study in the field of nutrition.

“Making nutrition education accessible to all is a key part of our mission. This year, the BNF’s education website, Food – a Fact of Life, was used on 223,276 occasions, with teachers downloading 356,762 resources. Over the last 12 months we have also trained almost 500 teachers at events and nearly a further 100 have attended education webinars. These statistics, along with almost 5,000 schools registering for this year’s Healthy Eating Week, inform us that more and more schools across the UK are engaging with nutrition education, and we hope to see this trend continue in the coming year.”

The BNF Education Award 2018 student and teacher winners for GCSE and Scotland’s National five winners were: 
  • Anna Margaret West (AQA) and teacher Nick Powley – Penair School 
  • Daniel Fry (CCEA) and teacher Claire Thomson – Sullivan Upper School  
  • Lily Grace Forster (EDUQAS) and teacher Trudi Mayo – Chapel-en-le Frith High School
  • Jenna Morris (OCR) and teacher Alexandra Wigg – St Albans High School for Girls
  • Adriana Helen Stronach (SQA) and teacher Lesley Wilson – Portlethen Academy 
  • Millie Hughes-Butterfield (WJEC) and teacher Non Knott – Ysgol Gyfun Grmraeg Bro Byrddin  
The BNF Education Award 2018 student and teacher winners for A Level and Scotland’s Advanced Higher were: 
  • Emily Alice Kirkman (AQA) and teacher James Finch – Sheldon School
  • Aine Casey (CCEA) and teacher Joanne Maguire – St Patricks’ Academy
  • Katie Alice Prescott (Edexcel) and teacher Natalie Kay – Pipers Corner School  
  • Jennifer Heslop (SQA) and teacher Joyce Morrison – Kyle Academy
  • Selina May Radcliffe (WJEC) and teacher Kathryn Mallows – Cowbridge Comprehensive School