Social Responsibility


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 are enabling Manchester research to contribute significantly to economic, social, health, policy, 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: The ways in which 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. For early-career researchers good evidence of ‘emerging impact’ will be considered – particularly those that show great promise and potential in terms of the partnership and pathway elements of their application.

Partnerships: how have the researchers engaged users/beneficiaries in shaping and communicating around the research project?

Pathway: what was the knowledge exchange process, 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 innovation

This award is to recognise projects/enterprises that are demonstrating or have the potential to demonstrate the creation of a novel solution to a social problem.

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: Demonstrating innovative thinking through improvements in i.e. products, services, processes, technology, interventions, delivery etc.

Impact: Evidencing how the activity (products, services, business models) addresses a social problem and has a positive impact on individuals, organisations, the wider community.

Sustainability: Demonstrating the vision and model for sustainability, the effective use of available resources and working towards operating a sustainable business model.

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 five awards in this category:

i) Outstanding local engagement

ii) Outstanding national engagement

iii) Outstanding international engagement

iv) Outstanding public contribution

v) Outstanding contribution by our Cultural Institutions

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 Greater Manchester.

This award is open to

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

Outstanding national engagement (staff/student involvement)

This award recognises outstanding contributions made to national 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.

This award is open to

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

Outstanding international engagement (staff/student involvement)

This award recognises outstanding contributions made to international communities by staff or students that have achieved demonstrable benefit through either engaging with or working in close partnership with communities across the world.

This award is open to

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

Outstanding public involvement (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 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.

Outstanding contribution by our Cultural Institutions (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.

All entrants for each award will be assessed on:

Shared purpose and aims: the engagement is a response to a key social, cultural, environmental or scientific challenge that is clearly linked to the University’s core goal of social responsibility.

Innovation: the engagement is innovative and imaginative. For example this may be an existing activity being used in a new way, innovation in how resources are being used to engage audiences or 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.

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 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.

6) Outstanding professional support services and library support for social responsibility

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

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.

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.

The award is open to:

  • staff (individuals or small teams)

  • students (individuals or small teams)

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?

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, 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.

9) Volunteer of the Year Award

This award is managed and delivered by Student Development & Community Engagement Division. Further information can be found on the Volunteer of the Year Award website.

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