Economic and Social Research Council
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Researchers celebrated for achieving outstanding impact at ESRC annual event

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has rewarded researchers for their outstanding economic and social impact in its second annual Celebrating Impact Prize.

The winners and runners up were announced at the awards ceremony held at The Royal Society, London on 5 June 2014 by Times columnist and award-winning journalist, David Aaronovitch.

The winners each received a trophy and £10,000 to promote the economic and social impacts of their research. Second prize winners received £5,000, also to invest in impact activities.

Professor Paul Boyle, ESRC Chief Executive said:

"This is our second annual Celebrating Impact Prize and we are delighted to celebrate those who have derived particularly significant impact from their work.

"The breadth of impacts rewarded by the prize demonstrates the range of issues that social science research contributes to, offering solutions to the many challenges our society faces.

"We are particularly pleased to honour the achievements of Professor Sir David Hendry, University of Oxford, with a lifetime award which acknowledges his sustained contribution."

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts said: 

"Economic and social science research affects almost every aspect of our lives, from shaping public policy to business practice, yet its value often goes unnoticed. These awards recognise the significant contribution this important work makes to the economic and societal impact of the UK’s world-class research base. My congratulations to all the prize winners.”

The applications were judged by a panel of experts from business, academia and the public sector. The shortlisted entrants were invited to attend an interview, with a user of their research, to further demonstrate to the panel their role in achieving outstanding research impact.

There were five main categories in the prize, in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award. The winners were:

  • Outstanding Early Career Impact 
    1st Prize – Hannah Lambie-Mumford, University of Sheffield 
    2nd Prize – Olivia Maynard, University of Bristol
  • Outstanding Impact in Society 
    1st Prize – Debra Myhill, University of Exeter 
    2nd Prize – Lorna Warren, University of Sheffield
  • Outstanding Impact in Business 
    1st Prize – Neil Wrigley, University of Southampton
  • Outstanding International Impact 
    1st Prize – Sabina Alkire, University of Oxford 
    2nd Prize – Stuart Basten, University of Oxford
  • Outstanding Impact in Public Policy 
    1st Prize – Clifford Stott, University of Leeds 
    2nd Prize – Shadd Maruna, Queen's University Belfast
  • Lifetime Achievement Award 
    Professor Sir David Hendry, University of Oxford

Further information

ESRC Press Office:

Notes for editors

  1. The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is in its second year and is an annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic and/or societal impacts. The prize celebrates outstanding ESRC research and success in collaborative working, partnerships, engagement and knowledge exchange activities that have led to significant impact.
  2. The judging panel was:
    • Paul Grice, clerk and Chief Executive of the Scottish Parliament, and Chair of the ESRC Methods and Infrastructure Committee. Paul chaired this year's Celebrating Impact Prize panel
    • Rebecca Fairbairn, Head of the Knowledge Exchange Group at the Economic and Social Research Council
    • Graeme Nicol, an SME Consultant and former ESRC Research Committee member
    • Professor Sandra Nutley, Professor of Public Policy and Management at the University of St Andrews, Co-Director of the Research Unit for Research Utilisation, and a member of the ESRC Evaluation Committee
    • Professor Sarah O'Hara, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning) and Professor of Geography at the University of Nottingham
    • Dr Emma Weitkamp, Senior Lecturer in Science Communication at the University of the West of England
  3. A set of short films shown at the awards ceremony featuring the winners of each prize and their research users are available to view, along with case studies of their work.
  4. Still photographs of the winners will also be available from the ESRC Press Office on 6 June.
  5. The ESRC funds research into the big social and economic questions facing us today. We also develop and train the UK's future social scientists. Our research informs public policies and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. Most importantly, it makes a real difference to all our lives. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government
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