This award recognises the achievement of academics within and outside of the UK who are acknowledged to have made an outstanding and sustained contribution to advancing social policy scholarship. It is awarded annually to a person (or persons) who the judges consider meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • Has made a sustained contribution to scholarship, understanding and/or learning in the field of social policy
  • Has had a sustained impact on political process or discourse through advisory or consultancy work for governmental bodies, voluntary bodies, or recognition by journalists, campaigners and lobbyists, activists and user communities
  • Has achieved esteem measured in terms of leadership within the discipline, the promotion of social policy within other social sciences, membership of research councils or similar bodies

Eligibility conditions

This award is open to non-members of the SPA but at least one person making the nomination must be an SPA member.

Nomination process

  • Nominations must be supported by three nominators.
  • Nomination form must be submitted by the deadline.
  • Nominations using the nominations pro-forma should include a ‘Case for Award’ (500 words) and must be accompanied by the candidate’s full CV.

Judging process

The SPA judging panel will assess nominations and make recommendation(s) for the award that will be forwarded to SPA Executive Chair for approval by the Committee.


The winner(s) will be awarded £250.