Entry guidelines

Our awards are very simple to enter and are open to staff, students, alumni (Outstanding alumni contribution to social responsibilty) and external partners (Outstanding public contribution category).

All entries are be made using an entry form.

The information below will help you to prepare your entry. Here is a template entry form (Word), if you wish to prepare your answers offline/before completing the online entry form.

What is the deadline?

The 2024 Awards are closed for entries. The deadline for entry was midnight on 16 January 2024.

How do I submit an entry?

All entries must be submitted via the online entry form.

Please read the guidelines below before you submit your entry.


What should be included on the entry form?

We suggest that you prepare your entry before completing the online form. When completing the online form, you will be prompted to provide the following:

  • Contact details.
  • Whether the entry is a self-nomination or you are nominating someone else.
  • Mapping any of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that your project or initiative addresses. See our SDG pages for inspiration and further information about the goals.
  • The social responsibility strategic priority that your project or initiative addresses. Details of the social responsibility strategic themes can be found on the social responsibility website.
  • An overview of the project or initiative (50 words)
  • A description of the purpose, aims and activities that took place (250 words). Please carefully read and address the specific criteria for the category you are entering.
  • The impact of the project or initiative (200 words). This should include evidence of the outcomes and impact of the initiative (making reference to timescale and current status; any external recognition received, and quantitative and qualitative data if appropriate). Please carefully read and address the specific criteria for the category you are entering.
  • For marketing purposes, we also ask for the names and contact details of two people who we can contact for further information about this project/initiative if required. These should not be people who have been directly involved in the project/initiative, but someone who can speak knowledgeably about it.
  • You are also asked to provide up to three links to visual material, either photographs or films, about your initiative. These will not be used as part of the judging process, but may be used for marketing purposes if you are shortlisted.
  • To review the questions on the entry form before completing it, please see this template form. NB: Please do not use the Word document to submit your entry, please use the online entry form.
How much do I need to write to enter?

The submission text allows for up to 500 words in total. These should specifically address the key criteria set out for the relevant category.

If more than 250 in the description section and 200 words in the impact section words are submitted, the judges will disregard any additional words.

You will need to complete the form in one sitting and click ‘Submit’ to save and submit the nomination.

We suggest you prepare your 500-word submission before you complete the form, addressing the specific criteria for your category.


What timescales do the awards cover?

The work that underpins the project/initiative must have been undertaken at the University of Manchester and can have been produced at any point. However, the benefits/impacts described should have occurred in the past 18 months, except for the ‘Outstanding benefit to society through research’ category, where the benefits/impacts described should have occurred in the past three years.


Who can enter?

All staff and students who are currently working or studying at The University of Manchester are eligible to enter or nominate in all categories. You can apply yourself, or nominate someone else.

Alumni entries

Alumni can enter in the ‘Outstanding alumni contribution to social responsibility’ category.

External partner entries

External partners can enter in the public engagement category.

Staff and students can nominate external partners (members of the Board of Governors or General Assembly of the University) in the outstanding public engagement category (outstanding public contribution).

Please note that where the focus for staff, students and alumni has been in a voluntary capacity, you would normally be expected to enter the Volunteer of the Year Awards, which has a separate entry process.

If your entry relates to an initiative carried out in collaboration with another institution or organisation, the submission should come from the member of staff or a student from The University of Manchester. If you are successful, we will give credit to partner institutions and organisations at the awards ceremony where appropriate.

Individuals or teams can nominate themselves or be nominated by others (for example, by a colleague, manager, tutor, external partner).

If you are nominating somebody else, please inform the person of the nomination, as all entrants will receive correspondence from the Office of Social Responsibility informing them of the outcome of their entry.

Nominations are welcome from partners or colleagues outside of the University. However, they must be for a current member of staff or current student (barring those exceptions above).

Is there a cost to enter?

No, submissions for entry are free.

Do I need to submit supporting materials?

We do not require any supporting material as part of the entry. Any supporting materials submitted with the entry will not be considered as part of the judging process. However, you are asked to provide up to three links to visual material, either photographs or films, about your initiative. These will not be used as part of the judging process, but may be used for marketing purposes if you are shortlisted.

The judging will be solely based on the 500 words included in the main section of the entry form.

How do I ensure I write a good entry?

When preparing your submission please review and specifically address the award criteria. Ensure that your submission contains sufficient evidence of how you meet the criteria. This can include relevant facts and figures where appropriate.

We suggest you read the ‘Tips for entering the Making a Difference Awards‘ before you start your entry.

When will I find out if I have been successful?

The shortlist of entries will be published in March 2024. The winners and highly commended will be announced at the Awards ceremony on 9 May 2024.

Can previous winners apply?

Previous winners can enter in the same category again if there has been a substantial change or development in the project, or if you are entering for a different project or initiative. 

Previous entrants (highly commended or commended) are very welcome to submit an entry. Previous entrants are asked in the entry form to highlight evidence of further development of the project and any additional reach and impact.

Can I enter more than one category?

Entrants are asked to submit only one entry for a specific project or initiative per category. Submitting multiple entries into one category will not provide any advantage. Entrants are still able to submit entries for different projects or different initiatives in different categories.

All entries should address the specific judging criteria for the category that is being entered.

You may submit more than one entry per category when initiatives are distinctive and unrelated. Otherwise, it is advisable to combine the best elements of each into a stronger single entry.

What if my contact details change?

The contact details you provide in your entry form will be used throughout the awards process. If these details change after the form has been submitted, please send your new contact information by email to socialresponsibility@manchester.ac.uk.

Supplying additional information

If  you/or the nominee are part of any internal investigation, please discuss this with the Director of Social Responsibility before submitting your entry.

Will you use information in my application for publicity purposes?

By submitting an application form, you are agreeing for any information about your initiative to be used by the University in publicity materials.

Getting in touch

Please contact us if you have any general questions or queries about the awards.

Email: socialresponsibility@manchester.ac.uk