ESRC has won first and second prize for videos highlighting impact made in social sciences at the SSH Impact Conference in Vienna. The conference, hosted by the Austrian EU Council Presidency, focused on the impact of social sciences and humanities (SSH) in European research, attracting around 350 participants from all over Europe and international partner countries.

The videos were judged on three criteria – content and scope, dramaturgy of the video, and technical quality. Both of our videos presented research by winners of the ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize.

First prize was awarded to ESRC’s video Preventing HIV risks in Southern Africa, which achieved the maximum possible score from the jury. This video documented research on HIV prevention by Professor Lucie Cluver that has led to a ‘Cash plus Care’ programme helping over two million girls in 10 African countries avoid contracting HIV/AIDS since 2014.


(Melanie Knetsch from ESRC (on the right); Klaus Schuch, Conference Coordinator from ZSI Centre for Social Innovation; third prize winner Anna Sowa, Chouette Films

Professor Lucie Cluver at the University of Oxford said: “We are delighted and honoured with this prize. We have been lucky to benefit from a European and UK research agenda that supports major impact for those who need it most.”

ESRC also won second place with the video Using crowd psychology to boost public safety, presenting research by Dr John Drury. This research has improved crowd management practices for over 700 local emergency specialists and changed safety proceedings in the UK and abroad.

Dr John Drury, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Sussex, said: “It’s great to have our ESRC-funded research Impacts recognised in this way, and it shows that social science research can create positive change.”

First place was awarded €1000, and second place € 500. ESRC will be donating this money to the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Melanie Knetsch, Strategic Lead at ESRC on Interdisciplinarity, Innovation and Impact collected the awards. She said: “It’s wonderful to win these awards that help show the power of videos in telling a captivating story about the difference social science research makes to our lives. Our impact videos are highly valued by our researchers and their partners, and it is great their quality has been recognised by the European Commission.”