Neil Rackham Foundation Award: £10,000 to recognise student success in remote group working

This award is to recognise a group of students (3 or more) who have risen to the recent challenge of remote group working through volunteering, coursework, a society, or work experience. For the opportunity to win, you need to enter a submission in the form of a video, blog/vlog or written piece which demonstrates problem solving, collaboration, creativity and communication.

What is the Neil Rackham Foundation Award?

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with many challenges over recent weeks. One significant change we’ve seen is how we interact with one another, due to the removal of in-person contact, communication and collaboration.

We have had to adapt our ways of working with one another so we can still continue to achieve - but in very different circumstances.

Effective group working is essential not only for University but beyond. We recognise that many students have risen to this recent challenge and have had success working in these new ways.

We want to hear about groups of students who have adapted to working with one another and achieved successful outcomes, despite the challenging circumstances.

A £10,000 fund, generously donated by Professor Neil Rackham, will be divided between groups of students who have demonstrated outstanding teamwork during the period of the coronavirus lockdown. A central mission of the Neil Rackham Foundation has been to study student collaboration and teamwork. Professor Rackham’s research into behaviours in teams has opened important insights into the qualities of successful teams.

We are looking for groups of students (3 or more) who have successfully worked together during recent months and found ways to succeed, despite the challenging circumstances.

This could be:

  • As part of a piece of coursework or research
  • Supporting your studies e.g. a peer learning group
  • As part of a volunteering or charity activity
  • As part of an extracurricular activity (e.g. a student society, or sports team)
  • Work experience (paid or unpaid)

We would like to see each of these core skills evidenced/reflected upon in submissions:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving - looking at problems from a different angle, considering and evaluating alternative solutions.
  • Creativity and innovation - how you used technology or other means to aid your group working, examples of initiating ideas, having to change approach and adapt due to the circumstances.
  • Collaboration - how responsibilities were managed fairly - did everyone have a voice and a role? How did you overcome difficulties (interpersonal or logistical/practical)? How did you ensure everyone was involved and no one was left out?
  • Communication – verbal and written how this was managed - how did you decide on the most appropriate communication methods? What didn’t work? How did you know you all had the same understanding of the goal?

How to enter your submission

Submissions must be a 2 minute video or a blog/vlog or a written submission (maximum 1000 words) and must cover the following:

  • What was the situation/ context / problem you were working on?
  • Who was involved in your "team"?
  • What approaches did you take?
  • What was the outcome/ impact / demonstrable change?
  • What have you learnt / anything you would do differently?
  • What tips would you give to students undertaking remote group working?

Winning submissions will be created into a resource for other students and staff, and will help future students be more successful in their own remote group work.


There must be a demonstrable purpose, impact or end product to the group work

The approaches taken must have been shaped, managed and run by the students

All group members must be registered students at the University of Sheffield

An independent person must be able to verify the case study and provide a supporting statement if requested (e.g. academic tutor, staff member) Entrants must provide contact details of this person.

The activity must have been carried out since mid-March 2020 (i.e. since the start of UK ‘lock down’ due to Covid-19)

A panel will review the submissions and decide on the winning entries. Entries must be received by midday Friday 19th June. Winners will be announced on Monday 29th June.

Please submit your entries to:


1st Prize £5,000
2nd Prize £2,500
3rd Prize £1,000
Runner-up Prize x 3 £500