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Winners of the first ever Real Impact Awards revealed!

The Real Impact awards celebrate the commitment to impact by the research community across the globe, honour the changemakers, and bring together key stakeholders in the impact debate

Bingley, UK, 20 November 2018 – We are delighted to be able to reveal the winners of the inaugural Real Impact Awards, which celebrate the commitment to impact by the research community across the globe, honour the changemakers, and bring together key stakeholders in the impact debate.

The Real Impact Awards, in what is their first year, attracted nearly 100 high quality entries from researchers and institutions from across the world.

Aim of the Real Impact Awards
The Real Impact Awards aim to: raise the profile of individuals, teams and institutions that have placed real impact at the top of their agenda; recognise innovative approaches to impact; celebrate interdisciplinary research; bridge the gap between research and practice; and tell real impact success stories and showcase those driving the debate.

Winners were judged on their commitment to the 5Cs of impact health, not the scale of the project:
• Commitment
• Competencies
• Co-production
• Connectivity
• Clarity

The winners!
Jan Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at the University of Warwick, is the winner of the Real Impact Awards Individual category. Among other factors, the judges were impressed by the way Prof Godsell puts practitioners, policy makers and the public at the heart of her scholarship, and her innovative approach to building impact through storytelling, poems, physical artwork and the media.

The University of Reading and its five-strong Impact Team wins the Real Impact Institution category for drawing impact into the centre of the university’s research culture. Together, they have forged a path to developing a strong impact culture which has firmly linked the needs of researchers to high-level institutional strategies, and assembled and co-ordinated the infrastructure to proactively develop a broad pipeline of activity.

The winner of the Real Impact Team category - made up of Miroslaw Staron, University of Gothenburg; Miroslaw Ochodek, Poznan University of Technology; and Wilhelm Meding and Martin Sjödin, Ericsson, Sweden - has been working together since 2006 to establish, maintain and evolve measurement programs in large software development companies. They have demonstrated the ability to build on the skills of academics and practitioners, and their theories have resulted in the development of over 40,000 measurement systems and dashboards. The team has co-authored over 40 papers together and one textbook.

Finally, the Real Impact Outstanding Contribution Award goes to Research Impact Canada. One of the world’s first networks dedicated to building institutional capacity for knowledge mobilisation, Research Impact Canada has been supporting impact practitioners for over 12 years by sharing tools and building capacity. Before any research impact agenda in Canada (or elsewhere), impact has been its sole objective, creating impacts on culture, society, health, economy and environment as well as on public understanding, beliefs and attitudes.

What the judging panel said
Dr Julie Bayley, Director of Research Impact Development at University of Lincoln and one of the leading voices in the industry debate, headed up the panel of judges

Julie said: “The Emerald Real Impact Awards have showcased the breadth of impact activity across the sector, nationally and internationally. The volume and high standard of entries shows not only the ever-greater role impact is playing in the research agenda, but also the incredible level of commitment of those working to support the translation of research into real world benefit. It’s absolutely heartening to see how well research is being mobilised around the world, and how work within institutions is driving such positive cultures about impact. 

“In judging the entries, the panel considered the 5Cs of impact health; Commitment, Competencies, Coproduction, Connectivity and Clarity. Each of these areas reflects a key aspect of embedding impact into individual, team and institutional practice, and each of the highly commended nominees should be immensely proud of their commitment and innovation across each category. 

“While there were many fantastic entries, the winners most strongly demonstrated all, or specific areas, of the 5Cs. They represent some of the most inspiring work across the sector to broker research into practice or set in place the organisational structures to do so. It is a privilege to be able to formally acknowledge the valuable work of colleagues across the sector, and to highlight the efforts of so many to ‘make a difference’.” 

The Real Impact Awards are just one of the ways that we - their organiser, Emerald Publishing - are championing change and fresh thinking in regards to supporting research that has a real impact on the world beyond academia. We recognise that traditional markers of influence, such as citations, are not sufficient to tell the story of impact, and feel strongly that we have a key role and responsibility in not only supporting the impact agenda, but also in challenging outdated approaches to measuring e­ffects. As such, we are leading the publishing charge towards meaningful impact.

Tony Roche, Director for Publishing & Strategic Relationships at Emerald, said: “The research community is increasingly under pressure to demonstrate impact that goes beyond the walls of academia and outdated metrics.

“These awards celebrate those changemakers in the research community that place impact at the top of their agenda, and that work in collaboration with partners beyond academia to achieve their goals, creating positive change in the real world.

“The standard of entries we received was incredibly impressive, and it’s heartening to see the important roles impact and the wider communication of social science that can bring about positive change are playing in research cultures. 

“We’d like to thank everyone that nominated their colleagues or peers or put themselves forward, and we look forward to these awards forming an integral part of the scholarly communications calendar.”

Alongside the winning entries, another nine highly commended entries will also have 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 book, which will be awarded to every nominee featured.

Winners will also receive a certificate and physical award, with further publicity across Emerald websites, social media and press.

The Real Impact Awards ceremony
The winners will receive their prizes at a fun and informal gathering in January 2019. 

Want to know more about the Real Impact Awards?
Please visit the Real Impact Awards landing page and look out for the #RealImpact hashtag on social media.

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