ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize


Winners and finalists: 2018


Outstanding early career impact (in partnership with SAGE Publishing)

Winner: Dr Abigail Dymond, University of Exeter

Project: Research prompts public data on police use of force

Dr Dymond’s research led to a new national reporting system on the use of force for all 43 police forces in England and Wales, resulting in more transparent and safer policing.

Outstanding impact in business and enterprise

Winner: Dr Denise Baden, University of Southampton

Project: Cutting carbon footprints in the service sector

Dr Baden’s work in introducing sustainable practices in the service sector has led to a reduction in hair care salons’ carbon footprint and running costs.

Outstanding international impact

Winner: Professor Kevin Bales, University of Nottingham

Project: Revealing the true numbers of modern slavery

Professor Bales’ research has resulted in a new tool for estimating the true extent of modern slavery and trafficking across the world.

Outstanding impact in public policy

Winner: Dr Abigail Adams, University of Oxford

Project: Research led to Supreme Court ruling on removal of UK employment tribunal fees

Research by Dr Adams was instrumental in advocates’ cases for the Supreme Court’s removal of employment tribunal fees.

Outstanding impact in society

Winner: Professor Emma Renold, Cardiff University

Project: Transforming relationships and sexuality education

Relationships and sexuality education in Wales has been transformed thanks to Professor Renold’s work. Her pioneering participatory research enables children and young people to speak out about gender and sexual violence.

Impact champion

Winner: Professor Matthew Flinders, The University of Sheffield

Project: Building capacity, impact and innovation

Over the past decade, Professor Flinders’ mission has been to help UK social science researchers to reach out beyond academia. He has created not only new platforms for impact, but also helped social scientists to think differently about what they do and why they do it.

Panel’s choice: future promise

Winner: Mr Brett Heasman, London School of Economics and Political Science

Project: Improving public understanding of autism

This year, the panel made the decision to award a further ‘Future Promise’ prize to a finalist who showed great promise for impactful research and whose work has much potential but which could be expected to reach its full impact in future. Mr Heasman’s insights into autistic people’s perspectives have challenged public perceptions of autism and developed tools to help people with autism and their family members understand each other better.

Outstanding international impact

Finalist: Dr John Drury, University of Sussex

Project: Using crowd psychology to boost public safety

Crowd psychology research by Dr John Drury has:

  • enhanced crowd management practices for over 700 local emergency specialists
  • improved safety for 125,000 festival goers
  • changed stadium safety procedures throughout UEFA’s 55 member organisations.

Outstanding impact in public policy

Finalist: Dr Toby James, University of East Anglia

Project: Helping the UK’s missing millions to vote

Government measures to encourage eight million eligible UK voters to join the electoral register were prompted by Dr Toby James’ research, and helped boost voter registrations by two million in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum.

Last updated: 27 October 2023

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