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Research Strategy Office


The University runs two sets of parallel awards to recognise achievements in the areas of Impact and Public Engagement with Research.

Applications for the Impact and Public Engagement with Research Awards are currently closed.

Impact Awards

The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Impact were established to recognise and reward those whose research has led to excellent impact beyond academia.  For the purpose of the Awards, ‘impact’ is understood as:

"An effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia."

Nominations are welcome from research staff across the University. The underlying research must have been undertaken by at least one researcher (post-doctoral researcher or academic) employed by the University of Cambridge at the time research was conducted. In line with REF eligibility rules postgraduate students are not eligible to apply; research conducted jointly by research staff and postgraduate students is eligible, but the research staff must be the named nominee(s).

Those eligible for awards may self-nominate or can be nominated by someone else.

Nominations will initially be assessed by a panel of School-nominated judges, with one prize of £1,000 being awarded to the best impact in each School. The overall best impact award, selected by an external judge, will be given to the best of these School winners and the prize for this award will be an additional £1,000.

To apply:

  • Download Guidance for Applications and Nomination Form
  • Upload your form and any evidence to the Impact Repository [if you cannot access the repository via this link, please speak to your Departmental Administrator who will arrange access or upload depending on departmental policy]
  • Submit your application to

Please contact Catherine Hurley, Deputy REF Manager (Impact), with any questions or comments about the Impact Awards:, 01223 7 39201.

Read about the 2018 Impact Award winners.

Read about the 2017 Impact Award winners.

Read about the 2016 Impact Award winners.

Public Engagement with Research Awards

Do you dedicate your time and expertise to public engagement with research here at the University of Cambridge? Have you undertaken an innovative project, brought research to a new audience, worked creatively or collaboratively to raise the profile or impact of research? Then get your contribution recognised by the Vice-Chancellor and receive a £1,000 prize.

We are looking for researchers and staff across all six academic Schools at the University, from every career stages, to submit an application. Previous applicants are encouraged to reapply with revised applications.

To be eligible for an award the public engagement undertaken must:

  • Be underpinned by contemporary research
  • Involve elements of dialogue and two-way exchange
  • Engage people and organisations from beyond academia

To apply:

  1. Read our full terms and reference.
  2. Watch short films of our 2016 winners.
  3. Download an application form.
  4. Submit your application to

If you have any questions regarding a potential application, please contact the Public Engagement team at

Read about the Public Engagement with Research Awards.

The Awards are supported by the University’s RCUK Catalyst Seed Fund