Best Policy Impact Initiative

This award recognises an individual or team for a successful activity or initiative where research findings and communications have influenced the formation or implementation of public policy. This may be through working with politicians, civil servants or any other type of policymakers or influencers at any geographical location.

Watch this video to learn about our shortlisted nominees for the 2023/24 award!




Sarah Cassidy - School of Psychology, Faculty of Science

Sarah Cassidy’s research and partnership with national charity Autistica, was instrumental in proving the increase suicide risk for autistic individuals with up to 42% of individuals who die by suicide in the UK likely to be autistic but not yet diagnosed. Her relationships with organisations such as the NHS and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee as well as her work briefing MP’s and giving policy recommendations was instrumental in getting autistic people recognised as a high-risk group in the UK Suicide Prevention Strategy as well as getting their voices included in a call for action to improve suicide prevention support for autistic individuals. 



Matthew Boyd - School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science

Professor Boyd’s evaluation into a New Medicine Service (NMS) was instrumental in improving medicines adherence in community practice and influenced policy after the UK government and NHS used this research to improve the nations public health through pharmacy services who now deliver the NMS across England. Success from the NMS evaluation which found it had saved £558M for the NHS and resulted in 213,952 quality adjusted life years. Furthermore, his role in the Pharmacist-led Information Technology Intervention for Medical Errors (PINCER), has supported their fantastic work and led to the work being used in five national policy and guidance documents by NICE and the NHS. This has now been implemented in 77% of clinical commissioning group in England and has reached over 25 million patients. 


Caroline Emberson - Business School, Faculty of Social Sciences

Caroline Emberson’s research advocated for the development of national guidelines for modern slavery risk assessment and due diligence across adult social care in England. Her work with the Local Government Association and three local authorities in developing these guidelines led to them being published in October 2023 which was then launched at the LGA webinar attended by over 180 Local Authority personnel. Furthermore, Caroline’s recommendations and template for multi-functional workshops to support the development of local action plans was instrumental in the continued implementation of this guidance including action taken by the Commissioning Care Wales Partnership Group who have included modern slavery in its national market risk assessment.


Bagus Muljadi - School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

Dr Muljadi’s global engagement activities with Indonesia has significantly strengthened the relationship between the UK and Indonesia. His leadership led to UoN being featured in the UK-Indonesia Partnership Roadmap 2022-2024 which has formal agreement with the West Java Government which is the most populace in Indonesia with over 50 million people, and significantly improves the UK’s influence in Indonesia. His work also led to the insurance of Governorial Decree by West Java which gives provision for UoN to build a technology translation centre. 





Professor Alex Trautrims  representing the Rights Lab Business and Economies Programme

Nominated for the partnership with British Standards Institute (BSI), the UK's national standards body, to develop the world's first national standard against modern slavery. Launched in 2022, iy provides much needed guidance to help organisations within the UK and globally to eradicate modern slavery.
Professor Alex Trautrims (Associate Director of the Business team) and Dr Akilah Jardine (Rights Lab Visiting Fellow in Antislavery Business) co-chaired the standard drafting committee, comprising 50 leading experts Other Business team members, including Selim Cakir, Caroline Emberson, Thomas Chesney, Ann Touboulic, Jamie Wardman and Lois Bosatta have played a key role in the standard's development and dissemination.
The standard has galvanised action across Whitehall, including by the DLME, FCDO and the UK's Migration and Modern Slavery Envoy, who have requested the Business team's advice and support in implementing the Standard. The business team has subsequently been invited to present their work at a wider Cross-Whitehall Policy Network meeting. 
This solutions-oriented work by the Business team has cemented the Rights Lab and University of Nottingham's reputation as the leader of national and international modern slavery policy-making. The team now regularly provides support to HMG (including the Home Office, FCDO, and DLME), the GLAA, and as well as international actors such as the OSCE and the Canadian Government.
The team are continuing to work with the BSI to launch new modern slavery awareness training, and work with the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to develop an international equivalent, which has already secured the interest and involvement of key policy partners, including the Home Office Modern Slavery Unit. More on their work below:


Dr Xuan Feng – Associate Professor, HRM and Organisational Behaviour, UNNC

She is nominated for her extensive work with with the local policymakers from Ningbo municipal government sectors, helping them develop talent strategies and practices. Through her research, she fostered communications among the government, companies, local and international communities and international talents, leveraged existing policies and resourcing schemes and developed initiatives that combined the advantages of the University (UNNC) with the local development needs.Her research outputs have significantly supported talent acquisition and development at local and international levels.
Xuan has received high recognition at the municipal level for research excellence. Apart from solid partnerships with various municipal government sectors, Xuan has close working relationships with local enterprises and talent communities. More on her work below:

Dr Fernando Casal Bertoa – Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations

He is nominated for his research examining the impact of public party funding regulations on the way party politics develops in post-communist (Eastern European and post-Soviet) countries. His academic research published in internationally top-ranking journals, and his policy reports for the Office for Democratic institutional and Human Rights (ODIHR), Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), International IDEA and UNDP demonstrate how public funding of political parties contributes to the stabilization of post-communist party systems.
His research has shaped the contents of the new 2020 Guidelines on Political Party Regulation  elaborated by the Venice Commission (VC) and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and has influenced changes of the new Armenian Party Law. His contributions to International IDEA’s project on “Money in Politics” and ODIHR’s Missions and Legal Opinions have influenced both constitutional  and legislative  eforms in Mongolia. Finally, his research has informed multiple Legal Opinions elaborated by OSCE/ODIHR. More on his work:




Professor Eamonn Ferguson

Professor Eamonn Ferguson is a Professor of Health Psychology in the School of Psychology. He is nominated for his  behavioural research focused on blood and organ donor behaviour, which has led to a substantial impact on UK policy regarding blood donor and organ donor selection, leading to significant changes to UK blood donation policy. These policy changes have focused on increasing the diversity and equality in donor selection, in terms of sexuality and ethnicity, while maintaining the safety of UK blood. Professor Ferguson sits on the For the Assessment of Individualized Risk (FAIR) project committee, where he heads the behavioural science arm. Theeir recommendations and behavioural selection algorithm were presented to the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) in September 2020, who approved the policy change. This policy change was given ministerial approval and officially accepted by the Department of Health and Social Care in December 2020 and implemented across the UK in June 2021. All blood donors in the UK are now selected on the grounds of their sexual behaviour and not their sexuality. Prof Ferguson's work has directly impacted policy change to enhance equality, diversity and fairness in UK blood, organ and tissue donor selection. More on his work below: 


Dr Rebecca Fisher

Dr Rebecca Fisher is a Stroke Association Senior Lecturer at the School of Medicine. She is nominated for providing robust evidence to drive improvements in community-based stroke care policy and servce delivery in the UK, and influencing guidelines in Canada and USA. Dr Fisher jointly led a task and finish group to produce a National Integrated Community Stroke Rehabilitation service model. This was circulated in August 2020 to twenty new Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks covering all CCGs in England. Her recent NIHR HS&DR study ‘What is the impact of stroke Early Supported Discharge’ study, was critical in developing plans for the NHS England stroke rehabilitation pilot initiative.  Her on-going research will inform evaluation of the rehabilitation pilots and ultimately how the performance of services across the country will be monitored using national data. This programme of work will drive quality improvements for stroke survivors and, crucially, will address geographical health inequities. Please follow this link to find out more on her work: Supporting stroke services through the pandemic 

Professor Louise Mullany

Professor Louise Mullany is a Professor of Sociolinguistics in the School of English. She is nominated for her collaborative work with Dr Trickett from Nottingham Trent University on a trailblazing approach to addressing violence, abuse and harassment of women and girls. They studied the impact of Nottinghamshire Police’s misogyny hate crime policy, the first of its kind in the world, with members of the public, victims and police officers. Their analysis provided systematic evidence of the type and intensity of public harassment, violence and discrimination faced by women and girls, showing beyond doubt that harassment is the cornerstone of rape and domestic violence. Their research spoke to the intersectional nature of violence, abuse and harassment based not only on gender, but also ethnicity, race, culture and religion. The research has played a significant role in advocacy for legal, policing and societal change, influencing the Law Commission’s decision to use ‘gender or sex’ rather than the too ‘elitist, academic, commonly misunderstood term ‘misogyny’’ (Law Commission Review of Hate Crime, 2019-20). Since then, the House of Lords has confirmed that gender/sex hate crime will be recorded in a national roll-out of police recording from September 2021. She won the Times Higher Educaion Outstanding Contribution to Local Community Award in 2021. More on her work below:




The Horizon Unbias project team, led by Dr Elvira Perez Vallejos, for their work to support informed policy making in a digital world.



  • Professor Gary Rawnsley (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNNC), for their contribution to government understanding of soft power and foreign policy.

  • Dr Lisa Yon (School of Veterinary Medicine and Science), for their contribution to the development of new government guidelines on elephant welfare.

  • Dr Peter Chapman (School of Psychology), for their work on the See Bike, Say Bike campaign.




Professor Paul Mizen (School of Economics), for their work on the Decision Maker Panel.



  • Professor Ian Macdonald (School of Life Sciences), for their work to inform the UK Government's Childhood Obesity strategy.
  • Dr Rozilini Mary Fernandez-Chung (Centre for Academic Parternships and Engagement - UNM), for their work on higher education policies and practice.