ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize


Winners and finalists: 2016


Outstanding early career impact (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)

Winner: Dr Kath Murray, The University of Edinburgh

Project: Changing stop and search legislation in Scotland

Dr Kath Murray’s doctoral research on police-public encounters revealed very high levels of stop and search in Scotland sparking a wide debate and has resulted in:

  • new legislation
  • major changes in police practice
  • a 93% drop in stop searches and seizures.

Outstanding international impact

Winner: Professor Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (team application)

Project: Ebola response with local engagement

Professor Melissa Leach and fellow anthropologists provided rapid real-time advice and guidelines to policymakers and practitioners during the Ebola crisis. It has increased the effectiveness of medical and humanitarian responses, saving lives and reducing the spread of the disease.

Outstanding impact in public policy

Winner: Dr Rachel Aldred, University of Westminster

Project: Changing the policy mindset on cycling

Dr Aldred’s work on barriers to cycling has produced a fundamental shift in policy, leading to increased investment in cycling infrastructure and a new approach to increasing cycling participation throughout the UK.

Outstanding impact in society

Winner: Professor Theresa Gannon (team application), University of Kent

Project: Pioneering treatment for firesetters

Professor Theresa Gannon’s groundbreaking work with firesetters has resulted in the first comprehensive theory of deliberate firesetters and the first effective treatment programme for offenders, which is being adopted by:

  • Australia
  • North America
  • Europe.

Impact champion

Winner: Briony Turner, King’s College London

Project: Inspiring new explorers with tales from the field

PhD student Briony Turner’s enthusiasm for supporting and enabling others to achieve impact has seen her launch the Intrepid Explorers initiative to inspire others with tales of exploration in the field.


Outstanding early career impact (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)

Finalist: Mr Martin Hearson, London School of Economics and Political Science

Martin Hearson’s research has highlighted how tax treaties reduce the tax that some of the world’s poorest countries can collect from multinational companies, depriving them of significant tax revenues without achieving much in return and this has prompted developing countries to review and renegotiate treaties.

Outstanding international impact

Finalist: Professor Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics and Political Science

Professor Sonia Livingstone’s research on the benefits and risks of children’s internet use has strengthened EU internet safety guidelines, changed service providers’ privacy practices and highlighted children’s digital rights worldwide.

Outstanding international impact

Finalist: Dr Cathy Zimmerman, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Dr Cathy Zimmerman has, over the last two decades, produced hugely influential evidence and policy guidance addressing the health needs of millions of human trafficking victims. Cathy has shaped international response and developed training materials which are now used in over 155 countries.

Outstanding impact in public policy

Finalist: Dr Rachel Condry, University of Oxford

Dr Condry’s large-scale study of adolescent-to-parent violence highlighted the hidden plight of many thousands of families across the UK, leading to new policy guidance and improved responses by statutory and voluntary agencies.

Outstanding impact in public policy

Finalist: Dr Nick Gill, University of Exeter

Dr Gill’s research helped secure a High Court judgement that ruled the Detained Fast Track process for asylum seekers was unfair, ceasing the practice and securing more reasonable preparation time for asylum cases.

Last updated: 12 September 2023

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