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This is twelfth year for MPLS Impact Awards, which celebrate, recognise and reward impacts achieved by researchers. Since 2012, we received 145 nominations, and recognised individual and team achievements with 64 Impact Awards and 9 Commendations. Our annual awards aim to foster, raise awareness of, and reward impact at a local level, and prepare the ground for the impact case studies that will be needed for future REF and similar exercises. We welcome nomination of MPLS Division researchers at all career stages, and particularly early career researchers and postgraduates actively contributing to progress impacts from research.

MPLS Impact Awards

Awards are presented at a MPLS event (details to be confirmed), with a pay award of £1,000 (minus taxes) made to the individual. 

In 2023-24 there are five categories of award:

  1. Commercial Impact: To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant commercial/economic impact since 1 August 2019.
  2. Social Impact: To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant social impact since 1 August 2019.
  3. Early Career Impact: To recognise Early Career Researchers’ independent engagement with external organisations or end-users, as laying the foundations for future impactful research in social or commercial or policy or PER category.
  4. Public Engagement with Research Impact: To recognise researchers at any career stage who have achieved significant impact since 1 August 2019 through high-quality public engagement with research activities.
  5. Policy Impact: To recognise researchers at any career stage for research that has had significant policy impact since 1 August 2019.


Nomination to MPLS Impact Awards is open to all researchers in Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, this includes academics, postdoctoral researchers, postgraduate research students, and technicians.

MPLS Division invites heads of department, research professionals, Oxford University Innovation staff, academics, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduates to nominate MPLS individuals or teams who have actively contributed to progress impacts from research. ‘Nominators’ are expected to have knowledge of the nominee(s)’s contributions and achievements relevant to the Impact Award. Self-nominations are also welcome from individuals and teams who wish to apply for the Award. Individuals or groups can apply directly (self-nominate), or be nominated by one or more person (nominators).

Researchers who have submitted (or intend to submit [see note 1]) an application for a Vice Chancellor’s Award can also be nominated to MPLS Impact Awards.

However, projects/researchers that have received either a Vice Chancellor’s Innovation and Engagement Award [see note 2], or a commendation for Vice Chancellor’s Innovation and Engagement Award [see note 2], or received a MPLS Impact Award, are not eligible to be nominated for an MPLS Impact Award for the same project, in a similar or related category, unless demonstrably significant progress has been made. Nominations of large research programme teams/consortia are not eligible, however their researchers can be nominated for their individual achievements. It is required that significant effort to progress impact occurred when the nominee(s) has/have been in MPLS Division.

The deadline for applying to the 2023-24 awards is Thursday, 25 April 2024. Any queries should be directed to Anuj Bhatt (Impact and Engagement Manager, MPLS) at

[Note 1] includes the current call of Vice Chancellor’s Research, engagement and innovation awards (categories 4–6)

[Note 2] includes past Vice Chancellor’s Innovation Award/Vice Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Award and Innovation and Engagement Award.



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Download the MPLS Impact Awards guidance (PDF) or view the Impact Awards guidance as a webpage

Download the MPLS Impact Awards Nomination Form (Word doc) or view the Nomination Form content as a webpage

Previous winners:

Download a table of MPLS Impact Awards winners (Word doc) or view the previous winners as a webpage.

News stories:

Any queries should be directed to Anuj Bhatt (Impact and Innovation Officer, MPLS) at