Real Impact Awards

Shine a light on your research

Now in their third year, the Real Impact Awards celebrate those in the research community who go above and beyond to make a difference.

You've told us you're under pressure from funders and policymakers to demonstrate the provable benefits of your research; the Real Impact Awards form part of our commitment to championing research and research practices or processes that can make an impact beyond academia.

In 2019 we introduced the Interdisciplinary Research Fund Award to the mix; a natural extension to the Awards, this award acknowledges the interdisciplinary research projects that promote action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and demonstrate real world impact.

Submissions open 10 August–27 November 2020

The aim of the awards

  • Raise the profile of individuals, teams and institutions that are committed to real impact through their research
  • Recognise innovative approaches to achieving real impact
  • Bridge the gap between research and practice by celebrating truly collaborative ways of working
  • Tell the real impact success stories and celebrate those driving the debate

Award categories


All the categories celebrate either the commitment or approaches to achieving real impact. So, whether you are developing a strategy to embed impact, have mobilised research to help with the global pandemic or completed an interdisciplinary research project that promotes action on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, we want to hear your story. Take a look at each of the different categories below.

Driving the impact agenda

This award celebrates the efforts and commitment to strategically embed impact within a research environment or to drive impact culture.

Find out more

Mobilising research into action

This award is all about recognising the efforts and commitment being made to meaningfully connect research and action to deliver societal change.

Find out more

Library commitment to uncovering real impact

This new award recognises the efforts and commitment within the library setting to uncover real impact. 

Find out more

Interdisciplinary Research Fund Award

This award rewards an innovative research project that promotes action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals/global challenges.

Find out more

Driving the impact agenda

This award celebrates the efforts and commitment to strategically embed impact within a research environment or to drive impact culture

How are you driving the impact agenda within your research environment? Have you set up strategies, workflows or structures to bring research impact to the front of the conversation to address unmet needs? How are you engaging with wider teams or communities to embed impact into everything you do?
 

Submission form questions
  • Explain why your impact commitment aligns with the category that you have chosen (max 200 words)
  • Outline the planned objectives of the project (max 200 words)
  • Provide a brief explanation on why your commitment to impact is outstanding (max 200 words)
  • Explain how your approach is innovative and meets unmet needs (max 500 words)
  • Provide evidence to support your submission (where applicable)
Judging criteria
  • Evidence: How well has the nominee(s) set out a strategic plan to establish or embed impact into their research environment?
  • Innovation: How innovative is their approach to embedding the impact agenda?
  • Clarity: Overall, how clearly has the nominee(s) told the story of their commitment through their entry?
  • Effectiveness: To what extent has the project achieved its objectives and demonstrated the planned outcomes?
Prizes

One individual winner and one team/institution winner plus two finalists per category

Winner(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors; each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each shortlisted nominee(s)
  • An invitation to a celebration event March 2021
  • A certificate and physical award
  • A global social campaign once the Showcase Book has been finalised, which will put the spotlight on each of the winner’s stories and their commitment to impact
  • The opportunity to publish their research via a relevant channel

Finalist(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors; each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each winner and finalist
  • A certificate
  • Additional publicity across global Emerald marketing channels

 

Submit nowRead previous winners' stories

Mobilising research into action

This award is all about recognising the efforts and commitment being made to meaningfully connect research and action to deliver societal change

This year we’re focusing on research relating to the global Coronavirus pandemic. Whether that’s through scientific research into medical treatment – including vaccine development – or societal responses, we want to hear how you’re mobilising your research into action to reach more diverse audiences to benefit society.

What is the specific need you are trying to address? What new systems or techniques did you put in place to communicate your knowledge and engage with those beyond the academy to influence change, and who is benefiting as a result?
 

Submission form questions
  • Explain why your impact commitment aligns with the category that you have chosen (max 200 words)
  • Give a brief explanation on why your commitment to impact in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is outstanding (max 200 words)
  • Outline the planned objectives of the research (max 200 words)
  • Explain how you have successfully connected meaningfully with non-academic partners to drive research on COVID-19 into practice, to help guide decisions during the pandemic (max 500 words)
  • Explain how your approach is innovative and has generated real change in your field (max 500 words)
  • Provide evidence to support your submission (where applicable)
Judging criteria
  • Evidence: How well has the nominee(s) evidenced a meaningful connection with non-academic partners to mobilise their COVID-19 research?
  • Innovation: How innovative are their efforts to drive research into practice to generate real change?
  • Clarity: Overall, how clearly has the nominee(s) told the story of their commitment through their entry?
  • Effectiveness: To what extent has the project achieved its objectives and demonstrated the planned outcomes?
Prizes

One individual winner and one team/institution winner plus two finalists per category

Winner(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors; each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each shortlisted nominee(s)
  • An invitation to a celebration event in March 2021
  • The opportunity to publish their research via a relevant channel
  • A certificate and physical award
  • A winner’s global social campaign once the Showcase Book has been finalised, which will put the spotlight on each of the winner’s stories and their commitment to impact

Finalist(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors; each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each winner and finalist
  • A certificate
  • Additional publicity across global Emerald marketing channels

 

Submit nowRead previous winners' stories

Library commitment to uncovering real impact

This award recognises the efforts and commitment within the library setting to uncover real impact

We want to celebrate the methods, structures or practices that libraries are putting in place to bring to light the research being carried out in their institution.

Are there any new technologies in place to promote scholarly communications? Has your library taken on different roles to contribute to institution-wide initiatives? What approaches have been introduced to ensure your library setting is actively contributing to the development of good, impactful research?
 

Submission form questions
  • Explain why your impact commitment aligns with the category that you have chosen (max 200 words) (max 200 words)
  • Outline the objectives of what you are trying to achieve (max 200 words)
  • Explain how the library has successfully uncovered research at your institution to drive real impact (max 500 words)
  • Explain what measures have been put in place to celebrate and promote impactful research at your institution (max 500 words)
  • Explain how your approach is innovative (max 500 words)
  • Provide evidence to support your submission (where applicable)
Judging criteria
  • Evidence: How well has the nominee(s) evidenced their efforts to promote their institution’s research efforts?
  • Innovation: How innovative are the methods being utilised to uncover real impact? 
  • Clarity: Overall, how clearly has the nominee(s) told the story of their commitment through their entry?
  • Effectiveness: To what extent has the programme achieved its objectives and demonstrated the planned outcomes?
Prizes

One individual winner and one team/institution winner plus two finalists per category

Winner(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors; each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each shortlisted nominee(s)
  • An invitation to a celebration event March 2021
  • The opportunity to publish their research via a relevant channel
  • A certificate and physical award
  • A winner’s global social campaign once the Showcase Book has been finalised, which will put the spotlight on each of the winner’s stories and their commitment to impact

Finalist(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors. Each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each winner and finalist
  • A certificate
  • Benefit from additional publicity across global Emerald marketing channels

 

Submit now

Interdisciplinary Research Fund Award

Rewards an innovative research project that promotes action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals/global challenges through collaboration of disciplines, methodology and research

Have you recently completed an interdisciplinary project that is original and innovative? How have the different disciplines influenced each other and shaped the questions, methods and outputs? How will Open Access publication and promotion support help you to reach the people who can put your research into action?

Submission form questions
  • For what global challenges or UN Sustainable Development Goals will the project deliver real impact? [100 words max]
  • Outline the project objectives and outcomes [200 words max]
  • How has working in an interdisciplinary way shaped the research questions, methods and outputs? [200 words max]
  • What makes your project original or innovative? [300 words max]
  • Who would you want to reach through Open Access publication and promotion support, and how could they put your research into action? [200 words max]
  • What is the approximate total funding your project has received to date? (This is to help us fairly assess projects of different sizes. Please state currency.) [50 words max]
Judging criteria
  • Overall: Is the purpose and intent of the project clear?
  • Evidence: How well has the entry explained how the proposed IDR project can deliver real impact to a specific global challenge or UN SDG?
  • Collaboration: How well has the entry specified how working in an interdisciplinary team has influenced and shaped the questions, methods and outputs?
  • Clarity: How well has the entry explained why their proposed project is original or innovative?
  • Impact: Does the entry make clear who is able to put their research into action and how?
  • Funding: Is the total funding clearly stated?

Meet the judges

Prizes

One winning project plus two highly commended projects

Winner(s) will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors. Each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each shortlisted nominee(s).
  • An invitation to a celebration event March 2021.
  • The chance to publish their research Open Access in a relevant Emerald journal (subject to peer review) or on Emerald Open Research, free of charge.
  • Time with Editage to produce an infographic or video to make their findings more accessible, and have support from the Emerald Marketing Team to get the research to people who can put it into action.
  • A certificate and physical award.
  • A winner’s global social campaign once the Showcase Book has been finalised which will put the spotlight on each of the winner’s stories and their commitment to impact.

Highly commended projects will receive:

  • Their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors. Each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase publication, a copy of which will be provided to each winner and finalist
  • A highly commended certificate
  • Additional publicity across global Emerald channels

 

Submit your entryRead previous winners' stories

 

Having someone to come and say look you do a good job... it's really important... it really matters

Professor Natalia Kucirkova

Why enter

The Real Impact Awards give you the opportunity to shine a light on the difference you are making through your research. Whether you are an individual or team/institution, demonstrating the different ways of thinking – while bringing people together to discover, curate and put into practice research that really matters – is not only important for everyone to see, but could also inspire others to want to do more, too.

Meet our previous Real Impact award winners

All previous winners and shortlisted entries have had their impact stories celebrated within our Real Impact Showcase Book. The book tells the stories of the research community who have committed to impact and are on a journey to make a significant difference to our communities, societies, cities and world at large. This is just one of the ways we wanted to show our appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the research community and beyond.

Take inspiration from two 2019 winners

Here we shine the spotlight on two of our 2019 award winners.

Winners of Driving the Impact Agenda

Knowledge Translation Team
Melbourne Children's Centre for Community Child Health, Australia

Sue West Ken Knight Vikki Leone Melanie Barwick
Sue West Ken Knight Vikki Leone Melanie Barwick

The Knowledge Translation Team at Melbourne Children’s Centre are committed to building a culture that values, rewards and embeds research impact.

Delivering customised training, resources and mentoring alongside engaging with local, national and international impact networks are just some examples of the great work the team has carried out. Research impact is now a prominent part of the campus agenda and is helping Melbourne Children’s achieve their purpose of improving child and adolescent health and wellbeing.

Listen to Ken Knight explain the team's approach to creating research impact and the challenges they face.

Winner of the Developing a Focus on Lifecycle Approaches to Impact

Professor Natalia Kucirkova
University College London, UK and University of Stavanger, Norway

Dr Kucirkova is dedicated to researching innovative ways of supporting children’s early literacy, reading on screen and the role of personalisation in narratives. She has worked hard to establish and embed impact within the environment of children’s technology research and design, and as a result has engaged with innovative research problems and contributed knowledge to the design of children’s apps and e-books.

The work being carried out is a great example of connecting impact activities, people and strategies along the lifetime of a research project, embedding impact from inception to completion and beyond.

Natalia Kucirkova
Professor Natalia Kucirkova

Listen to Natalia explain her approach to impactful research and why it is so important.

Get in touch

If you've any questions about any of the awards, please drop us a line. 

Email us