The annual ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize, now in its sixth year, 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 or ESRC associates who have achieved impact through outstanding research, collaborative partnerships, engagement or knowledge exchange activities.

There are many different ways that social science can change our society for the better, for example by enhancing the economic competitiveness of the UK; improving public services; raising standards of living and health; contributing to the development of UK policy; driving innovation or improving management practices of businesses; helping a particular group in society; or helping societies in other countries. To reflect this diversity there are five different categories, as well as a prize for the Impact Champion and a Future Promise award.

A prize of £10,000 is awarded to the winner of each of the following categories:

  • Outstanding Early Career Impact (in partnership with SAGE publishing)
  • Outstanding Impact in Business and Enterprise
  • Outstanding International Impact
  • Outstanding Impact in Public Policy
  • Outstanding Impact in Society

A further prize of £10,000 is awarded to the Impact Champion, an individual who has a significant personal track record in supporting and enabling others to achieve impact. £1,000 will be awarded to the winner of the Panel's Choice - Future Promise Award.

The awards ceremony will take place at Royal Society on the afternoon of 20 June 2018, where the winners will be announced.

Researchers shortlisted

The researchers shortlisted for the 2018 Celebrating Impact Prize are:

  • Professor Abigail Adams, University of Oxford
    Access to justice and the economics of the rule of law
  • Dr Denise Baden, University of Southampton
    Sustainability as a value-added proposition across the hair sector
  • Professor Kevin Bales, University of Nottingham
    Measuring modern slavery
  • Dr John Drury, University of Sussex
    From crowd psychology to public safety
  • Dr Abigail Dymond, University of Exeter
    Impacting national and international policy and practice around Taser and police use of force
  • Professor Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield
    The creation of new structures, procedures and institutions in order to harness the impact agenda
  • Professor Penny Green, Queen Mary University of London
    Genocide in Myanmar: changing the global discourse surrounding the persecution of the Rohingya
  • Brett Heasman, The London School of Economics and Political Science
    Autism and society: investigating enabling contexts for social interaction
  • Dr Toby James, University of East Anglia
    Improving electoral integrity and democratic participation through electoral administration and management
  • Professor Emma Renold, Cardiff University
    Research and activism with children and young people to promote gender equality and healthy relationships

The panel

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 of:

  • Dr Irene Guijt, Head of Research, Oxfam Great Britain
  • Professor Roger Kain, Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and a Vice-President, British Academy
  • Dr Caroline Kenny, Social Science Advisor, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Professor Jane Falkingham, Dean of the Faculty of Social Human and Mathematical Sciences, University of Southampton and Director, ESRC Centre for Population Change
  • Matt Sansam, Digital and Creative Industries consultant and Innovation Lead, Innovate UK
  • Dr Wayne Williams, Head of Policy, UK Research and Innovation