Finalists for prestigious Celebrating Impact Prize 2023 announced

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is pleased to announce the finalists for its Celebrating Impact Prize 2023.

The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize is now in its 11th year.

The prize is an annual opportunity to recognise the success of ESRC-funded researchers in achieving and enabling outstanding economic or societal impact from their research.

In 2023, ESRC will award prizes for:

  • Outstanding Business and Enterprise Impact
  • Outstanding Early Career Impact
  • Outstanding International Impact
  • Outstanding Public Policy Impact
  • Outstanding Societal Impact

Remarkable achievements

ESRC Executive Chair Stian Westlake said:

The Economic and Social Research Council’s Celebrating Impact Prize competition is our opportunity to recognise the remarkable achievements of the UK’s outstanding economists and social scientists.

I look forward to showcasing the contribution their work makes to people and organisations across the world.

The continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are a prominent theme among the finalists which cover a diverse array of topics.

From helping retailers use data in new ways to support consumers towards healthier lifestyles, to predicting violence by analysing online behaviour, the impacts of all the finalists are impressive.

I am proud that the Economic and Social Research Council has funded this research, and that we can fully recognise and celebrate the significant impact achieved.

£10,000 prize

All finalists will have a film made about their work and its impact and have attended media training.

Winners are awarded £10,000 to spend on further knowledge exchange, public engagement or other communications activities.

Awarding the prizes

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 15 November 2023.

The Celebrating Impact Prize awards ceremony will take place as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

This year the Festival of Social Science will run from 21 October to 17 November 2023.

The festival is an annual celebration of research and knowledge about human behaviour and society.

Exploring social science

It’s an opportunity for anyone to explore social science topics, from health and wellbeing to crime, equality, education and identity.

Events are run by researchers from UK universities.

Events range from exhibitions, lectures and panel debates through to performances, guided walks and workshops.

For further information about the Festival of Social Science please see the festival website.

Further information

2023 Celebrating Impact Prize finalists

Dr Philip Butler, Cardiff University

Project title: In command: the psychological skills of fire service incident commanders.

Dr Julia Ebner, University of Oxford

Project title: Understanding indicators of proneness to extreme violence among online users.

Team application: BeSupported


  • Dr Emily Harrop, Cardiff University
  • Dr Lucy Selman, University of Bristol

Project title: Improving bereavement support: legacies of a COVID-19 innovation grant.

Team application: The Countering Kleptocracy Project


  • Professor John Heathershaw, University of Exeter
  • James Nixey, Chatham House
  • Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, University of Oxford
  • Tom Mayne, University of Oxford
  • Dr Tena Prelec, University of Oxford
  • Professor David Lewis, University of Exeter
  • Dr Catherine Owen, University of Exeter

Project title: Tackling the UK’s kleptocracy problem.

Lukas Lehner, University of Oxford

Project title: Designing a guaranteed job scheme to employ long-term unemployed people.

Team application: Nutrition and Lifestyle Analytics Team, Consumer Data Research Centre, University of Leeds


  • Professor Michelle Morris, University of Leeds
  • Dr Emily Ennis, University of Leeds
  • Dr Francesca Pontin, University of Leeds
  • Dr Victoria Jenneson, University of Leeds
  • Dr Stephen Clark, University of Leeds

Project title: Enhancing retailer knowledge and building capacity using consumer data.

Professor Rachel Murray, University of Bristol

Project title: Collaborative working to redress human rights violations for African peoples.

Dr Kate Orkin, University of Oxford

Project title: Redesigning social protection in South Africa: poverty relief, job search and youth employment during COVID-19.

Team application: Waterproofing Data Team


  • Professor João Porto de Albuquerque, University of Glasgow
  • Professor Maria Alexandra Cunha, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil
  • Professor Alexander Zipf, Heidelberg University
  • Dr Rachel Trajber, National Centre for Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning, Brazil
  • Dr Liana Anderson, National Centre for Disaster Monitoring and Early-Warning, Brazil

Project title: Democratising data: empowering communities at risk from flooding in Brazil.

Professor Duncan Shaw, The University of Manchester

Project title: Recovery, renewal, resilience and spontaneous volunteers during COVID-19.

Top image:  Credit: PeopleImages, iStock, Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

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