Vice Chancellor’s Impact and Engagement Awards 2021 - guidance notes

The deadline for nominations is 15 June 2021.
Award applicants will be invited to attend the award ceremony and reception on the afternoon of 7 October 2021 in the Combination Room, The Old Schools (restrictions dependant). We ask that all applicants hold this date in their diary.

IMPORTANT:
Before you start completing the application forms

Please note that the online applications must be filled in one session. The forms do not have a "save and return later" option. If you end your session without completing the form with your final answers, you won't be able to return to it. Each answer is saved when you move to the next page pressing the right arrow button. We recommend looking at the PDF document of the applications available under each category to prepare all the answers and documents required in advance and start filling the online form once ready to submit.

Scope and eligible activities

The Awards recognise outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in impact and public engagement with research activity which has the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from research, and engage broad publics, new stakeholders and/or underserved audiences.

Impact and engagement activities include, but are not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

  • Activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding
  • Stakeholders, audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals
  • Any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally
  • Reduction or prevention of harm, risk, cost or other negative effects
  • Major impacts on curricula and teaching pedagogy which extend significantly beyond the University of Cambridge
  • Research communication through a variety of media
  • Engagement with research through festivals, exhibitions, performances, partnerships with arts, heritage and cultural and community organisations
  • Engagement with policy-makers
  • Engagement through business and industry collaborations
  • Engagement with any other non-academic stakeholder group which has potential for social, economic and/or cultural impact
  • Commercialisation of research through spin-outs and licensing
  • Partnerships with public services including the wider education sector and schools, NHS, local government, government agencies, and other public bodies

Impact on research or the advancement of academic knowledge within the higher education sector (whether in the UK or internationally) is excluded.

Award categories and criteria

Early Career Researcher

Open to current University of Cambridge PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and research fellows. Award candidates must be based at the University of Cambridge at the point of application. Impact and engagement activities should be strongly linked to research conducted at The University of Cambridge.

Strong applications could highlight some of the following:

  • A strong relationship between high-quality engagement or generated impact, and underpinning research
  • Evidence of a collaborative approach between researcher and partners/stakeholders for mutual benefit
  • Evidence of the benefits, changes and/or effects of the engagement/impact to the research, researcher and/or publics
  • Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach by the researcher, noting how learning from the activity has been shared more widely
  • An active and leading role by the researcher in making impact and/or engagement happen

Established Academic

Open to current University of Cambridge academic and research staff (excluding PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and research fellows who are encouraged to apply for the Early Career Researcher Award).

Strong applications could highlight some of the following:

A strong relationship between high-quality engagement or generated impact, and underpinning research
Evidence of a collaborative approach between researcher and partners/stakeholders for mutual benefit
Evidence of the benefits, changes and/or effects of the engagement/impact to the research, researcher and/or publics
Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach by the researcher, noting how learning from the activity has been shared more widely
An active and leading role by the researcher in making impact and/or engagement happen

Collaboration Award

Open to teams or partnerships between current University staff/students at all career stages and/or external partners.

Strong applications could highlight some of the following:

  • A strong relationship between high-quality engagement or generated impact, and underpinning research
  • Evidence of a collaborative approach between researchers and partners/stakeholders for mutual benefit
  • Evidence of the benefits, changes and/or effects of the engagement/impact to the research, researchers and/or publics
  • Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach by researchers and partners, noting how learning from the activity has been shared more widely
  • An active and leading role by the researchers and partners in making impact and/or engagement happen

Professional Service Award

Open to current University of Cambridge professional support staff (including staff with Public Engagement and Impact in their job description).

Strong applications could highlight some of the following:

  • Evidence of the benefits, changes and/or effects of the supported engagement/impact to research, researchers, institutional structures, and/or public
  • Evidence of the benefits to external partners
  • Evidence of a collaborative approach between professional staff, researchers and partners/stakeholders for mutual benefit
  • The reach and significance of the support and/or activities undertaken
  • Demonstration of a reflective/evaluative approach, noting how learning from the activity has been shared more widely
  • Demonstrated leadership in creating, adopting or supporting innovative approaches to impact and engagement activity.

College researchers and college professional staff are fully eligible to apply for all of these awards.

Application and Award process

  • Applications must be made using the appropriate online application form.
  • For any questions please contact Dr Selen Etingu-Breslaw by email: selen.etingubreslaw@admin.cam.ac.uk. Applications should be submitted no later than 15 June 2021.
  • Applications can be made for multiple categories.
  • Applicants from previous award years are welcome to apply again with further developed projects. Previous award winners may apply again with new activities but will not be judged again on the same project.
  • Underpinning research must be conducted from January 2000 to date with impact generated from August 2013 to date.  
  • Together with the application, please submit a head shot of the applicant/team as well as some images/visualisations showcasing the project. These will be used for the award ceremony and any linked promotions of the event.
  • All applicants will be invited to an award ceremony and reception hosted by the Vice-Chancellor on the afternoon of 7 October 2021 where the winners will be announced. We ask applicants to hold this date in their diary.
  • Winners will be asked to participate in University-wide and external communications about the Research Impact and Engagement Awards.

Assessment

Applications will be judged by an interdisciplinary panel including internal and external professional staff, academics and research users.

Further advice and support

Please contact Dr Selen Etingu-Breslaw with any queries or for advice on your application: selen.etingubreslaw@admin.cam.ac.uk