2023 Research Awards
New University Research Awards 2023 are open for entries
New research awards have been launched to celebrate the work of both research and professional services staff that showcases research excellence as well as fostering a positive research culture and environment.
The new 2023 Research Awards build on the success of the Research Engagement and Impact Awards which began in 2017, and include new categories to celebrate research that addresses real-world problems and improves academic practice. Research engagement and impact take many forms and applications are encouraged from all research themes and associated functions across the University.
The four new categories are:
- Public engagement with research: this award recognises achievement in research-led public engagement.
- Openness in research: this award will recognise individuals or teams who have used open research practices to make their research more accessible, transparent or reproducible.
- External collaboration and partnerships: this award celebrates external engagement and the development of lasting and successful academic and/or non-academic collaborations in research and innovation regionally, nationally or globally.
- Research impact: this award recognises individuals or teams who undertake high-quality, creative and innovative engagement and impact activities to address real-world problems and change the world around us, locally, nationally or globally.
Winners will receive £1000 towards their next engagement activity.
Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation said: “We are delighted to launch these new Awards that reflect the depth and breadth of activities going on by all research and associated staff. The new categories support implementation of the research strategy and are a response to ongoing work on public engagement, research integrity and knowledge exchange, and recognise the importance of our professional services staff in delivering the research strategy, as demonstrated by REF.”
To apply, complete this online form by 12 noon on Friday 31 March. Please read the guidelines and eligibility criteria fully before entering.
Academics and professional staff supporting research (for example technical staff, museums staff, research services staff) are eligible to enter and the Awards are open to individuals or groups. The lead contact must be a current staff member of the University, still expected to be in post by 31 July 2023. Entrants can be at any stage in their careers, and activities of any scale will be welcome. The activity/ies must either be ongoing or have been completed within the last three years (i.e. since January 2020). Entries may be nominated by another member of staff or staff can nominate themselves in all categories. Please see full the full entry guidelines and eligibility criteria below.
Applicants shortlisted for an award will showcase their projects at the Research Awards 2023 event on Tuesday 13 June 2022 from 2pm in the Meadow Suite, Whiteknights campus. An open invitation to attend the event will be sent out closer to the date.
Please note: PhD students may be part of a team but PhD-led projects will not be eligible for entry in any category. See the Graduate School web pages for details of competitions for research students, including the Doctoral Research for a Better World award. These will be celebrated at the Doctoral Research Conference on 14 June 2023.
2023 Research Awards: Guidelines
The University’s new Research Awards celebrate work by both researchers and professional services that fosters a positive research environment and culture, as well as showcasing research excellence. They give us an opportunity to celebrate research that addresses real-world problems and improves academic practice. Research engagement and impact take many forms and we encourage applications from all research themes and associated functions across the University. There are four new categories – Public engagement with research; Openness in research; External collaborations and partnerships; Research impact.
There are four Awards categories that together will showcase a diversity of research activities taking place across the University:
1. Public engagement with research
This award recognises achievement in research-led public engagement including:
- using creative, inspiring and engaging ways to communicate research activity with communities outside academia and that reach and enthuse new and/or different audiences;
- public engagement that has enhanced understanding of and trust in research;
- sustainable partnerships, collaborations and community connections that facilitate public engagement and mutual benefit;
- innovative approaches and activities where the public can contribute their knowledge, expertise or time to research and teaching such as citizen science projects, public consultations and patient panels;
- work that has pushed forward the public engagement agenda and developed those around them (peers, partners or audiences).
2. Openness in research
This award will recognise individuals or teams who have used open research practices to make their research more accessible, transparent or reproducible, including:
- making the outputs of research, including publications, data, code and other research materials accessible and re-useable by means of publication under open or broadly permissive licences;
- using digital tools and services and/or computational solutions to make scientific research more transparent and reproducible;
- using alternative models of publication and peer review to make the dissemination and certification of research faster and more transparent;
- using open collaborative methods and tools to increase efficiency and widen participation in research.
Please note: All outputs and/or materials that are central to the submission must be published online and available under an open or broadly permissive licence.
3. External collaboration and partnerships
This award celebrates external engagement and the development of lasting and successful academic and/or non-academic collaborations in research and innovation regionally, nationally or globally, including:
- external collaborations and partnerships that lead to research innovations, the practical application of new research and/or new ways of working (which can include products, policies, services and community partnerships);
- approaches and activities that have opened up new relationships and that involve non-specialists in the design or co-development of research; research that has made a major contribution within a business sector or a specific industry or on a partner’s processes, products or services.
4. Research impact
This award recognises individuals or teams who undertake high-quality, creative and innovative engagement and impact activities to address real-world problems and change the world around us, locally, nationally or globally, including but not limited to:
- engagement and impact activity which has the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from, and engagement with, research;
- projects that have opened up relationships with the potential for commercialisation (for example. licensing or venture development);
- activity that influences local, national or international audiences to bring about positive change in policy or practice.
Entries will be assessed by a panel of judges that will include academics, communications professionals and engagement experts from within the University. The judging panel will use the following assessment criteria to inform their decisions and will shortlist three entries in each category and make one award per category. All entries will be assessed against the first 5 criteria and against the category specific criteria depending on the category being submitted to. Please ensure you address the criteria in your application.
- Clarity of purpose (20%): The activity’s purpose should be clear with defined aims and objectives. The audience/participants should be well defined and the chosen method of engagement appropriate to meet the aims.
- Creativity and innovation (20%): We are looking for activities that show originality and use creative ways of engaging with others. This may be that creative use was made of resources (people, places, materials, budget), aspects of the project were innovative, or that it was communicated in an innovative way.
- Outcomes (20%): The application should demonstrate how successful the activity has been, the difference it has made, how it has benefited the audience/participants, and whether it has led to new developments, ways of working or collaborations.
- Evaluation (10%): We’d like to see activities that were well planned and managed, and that have been evaluated against defined aims. This might include critical reflection that will help build best practice for future projects.
- Legacy and sustainability (10%): While some activities are planned as a one-off, we are interested to know how your activity has been, or might be, developed to generate further results /engagement /impact.
- Category specific criteria (20%):
- Public engagement with research: The ambition and scope of the activity and how it has enhanced public understanding of research.
- Openness in research: The contribution made to building an open and transparent research culture at the University.
- External collaboration and partnerships: The sustainability of the partnership and depth of co-ownership/co-development of the collaboration.
- Research engagement and impact: The demonstrable reach and significance of the activity.
- The activity/ies must either be ongoing or have been completed within the last three years (i.e. since January 2020).
- Academics and professional staff supporting research (for example, technical staff, museums staff, research services staff) are eligible to enter.
- Entrants can be at any stage in their careers, and activities of any scale will be welcome.
- Entries may be nominated by another member of staff or staff can nominate themselves in all categories.
- The Awards are open to individuals or groups, but group entries must be submitted by one named individual who will be the lead contact for the entry.
- The lead contact must be a current staff member of the University, and still expected to be in post by 31 July 2023.
- Group entries can include staff (researchers, PhD students, academics, teaching staff, professional services staff) or individuals from outside the University.
- PhD-led projects will not be eligible for entry in any category, although PhD students may be part of a team. See the Graduate School web pages for details of competitions for research students, including the Doctoral Research for a Better World award. These will be celebrated at the Doctoral Research Conference on 14 June.
- Previous winners or shortlisted entrants of the Research Engagement and Impact Awards may not apply again with the same project for 3 years after having been selected, and if applying again once the 3 years has passed, must demonstrate a clear difference/improvement between the two submissions.
- At least one person per shortlisted application will be expected to attend the showcase/ awards event to present their work. Please note that the number of invitations to the showcase/awards event per winning entry may be limited.
- Shortlisted entries will be promoted via internal and external communication channels. Shortlisted entrants will be expected to participate in a short film which will be used to showcase their work/project internally and externally. All content will be sent for approval to the lead contact, prior to publication.
- Activities where the primary purpose is to increase student applications to the University are not eligible.
- Incomplete entries will not be taken forward.
- After submission, applications will be screened for eligibility by the Research Communications and Engagement team.
- All eligible entries will be shared with the judging panel who will score the applications based on the information provided in the application form and supporting documents and based on the assessment criteria (outlined in the entry guidelines).
- The judging panel can move applications to another award category if they think the application is better suited to a different category.
- The scores will inform the discussion of the panel but will not be used as a decision tool itself. This is in line with the responsible metrics statement: https://www.reading.ac.uk/discover/-/media/discover/files/pdfs/8a75584ea8e84c63a0d4c21a34958811.pdf
- The award decision is made through the judging panel’s discussion. The judging panel is tasked with assessing the quality, effort and commitment of each entry and delivery of the activity to achieve its stated aims.
- Awards are at the judging panel’s discretion.
Application deadline: 12 noon Friday 31 March 2023
All entrants informed of decision: week commencing Tuesday 2 May 2023
Awards ceremony: from 2pm Tuesday 13 June 2023
Enquiries welcome. Please contact:
Donna Walton, Research Communications Business Partner, email@example.com or
Caroline Knowles, Head of Research Communications and Engagement, firstname.lastname@example.org