Celebrate changemakers in the impact debate


Impact is the provable effects of research in the real world. It is far more than citations.  It is the changes we can see beyond academia which happen because of our research.

Real Impact sits at the heart of our business.  Our core ethos is making a difference through research, and we are proud of our heritage supporting the communication of research for policy and practice.

We recognise the importance of impact beyond citations and champion the pursuit of meaningful impact.  We seek to celebrate those that place impact at the top of their agenda and work in collaboration with others to achieve their goals.

We are committed to supporting meaningful, real world impact and delighted to launch our inaugural Real Impact Awards, celebrating the institutions, teams and individuals that have made a commitment to impact.

We invite you to submit the story of your commitment as we honour the changemakers in the impact debate.

The Real Impact Awards aim to:

  • Raise the profile of individuals, teams and institutions that have placed real impact at the top of their agenda
  • Recognise innovative approaches to impact
  • Celebrate interdisciplinary research
  • Bridge the gap between research and practice
  • Tell the real impact success stories and showcase those driving the debate


We will celebrate impact commitment across three groups – institutions, teams and individuals.  Entries are welcomed from across all research disciplines and multidisciplinary projects are actively encouraged.

Individual Impact Commitment

Recognising individuals that go above and beyond to support the pursuit of impact.  Without limitation to those that can be nominated, this award is primarily centred on those that blend their roles to include a commitment to impact in all that they do. 

Team Impact Commitment

Highlighting the team, whether within or across institutions, networks, associations or other groups, that has a unified commitment to impact.

Institutional Impact Commitment

Celebrating the most forward-thinking, future-looking institution in the impact debate.

Judging Criteria

All nominees must be able to demonstrate commitment in at least one of the five ‘Cs’ of impact health:

  • Commitment – The extent to which the organisation, team or individual is committed to impact through strategy, systems, staff development or other means of integrating impact into research
  • Connectivity – The extent to which the organisational units, team or individuals work together, showing a cohesive approach towards a shared goal
  • Clarity – Efforts to build impact knowledge and understanding, extending impact thinking beyond traditional expectations of academic research, and clarifying roles to support impact delivery
  • Competencies – Building impact-related skills at individual, team or organisation levels, and valuing impact expertise
  • Co-production – The extent of, and quality of, engagement with non-academics to generate impactful research and meaningful effects

The Prize

All those shortlisted will have their impact commitment celebrated through a case study written by our specialist editors.  Each case study will form part of our Real Impact Awards Showcase book which will awarded to each shortlisted nominee after the event.

Winners will also receive a certificate and physical award, with further publicity across Emerald websites, social media and press.


We invite nominations from all stakeholders in impact. Whether you are based at an institution, from practice, policy or funding, we want to hear from you to celebrate the real impact success stories.

Each shortlisted nominee will be given the opportunity to be included within an exclusive Real Impact Showcase publication, working with our specialist Editors to create an engaging case study that tells the story of your impact commitment.

Please download and complete the nominations form and return it to realworldimpact@emeraldgroup.com by midday on Friday 12th October 2018.

Awards Celebrations

The Real Impact Awards celebration and networking event will take place in early December 2018.  Date and venue to be confirmed shortly.

Attendance will be by invitation only.


Want to know more about the Real Impact Awards, nominations or do you just need a few queries answered? See our FAQs below for everything you need to know.

How do I make a nomination?

Our entry guidelines can be found on the nominations form. Simply download and complete the nomination form and email the completed form to realworldimpact@emeraldgroup.com.

When do nominations open?

Nominations are open now!

When will nominations close?

Nominations will close at 12 noon on Friday 12th October 2018.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes, you are allowed to nominate yourself, your team or the institution at which you are based, but please make this clear on the nomination form.

Can I nominate a colleague from my institution?

Yes, we welcome nominations both from within your own institution and/or from others.

Do I have to inform the nominee that I have put them forward?

Yes, please inform the nominee prior to submitting your nomination form.  Should they be successful, there are opportunities for them to work with us on a celebratory case study so it’s crucial that they are aware of the nomination in advance.

What does it cost to enter?

Nothing – entry is free of charge

What happens if I am nominated but cannot attend the Awards Ceremony?

If you are lucky enough to win, the announcement will be made at the ceremony and the certificate and award will be sent to you.

Can I nominate for more than one category?

Yes, you may nominate for as many categories as you wish but you must complete a separate nomination for each category.

Can I make more than one nomination to a single category?

Yes. If entries are distinctive and unrelated you may make more than one nomination.

How are nominations judged?

Our Impact Council, a board of primary stakeholders in impact, will review and judge all nominations, alongside the CEO of Emerald Publishing.

I need more information

Contact realworldimpact@emeraldgroup.com and we will be more than happy to help!