Award categories

1) Outstanding benefit to society through research

This award recognises effort, innovation and success in collaborative working, partnerships and knowledge exchange activities that have enabled University of Manchester research to achieve positive impacts in terms of improvements to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life.

The award is open to:

  • Academic staff and researchers at any career stage, including PhD students, post-doctoral researchers and other early career researchers.

  • Individuals or small teams

Entrants will be assessed based on:

Impact: Evidence that the research has changed activity, attitudes, behaviour, capacity, decision-making, practice or processes. Impact may also have resulted from new understanding that benefits individuals, organisations, communities or the population.

Partnerships: How have the researchers engaged the relevant users/ beneficiaries in shaping and communicating the research and engagement?

Pathway: What was the knowledge exchange process? What was done to address challenges and bring about change? How was impact evaluated? Was the research fundamental to the impact being achieved?

Emerging impact sub-category
For entrants at all career stages, evidence of ‘emerging impact’ will be considered – particularly those that show great promise and potential for the research to achieve impact, in terms of the partnership and pathway elements of their application.

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 higher education.

3) Outstanding contribution to social innovation and environmental impact through enterprise

This award is to recognise innovation through the creation of novel solutions to societal and environmental problems through either an emerging project or an existing enterprise.

The award is open to:

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)
  • Students (individuals or small teams)
  • Recent graduates/alumni (up to 2 years, individuals or small teams)

Entrants will be assessed based on:

Innovation: Demonstrate innovative thinking through improvements to i.e. products, services, delivery, technology, interventions, etc.

Impact: Evidence how the activity (project or enterprise) addresses a social, economic or environmental problem and has a positive impact on individuals, organisations, the wider community.

Values: Demonstrate the motivation to create a vision and model for sustained behavioural change and impact led outcomes. Ideally entrants should identify where their activities could align to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. For more information the University's Sustainable Development Goals report can be downloaded.

4) Outstanding public and community engagement initiative

This award recognises outstanding examples where the University engages with the public to share knowledge and enrich lives and inspires and is inspired by our communities locally, nationally and internationally.

There are four awards in this category:

i) Outstanding local engagement

ii) Outstanding national/international engagement

iii) Outstanding public contribution

iv) Outstanding contribution by our Cultural Institutions

i) Outstanding local engagement (staff/student involvement)

This award recognises outstanding contributions made to our local communities by staff or students that have achieved demonstrable benefit through either engaging with or working in close partnership with communities in and around Greater Manchester.

This award is open to:

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)
  • Students (individuals or small teams)

ii) Outstanding national/international engagement (staff/student involvement)

This award recognises outstanding contributions made to national/international communities by staff or students that have achieved demonstrable benefit through either engaging with or working in close partnership with communities, organisations and/or stakeholders from areas within the UK or across the world.

This award is open to:

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)
  • Students (individuals or small teams)

iii) Outstanding public contribution (for external partners)

This award recognises individuals or teams external to the University, which 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 and around 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. Nominations will not be accepted for members of the University’s Board of Governors or General Assembly.

iv) Outstanding contribution by our Cultural Institutions

This award recognises outstanding contributions made by our Cultural Institutions that have achieved demonstrable benefit through either engaging with or working in close partnership with communities locally, nationally and internationally.

This award is open to:

  • Staff from our Cultural Institutions (individual or small teams)

All entrants for each of the public and community awards engagement will be assessed on:

Shared purpose and aims: the engagement initiative is purposeful and meaningful. Consider: How is it linked to the University’s core goal of social responsibility? What needs were addressed? What were the aims and objectives of the engagement initiative? Who was involved and/or who has benefitted?

Innovation: the engagement is imaginative and creative. Consider: How does the initiative demonstrate an innovative response to a social, cultural, environmental or research challenge? What was innovative e.g. was an existing activity or resource used in a new way; did it engage under-represented audiences, or was this a new type of engagement activity in your discipline/area of work.

Impact and sustainability: the engagement has demonstrable evidence of impact and where appropriate sustained mutual benefit for both staff/students and communities. Consider: What has changed as a result of the initiative? How have the outcomes of the initiative been realised? What evaluation evidence best supports your statement? Has any external recognition been received? Does the initiative show evidence of sustained outcomes as appropriate to the timescale e.g. legacy materials or processes, an ongoing partnership or new partnerships, opportunities or collaborative activities?

5) Outstanding contribution to equality, diversity and inclusion

This award is to recognise innovation and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion 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 small teams)

  • Students (individuals or small teams)

Entrants will be assessed based on:

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

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

Innovation: Evidence of innovation in response to an equality, diversity and inclusion issues.

6) Outstanding professional services for social responsibility

This award is to recognise innovation and impact in the University’s professional services 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 Services.

Entrants will be assessed based on:

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

Innovation: Demonstrable evidence of 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.

7) Outstanding contribution to environmental sustainability

This award is to recognise innovation and commitment to environmental sustainability at The University of Manchester or in the local community. Two Awards will be given in this category - one for established projects and one for new projects (under 18 months).

The award is open to:

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)

  • Students (individuals or small teams)
  • Recent graduates/alumni (of up to 2 years, individuals or small teams)

Entrants will be assessed based:

Principles: The degree to which the principles of environmental sustainability are embedded into the project or initaitve.

Impact: Demonstrable impact of work/initiative.

Replication: Demonstrable evidence of how the initiative/approach be replicated.

8) 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 taking place locally, nationally or internationally. The award recognises contributions taking place outside of the University’s central widening participation team which support widening participation students across the whole student lifecycle including access, student success or progression.

The award is open to:

  • Staff (individuals or small teams)
  • Students (individuals or small teams)
  • Alumni/recent graduates (must have graduated from the University of Manchester in the last 10 years)

Staff and students 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 at any phase of the student lifecyle.

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

Nominations do not need to meet all of those criteria to be considered - they will be considered if they meet at least one of the criteria.

9) Volunteer of the Year Award

This award is managed and delivered by Student Development & Community Engagement Division and is applied for through a separate application process. The application process for this Award will open in January 2021 and will be accessible via this page.