Social Responsibility


Award categories

1) Outstanding benefit to society through research

This award recognises success in collaborative working, partnerships and knowledge exchange activities that have enabled Manchester research to deliver significant economic, social, health, environmental or quality of life benefits.

The award is open to:

  • academic staff and early-career researchers (PhD researchers, post-docs and post-Doctoral Research Assistants)

  • this award is open to individuals or small teams

Entrants will be assessed based on:

Impact: What is the impact and how can this be evidenced in terms of reach and value of benefit to users and wider society?

(For early-career researchers ‘emerging impact’ will also be considered – particularly those that show great promise and potential in terms of the ‘partnership’ and ‘pathway’ elements of their application).

Partnership: To what extent have users/beneficiaries shaped the research or knowledge exchange process?

Pathway: How was impact recognised and what was done to drive it forward, address challenges and bring about change?

2) Outstanding teaching innovation in social responsibility

This award recognises staff innovation in the curriculum where teaching and learning has enhanced social, cultural or environmental impact.

The award is open to:

  • staff (individuals or small teams)

Entrants will be assessed on:

Innovation: Evidence of innovation in the way the curriculum, programme or module has been developed, delivered and assessed.

Student impact: Evidence of impact of the teaching and learning on the students and their understanding and commitment to social responsibility and/or environmental sustainability.

Community impact: Evidence of impact of the students’ work, or the course itself, on the wider community beyond HE.

3) Outstanding contribution to social enterprise (aspiring and/or trading for more than 1 year)

This award is to recognise outstanding social enterprises that are innovative and have made significant contributions to creating societal benefit.

The award is open to:

  • staff

  • students

  • recent graduates/alumni (up to 2 years)

Enterprises need to demonstrate:

  • A social mission.

  • They are actively working towards creating social impact.

  • Profits are derived from sustainable operations and will be/are ploughed back in to further the social purpose.

Entrants will be assessed based on either being an aspiring social enterprise i.e. demonstrating working towards the criteria below, or as a social enterprise able to fully demonstrate the criteria below:

Social impact: Showing how operations (products, services, business models) address a social problem and how they have benefitted the community.

Business performance and financial viability: Demonstrating effective use of resources and an ability to operate a sustainable business. Outline the vision and model for sustainability; showing a shift in reliance on grant funding to deriving income through trading is advantageous; demonstrating scalability.

Innovation and productivity: Demonstrating innovative thinking in creation of a solution to a social problem through enterprise and improvements in products/services/processes/delivery.

Leadership and governance: Demonstrate vision and commitment and providing strategic guidance as well as ensuring corporate governance.

As part of the judging process applicants may be asked to give a 5 minute pitch on the morning of Tuesday 23 February outlining their activities.

4) Inspiring Communities (for University staff/students and external individuals/partners)

This award recognises outstanding examples where the University inspires and is inspired by our communities in Greater Manchester. Two awards will therefore be made in this category:

i) Inspiring communities (staff/student contribution) - where outstanding contributions are made to our communities in Greater Manchester by staff or students.

ii) Inspiring communities (public contribution) - where outstanding contributions are made by individuals or teams in Greater Manchester outside of the University, that support the University in the achievement of its core goals of social responsibility, outstanding learning and/or world class research.

Inspiring Communities (staff/student involvement)

This award recognises outstanding contributions made to our communities in Greater Manchester by staff or students that have achieved demonstrable social or environmental benefit through working in close partnership with others in our communities in Greater Manchester.

This award is open to

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)

  • Students (individuals or small teams)

Entrants will be assessed on:

  • Aims: The community engagement activity has arisen jointly out of shared aims or objectives.

  • Innovation: Evidence that the collaborative activity is an innovative response to a social or environmental issue.

  • Impact: The collaborative activity has demonstrable evidence of sustained social or environmental impact.

Inspiring Communities (public involvement)

This award recognises individuals or teams in Greater Manchester external to the University, that inspire and support the University in the achievement of its goals. These public contributions could be from external partners, organisations or individuals who support one or more of the University’s core goals of social responsibility, outstanding learning and student experience and world-class research. They might include co-researchers, patients, residents, community members and partner organisations in the public, private and third sector.

This award is open to:

  • individuals or teams working in our communities in Greater Manchester, who must be nominated by a current member of staff or a student at the University

Please note: voluntary contributions made by alumni of the University should be directed via the University’s Volunteer of the Year Award (see below). Nominations will not be accepted for members of the University’s Board of Governors or General Assembly.

Entrants will be assessed on:

  • Aims: the degree to which the individual or team contributes to one or more of the University’s core goals of social responsibility, outstanding learning and student experience and world class research.

  • Impact: the public contribution has demonstrable evidence of sustained impact.

5) Outstanding public engagement initiative

This award is to recognise and celebrate the work of staff and students who engage with the public to share knowledge and enrich lives.

The award is open to:

  • staff

  • students (undergraduate or postgraduate taught/research)

  • this award is open to individuals or small teams.

Entrants will be assessed on:

Creativity: Demonstrating an imaginative approach to public engagement on or off campus.

Impact: Providing evidence of how engagement has made a difference and furthered the vision of the University.

6) Outstanding contribution to equality and diversity

This award is to recognise innovation and commitment to equality and diversity by individuals or groups at The University of Manchester, where impact is within or outside the University.

The award is open to:

  • staff – individuals or groups

  • students – individuals or groups

Entrants will be assessed based on:

Impact: Demonstrable evidence of impact of work/initiative on promoting equality and diversity.

Values: Evidence of commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion that are above and beyond the expectations of the job role/project.

Innovation: Evidence of innovation in response to an equality and diversity issue.

7) Outstanding professional support services, library and cultural institution's support for social responsibility

This award is to recognise innovation and impact in the University’s professional support services, library and cultural institutions in social responsibility, for example by developing and/or delivering processes, policies and services that contribute to the University’s third goal.

The award is open to:

  • staff (individuals or small teams) working in the University’s professional support services, library and cultural institutions

Entrants will be assessed based on:

Aims: Evidence that the initiative is clearly linked to the University’s strategic framework for social responsibility.

Innovation: How the process, initiative or activity has innovated a new way to support social responsibility.

Impact: Evidence of impact of the process, initiative or activity.

8) Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

These awards are to recognise innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability at The University of Manchester or in the local community.

These awards are open to:

  • staff (teams or individuals)

  • students (teams or individuals)

Entrants will be assessed based:

Principles: Degree to which the principles of environmental sustainability are embedded.

Impact: Demonstrable impact of work/initiative.

Replication: How can the initiative/approach can be replicated?

9) Outstanding contribution to widening participation

This award, overseen by the central widening participation team, is to recognise outstanding staff and student contributions to widening participation activity, locally, nationally or internationally. The award recognises contributions outside of the University’s central widening participation team and will often go above and beyond the expectations of the job role or initiative.

The award is open to:

  • staff (individuals or small teams)

  • students (individuals or small teams)

Staff will be assessed on:

Innovation: Evidence that the activity is an innovative response to a widening participation challenge.

Impact: The activity has demonstrable evidence of making a difference to the educational opportunities or outcomes of less-advantaged learners.

Students will be assessed on:

Sustained commitment: Evidence that your involvement in widening participation work is over a period of time. This may be through multiple activities and projects.

10) Volunteer of the year award

This category will open for entries in January 2016. Further information can be found on the Volunteer of the Year Award website.

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