We are delighted to win the SSPP Impact Prize. It is testament to our team, spanning Cambodia and the UK, and to the fruitful inter-departmental collaboration which has compelled our interventionist research.Dr Nithya Natarajan, of the Department of International Development, and Professor Katherine Brickell, of the Department of Geography.
12 May 2023
Celebrating impactful research around the world
The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy held its 2023 Impact Awards to recognise and celebrate research that is having a real impact on societies around the globe.
World-changing research from across the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy (SSPP) was celebrated this week at the SSPP Impact Awards 2023.
At the event in Bush House, each of the finalists presented their work and the varied ways it has resulted in positive impacts at every level – from the global to the local – including influencing new laws, policymakers, politicians, businesses and individuals.
The research covered a wide range of topics including the gender pay, climate change denial, the challenge of China to liberal international order, military ethics, modern slavery and the cost-of-living crisis.
The overall winner of the SSPP Impact Award 2023, voted for by the audience, was the Blood Bricks project by Dr Nithya Natarajan, of the Department of International Development, and Professor Katherine Brickell, of the Department of Geography.
Their work focuses on the untold stories of modern slavery & climate change in Cambodia linked to its construction boom, which can see whole families debt-bonded to brick kilns. Their project uncovered the range of factors which lead to the situation including climate change, global fashion brands and poor public healthcare, and highlights the damage it is inflicting on individuals and wider society.
All the finalists received £2,000 to spend on impact activities and were invited to have a short film made by the faculty to showcase their work. The overall winner received an additional £1,000 and the opportunity to work with experts to continue to enhance the impact of their work. The full list of finalists was:
- Professor David Whetham and Professor Martin Bricknell, Enhancing Ethics Education for the Military - Medical and Military
- Dr Nithya Natarajan and Professor Katherine Brickell, Tackling Modern Slavery in Cambodian Brick Kilns, a Multi-Pronged Approach
- Dr Minna Cowper-Coles and Dr Caitlin Schmid, Global Impact on Gender Pay Gap Reporting
- Dr Zeno Leoni, Deconstructing China's challenge to the Liberal International Order
- Eleanor Dixon, Research-based strategies to address climate change-related misunderstandings in a complex sector
- Suzanne Hall, Understanding the impact of the cost-of-living crisis in London
Marypaz Ventura-Arrieta was also awarded runner-up prize in the category for PhD students for her research which focuses on the economic impact of regularizing immigrant status in the UK.
The event held on 9 May in The Exchange, was hosted by Professor Cathy McIlwaine, SSPP’s Vice Dean (Research) and Dr Julia Pearce, SSPP’s Associate Dean for Impact & Innovation, who outlined the faculty’s research and impact strategies, creating an impact-focused culture and the range of support and advice available for academics and researchers.
Many congratulations to all our brilliant finalists. The quality of applications was outstanding, and it was a real pleasure to be able to showcase the important real-world impacts of research in our faculty.Dr Julia Pearce, SSPP’s Associate Dean for Impact & Innovation
The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy aims to recognise, celebrate, incentivise and support impact at all stages of the research process. Our prize event reflects these aims.Professor Cathy McIlwaine, SSPP’s Vice Dean (Research)
During the event, each of the projects was discussed by an impact expert panel made up of:
- Nusrath Ahmed, Impact Manager for Humanities & Social Science at Queen Mary University
- Stephen Roberts, Research Engagement Manager, Research Strategy & Development at King’s College London
- Briony Turner, Programme Manager, WCRP Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) International Project Office at the European Space Agency
- Natalie Wall, Impact Lead (Social Sciences), Research Performance at King’s College London