Celebrating Success at the SPA’s Awards 2023

Caption: Professor Jane Millar presenting the Excellence in Doctoral Research Award to Sunwoo Ryu (Steve Iafrati / Social Policy Association).

One of the highlights of the Social Policy Association calendar is our awards ceremony, held during the annual conference dinner each year. This year, the ceremony took place at the University of Nottingham.

The awards ceremony was also preceded by a speech from the SPA’s president, Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

The judging panel for the awards was made up of Professor Jane Millar, Professor Jon Glasby, Dr Rod Hick, and Dr Hardeep Aiden from the Health Foundation.

Jane Millar also kindly presented framed certificates to award winners at the ceremony (see photo gallery below).

One of our most important awards celebrates the best paper presented by a doctoral student at the previous year’s conference. This was awarded to Sunwoo Ryu for her paper The Politics of Cash Benefits for Children in South Korea. We also awarded the Policy Press Award for Outstanding Teaching to the Policy Team, University of Nottingham.

The Cambridge University Press Awards for Excellence in Social Policy Scholarship, for the best article published in each of the SPA’s journals, were won by:

CUP kindly make all three winning articles, shortlisted articles and the back catalogue of award winners, free to access for a period following the announcement.

2023’s Career Achievement Award went to Professor John Mohan, Director of the Third Sector Research Centre and Professor of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. His acceptance speech emphasised the collaborative nature of his achievements in the field, and his pride in both carrying on older traditions of social policy research on the role of the third sector, and supporting the careers of the next generation of scholars in the field.

Finally, the Richard Titmuss Award went to the Policy Press co-authored book A Year Like No Other: Life on a Low Income During COVID-19. Judges were unanimously moved by the beautifully written chronicle of the impact of the pandemic, and by the innovative participatory approach the book shows. Ruth Patrick and other authors were joined on stage by two of their research participants, including Aurora, who made a moving speech. In her eloquent words:

“This award is important! Our hope was to impact and form social policy for those on a low income. This award will raise awareness and help silent, disadvantaged households receive a hearing when so much media attention is currently focused on the political elite, who have cheated and lied during lockdown.”

Following the conference, SPA Awards Officer Ellen Stewart commented:

“The quality of this year’s nominations and eventual winners demonstrates the enduring breadth of valuable work happening in social policy scholarship and teaching both in the UK and internationally. Our awards rely on the engagement of our members in nominating colleagues for awards, and also on the thoughtful deliberations of Executive committee members and our judging panel: a team effort that allows us to celebrate the achievements of our broader social policy community. Many congratulations to all this year’s well-deserved winners.”

A full list of winners from this and previous years’ awards can be read on the SPA website here. You can also read more about our annual awards programme here.

Please see a selection of photos from the awards ceremony below (credit for all: Steve Iafrati / Social Policy Association).