BERA & SAGE Public Engagement and Impact Award

The British Educational Research Association and SAGE Publishing are pleased to announce the new 2017 Public Engagement & Impact Award is now open

This award recognizes the important impact of research and practice in the education community and celebrates significant educational research and its activities that have demonstrably engaged the public


Nominations are sought in respect of:

  1. individuals or teams whose educational research work has shown demonstrable public engagement and/or impact;
  2. practitioner(s) or policy-maker(s) whose activities are well grounded in educational research and have led to demonstrable public engagement and/or impact;
  3. persons whose activities have boosted public engagement with educational research and/or its impact, or whose efforts have increased recognition and support for education research in public policy.

For the purposes of this Award, ‘public engagement’ is broadly defined as activities that bring research and/or researchers and the public (or specific groups within the public) together. It is more than just disseminating research – effective public engagement is about two-way communication, with the researchers listening to and learning from participants or other stakeholders at different stages in the research process. Research Councils UK provide a helpful definition of public engagement – see
‘Impact’ is broadly defined 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.  It includes, but is not limited to, an effect on, change or benefit to:

  • the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy,
  • practice, process or understanding; of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals; in any Geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

Nominations are scored by a BERA selection panel and are framed by the following criteria:

  • Relevance (e.g. to the Association’s purposes)
  • Clarity (e.g. of the case as set out)
  • Quality (e.g. of the work undertaken to achieve impact)
  • Significance (e.g. of the impact itself).


Prize Details 

£500 worth of texts published by SAGE
Featured article in BERA’s magazine Research Intelligence
Your research presented as a BERA Blog
Submitting nominations
All nominations must take the form of a statement of up to 600 words that sets out clearly why the individual or team are worthy of recognition.  Please download the nomination form on the right side of this page
Nominations may also include up to one page of supporting evidence (one side of A4, no smaller than 11-point text).  This can list, for example: references pertaining to the original research, the impact, or both; relevant data; testimonial quotes; links to websites etc. 
Individuals or teams may nominate themselves, or be nominated by a third party, though this distinction will have no bearing on the judging process.

The 2017 Public Impact Award will open in May.


The winners of the 2016 BERA Sage Public Impact Award were Dr Alice Bradbury and Dr Guy Roberts-Holmes (UCL-IoE)

They were nominated for their work in challenging the goals set out for Baseline Assessment for assessing and tracking the progress of 4-5 year olds within the primary system, which led to the subsequent withdrawal of the policy as announced by the DfE in April 2016.

Baseline Assessment, was part of the policy “Reforming assessment and accountability for primary schools” (DfE, 2014) and was designed to produce a ‘baseline’ figure from which four and five year old children’s progress across the primary years can be measured. According to a DfE report from 2016, BA was to be ‘the only measure used to assess the progress of children from entry (at age four to-five-years) to the end of KS2 (age 10-11), alongside an attainment floor standard of 85 per cent’ (DfE, 2014: 4). Although other measures could still be used to demonstrate progress to KS2 for children starting reception in the school year 2015/16, all schools were encouraged to use the new baseline assessment – and most did.

The research was carried out in the autumn term of 2015, using a mixed methods approach involving a nationwide survey and five case studies of Reception classes in primary schools. An online survey was distributed via the NUT and ATL e-mail databases using the Bristol Online Survey service, and was completed by 1,131 people.