ESRC award for Professor Jenny Kitzinger's work on catastrophic brain injury
25 June 2015
Professor Jenny Kitzinger has jointly won the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) 2015 Outstanding Impact in Society Award.
The award recognises the work Professor Kitzinger has conducted, alongside her colleague, and sister, Professor Celia Kitzinger (University of York), on family experiences of coma, the vegetative and minimally conscious state.
The research prompted public debate and discussions of medical ethics and has informed policy documents including new National Clinical Guidelines on prolonged disorders of consciousness.
The two researchers also worked with colleagues at Oxford University and with the DIPEx charity to use their research to create a multi-media, on-line resource providing information and support for families and practitioners.
Launched in September 2014, the resource has already reached over 4,000 people and is also being used in training health care and legal practitioners.
The work has also been translated into a Radio 3 programme, 'Coma Songs' (co-produced by Jenny Kitzinger) which challenges common cultural misrepresentations of comas and has reached over 60,000 people.
In addition to the ESRC award, the research received national recognition earlier this year coming joint-runner up in the Guardian University Awards 2015 and won Cardiff University's Innovation Policy Award earlier this month.
Professor Kitzinger said: "This research could not have been developed without the commitment of all the family members who shared their experiences so openly – including agreeing to be filmed for the healthtalk.org resource.
"There are many challenges ahead, but the centrality of hearing from those directly involved, lays strong foundations laid for further work in this field."
The ESRC's Celebrating Impact Prize recognises and rewards the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic and societal impacts.
Dr Hester Parr, University of Glasgow, was the other joint winner. The winners were announced at Central Hall Westminster, London on 24 June.