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Shortlist for prestigious ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize 2016 announced

The annual ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is an opportunity to recognise and reward researchers whose work has made a real difference to society or the economy.

The prize is awarded to ESRC-funded social science researchers who have achieved impact through outstanding research, collaborative partnerships, engagement or knowledge exchange activities. 

There are many different ways in which social science can change our society for the better, for example through contributing to the development of UK public policy; improving management practices of businesses; or helping a particular group in society. To reflect this there are five different categories, as well as a prize for the Impact Champion - an individual who has a significant personal track record in supporting and enabling others to achieve impact. 

A prize of £10,000 is awarded to the winner of each category, whilst a further prize of £10,000 is awarded to the Impact Champion.

The awards ceremony will take place at Central Hall, Westminster on the evening of 22 June 2016, where the winners will be announced.

The shortlist for the 2016 Celebrating Impact Prize are:

  • Nominees for Impact Champion
    Ms Briony Turner, King’s College London
    Mr Alex Waddington, University of Manchester
  • Nominees for Outstanding Early Career Impact (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)

    Mr Martin Hearson, London School of Economics & Political Science
    Dr Kath Murray, University of Edinburgh
  • Nominees for Outstanding Impact in Public Policy
    Dr Rachel Aldred, Westminster University
    Dr Rachel Condry, University of Oxford
    Dr Nick Gill, University of Exeter
  • Nominees for Outstanding Impact in Society
    Dr Jo-Anne Bichard (and Gail Ramster), Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
    Professor Theresa Gannon, University of Kent
    Professor Jane Oakhill, University of Sussex (and Professor Kate Cain, Lancaster University)
  • Nominees for Outstanding International Impact
    Professor Melissa Leach (team application), Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
    Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics & Political Science
    Dr Cathy Zimmerman, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Commenting on the shortlist, Professor Jane Elliott, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, said:

"The 2016 Celebrating Impact Prize provides an opportunity to reward those individuals who have achieved the best possible impact from their work, and through outstanding social science research have made a great difference to society. I look forward to hearing about the winners on 22 June."

The shortlist was selected by a panel of experts from a wide range of submissions which included written evidence from organisations that have used the research to shape their policies and practice.

This year’s panel consisted:

  • Professor Annette Boaz, Centre for Health and Social Care Research, Kingston University
  • Martin Coleman, ESRC Council Member and Global Head of Antitrust, Competition and Regulatory Practice at Norton Rose LLP  
  • Vanessa Cuthill, ESRC Deputy Director Evidence, Impact and Strategic Partnerships (Panel Chair)
  • Professor Tim Dafforn, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Professor of Biotechnology, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham
  • Graeme Nicol, SME Consultant
  • Andrew Shaw, Evaluation Advisor, Department for International Development (DfID)
  • Jane Tinkler, Head of Social Science, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST)

Notes for editors

  1. The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is an annual opportunity to recognise and reward the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic and societal impacts. First run in 2013 and now in its fourth year, the prize celebrates collaborative working, partnerships, engagement and knowledge exchange activities that have led to significant impact of ESRC-funded research. Prizes will be presented in four main categories: 
    • Outstanding Impact in Public Policy 
    • Outstanding Impact in Society 
    • Outstanding International Impact 
    • Outstanding Early Career Impact (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)
    • Outstanding Impact in Business – not awarded in 2016.

    An additional prize will be awarded to an Impact Champion, who has been nominated by others for their role in enabling impact.
  2. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.
  3. Sara Miller McCune founded SAGE Publishing in 1965 to support the dissemination of usable knowledge and educate a global community. SAGE is a leading international provider of innovative, high-quality content publishing more than 950 journals and over 800 new books each year, spanning a wide range of subject areas. Our growing selection of library products includes archives, data, case studies and video. SAGE remains majority owned by our founder and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence. Principal offices are located in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC and Melbourne.
  4. The awards ceremony will be held at Central Hall, Westminster on 22 June 2016. Attendance is by invitation only. To attend as press please contact the ESRC press office.


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