Researchers scoop three Social Research Association awards

8 December 2017

Social Research Association Awards 2017

Researchers from the School of Social Sciences took home three awards at the prestigious Social Research Association awards, held at the Senedd this week.

The awards are held to recognise and celebrate the outstanding research undertaken by social science researchers in Wales.

Professor Chris Taylor, co-director of the Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD), was awarded the Research Impact Award for research in Evaluating the Foundation Phase, the curriculum for 3-7 year olds.

When responding to the award, Professor Taylor said “I would like to acknowledge all the research champions outside of universities that really make the difference in giving our research impact. This includes government social researchers who work closely with their policy colleagues to ensure evidence informs policy decision, and school practitioners who engage with the latest evidence in order to develop effective teaching and learning.

“I would also like to give thanks to the organisations, including the media and think-tanks, who aid the public in engaging with and debating our research.”

The Looked After Children in Education (LACE) Research Team, led by Dr Dawn Mannay, were awarded the Research Innovation Award for demonstrating innovation in their engagement with looked after children in their research. Judges remarked that “the methods employed gave the children a voice and a safe medium for them to explore a range of issues that affected their lives.”

Of winning the award, Dr Dawn Mannay said: “We are really pleased to receive this award, and to have the opportunity to highlight the recommendations and suggestions for change made by care experienced children and young people in the study.

“I would like to give thanks to our partners Voices from Care Cymru, The Fostering Network and all the children, young people and researchers involved in the study. I would also like to thank the Welsh Government for funding the original project that allowed us to carry out our research.”

The Early Career Researcher of the Year award was given to Dr Sophie Hallett, of the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE), for her research on child sexual exploitation in Wales.

This award is given to a researcher with under 5 years of research experience who has demonstrated impact through their creativity, ideas and ability. Judges remarked that Dr Hallett is “an outstanding early career researcher, whose theoretically informed empirical research has a genuine and significant real-world impact.”

Dr Hallett said of her win “I was so pleased to be nominated and shortlisted alongside the other nominees, it was a real unexpected delight to receive the award. It is, of course, an award that belongs also in part to those who have participated in my research, and those colleagues both within the University and outside of it who have supported me along the way.

“It was wonderful to be part of an event celebrating the positive impact that social science research can have on policy and practice, and the lived experience of young people and practitioners.”

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