Herts professor and alumni recognised in New Year’s Honours list

 4 January 2024 5 January 2024
4 January 2024

A University of Hertfordshire researcher and an alumna are among those who have been recognised in the King’s latest New Year Honours list, which marks the incredible achievements and service of extraordinary people across the UK.

Claire Goodman, Professor of Health Care Research at the University of Hertfordshire, has received an MBE in recognition of her significant contribution to the care of older people in the UK. Meanwhile, former Herts student, Dr Shara Cohen, has been awarded a BEM for her commitment to women in STEM and cancer patient support.

With a background in district nursing, Professor Goodman is now a leading researcher into care homes and long-term care for the oldest people in our communities, in particular those living with dementia and other complex health conditions. She is currently a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute and Senior Investigator at the National Institute of Health and Care Research (NIHR) and has just stepped down from leading their national Applied Research Centre (ARC) network of researchers working with care homes.

Notably, Claire led the DEMCOM study, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, into dementia-friendly communities; and the DACHA study (Developing research resources And minimum data set for Care Homes' Adoption and use), to build a more consistent approach to how data about care home residents is collected, managed and shared to inform the care they receive.

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Claire also helped to create urgently-needed guidance for care homes to support staff and protect their residents. Resources were downloaded hundreds of times and were promoted by organisations including the National Care Forum, the End-of-Life Care Partnership, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and the Association of Directors of Public Health.

On receiving the honour, Claire said: “These awards are never about a person and always about enabling environments and the people who work together. Being part of CRIPACC and the University of Hertfordshire made possible a programme of research focused on addressing the health and care needs of older people living with dementia and or complex needs. It is always fulfilling to see the work you do having a positive impact on the community.”

Since graduating from the University of Hertfordshire in 1985 with a BSc in Applied Biology, Dr. Shara Cohen has developed a hugely impressive career portfolio. Starting her working life as a research scientist and lecturer, where she achieved over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, she left mainstream science in 2000 to establish Life Science Communications company EuroSciCon Ltd alongside subsidiary company Life Science Events, the first company to produce live streamed, only independent academic life science events. In 2005, she also started Mums in Science after noticing a gap in support for mums in STEM, and, following a cancer diagnosis in 2013, she founded Cancer Care Parcel, a company specialising in appropriate gifts for people with cancer.

The British Empire Medal recognises Dr. Cohen's outstanding contributions to both the scientific and charitable spheres. She says: “I am deeply honored to receive a British Empire Medal for my work supporting women in science and people with cancer. As I celebrate this achievement, I am reminded of my time at the University of Hertfordshire where I gained my love of science which I have carried for over 40 years and helped me gain this award.”

The full New Year Honours List 2024 can be found on the government’s website.


Press Office news@herts.ac.uk +44 (0)1707 285 770