IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE academics awarded prestigious UKRI prize for social and economic impact

3 November 2022

Professors Heather Joshi and Lorraine Dearden have been recognised for their work in inequality and access to education at the 10th ESRC Celebrating Impact Awards.

Professors Heather Joshi and Lorraine Dearden at the UKRI ESRC impact prize awards 2022

Emeritus Professor Joshi was awarded the inaugural John Hills Impact Prize for her outstanding contribution to addressing social inequality as part of the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), now at IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society.

Professor Joshi said: “I was always encouraged to take advantage of the career opportunities which women in previous generations lacked. Early in my career I was able to demonstrate how longitudinal data shed useful light on women’s role in the economy and as mothers. I was fortunate to join the team keeping the British Birth Cohort studies going. This was the Centre for Longitudinal Studies after it came to IOE in 1998, and where I headed the first 11 years of Millennium Cohort Study.  

“The career achievements recognized in the Impact ESRC award were not single handed. They are based on teamwork for which many colleagues should share the credit. Today the cohort studies are flourishing thanks to their work, the continuing investment by the ESRC and the infrastructure now provided by UCL.”

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Professor Dearden was awarded the Outstanding Public Policy Impact award, alongside Professor Bruce Chapman (Australian National University), for their work on to make student loan repayments fairer and more affordable in Colombia.

Professor Dearden said: "I am very honoured to receive this award with Professor Bruce Chapman from the Australian National University. The changes that will occur to Colombia's Student Loan system from next January will transform the lives of tens of thousands of higher education students from the poorest backgrounds in Colombia.

“The reform would not have occurred without the funding support of the ESRC via the Centre for Global Higher Education, the support from UCL and importantly the local analysts within the Colombian Student loan company ICETEX - including current UCL MSc Data Science and Public Policy student and UCL scholarship holder, Germán Pulido."

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Other UCL researchers recognised in the Prize’s tenth year includes the team behind UCL’s COVID-19 Social Study, which took home the award for Outstanding Societal Impact for their work tracking the real time impacts of the pandemic on individuals and communities across the UK. CLS Research Fellow Liam Wright was part of the study team, which was led by Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care).


Image: Meghan Rainsberry, UCL.