The honours were handed out today at a ceremony at St James’ Palace.
University College London’s Institute of Opthamology was awarded a medical research project prize for furthering understanding of the eye and visual system and its related disorders and diseases.
Its work was described as “internationally-distinguished research" that was "pioneering clinical therapy in eye disease”.
The University of East Anglia was honoured for its “ground-breaking and innovative programmes in creative writing with wide international impact”.
Edward Acton, UEA's vice-chancellor, said he was “absolutely delighted” that it was known as a “centre of excellence in this now thriving academic discipline”.
“We were the first UK university to offer creative writing 40 years ago, and I believe we are still seen as a benchmark for others,” he said.
Other winners include the University of Nottingham for its approach to global challenges of food security, the universities of St Andrews, Plymouth, Surrey, Brunel and Oxford for their focus on applied research into key environmental issues, and Queen’s University Belfast for its Comprehensive Cancer Centre, which has helped to improve survival rates among patients in Northern Ireland.
“The university’s commitment to high quality translational research has led to improved services and outcomes for cancer patients, and new techniques for early detection, diagnosis and therapy,” said Peter Gregson, president and vice-chancellor of Queen’s.
Kieran Poynter, chairman of the Royal Anniversary Trust, said: “At a time when the higher and further education sectors are under so much pressure – from funding and finance to finding ways to better demonstrate their impact – the winners…highlight the fantastic depth and breadth of research being undertaken at institutions right across the UK…and demonstrate their impact around the world.”
The winners in full:
• University of Bath: For influential applied research into child poverty, and support for vulnerable families.
• University of Birmingham: For new technologies and leadership in formulation engineering in support of UK manufacturing
• Bournemouth University: For world-class computer animation teaching with wide scientific and creative applications
• Brunel University: For protecting the environment from hormone-disrupting chemicals and pollutants
• Coleg Llandrillo Cymru: For an original and large-scale approach to high quality training in hospitality and catering
• Cranfield University: For world-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation
• University of East Anglia: For ground-breaking and innovative programmes in creative writing with wide international impact
• Hackney Community College: For enabling people with mental health needs to gain education and employment skills
• University of Leeds: For innovative joint replacement and regenerative technologies to improve quality of life
• University of Manchester: For internationally renowned research and skills training for the nuclear industry
• University of Nottingham: For a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to global challenges of food security
• University of Oxford: For wildlife and environmental conservation: WildCRU’s leading work in applied science and community action
• University of Plymouth: For education and research solutions for the global marine sector
• Queen’s University Belfast: For comprehensive cancer services improving survival rates for patients in Northern Ireland
• University of Reading: For design for reading: teaching and research in typography and graphic communication.
• University of Southampton: For innovation and world-beating expertise in performance sports engineering
• South Nottingham College: For education, sports training and volunteering in the community, at home and overseas
• University of St Andrews: For research and teaching to promote better governance of the oceans
• University of Surrey: For wide-ranging and global work improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation
• University College London: For internationally-distinguished research and pioneering clinical therapy in eye disease
• University of York: For leading-edge work in archaeology from prehistory to the modern age