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The annual MPLS Impact Awards aim to foster and raise awareness of impact by rewarding it at a local level, preparing the ground for the impact case studies that will be needed for REF2021, and future similar exercises.  Awards comprise a pay award of £1,000 (minus taxes) made to the individual. 

Nominations were invited under four categories: commercial (economic) impact, non-commercial impactEarly Career Researchers and public engagement with research.

A significant number of nominations were received, and a cross-departmental judging panel was convened to consider the nominations. The panel were impressed with the quality of the nominations that were received and decided to honour 11 researchers and academics with awards, across the four categories.

The winners under the Public Engagement with Research category were:

David Pyle, Department of Earth Sciences: awarded for the contribution made by David to the engagement of locally-affected communities in volcano research and the dissemination of those research outputs to a diverse range of publics.

Ursula Martin, Mathematical Institute: awarded for the contribution made by Ursula to the engagement of non-specialists, particularly women, with mathematics and computer science through new research on Ada Lovelace’s science.

Jennifer Rogers, Department of Statistics: awarded for the contribution made by Jennifer to the engagement of young people and non-statisticians with the application of statistics.

In addition to this, engaging work was also recognised for Mike Osborne, Department of Engineering Science: awarded for the contribution made by Mike to the political and social understanding and debate of how computerisation might affect jobs in the future; Katherine Blundell, Department of Physics: awarded for the contribution made by Katherine to the engagement of schoolchildren, especially girls, with physics; and Jena Meinecke, Department of Physics: awarded for the contribution made by Jena to the promotion of women in physics.

This means that over half of the awards made had an element of public engagement to them - not bad!

This was the first year that public engagement with research was recognised explicitly for the MPLS Impact Awards, and I'm sure we'll see it featured again, so keep your eyes peeled for the nomination call in Michaelmas Term.