UCL News


Missing people project wins ESRC impact award

29 June 2015

The Geographies of Missing People, a research project co-designed by the Acting Head of UCL Public Policy, Dr Olivia Stevenson, has won the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Society.


The research, conducted at the University of Glasgow and led by Dr Hester Parr, has transformed policing guidance on the handling of missing persons and their families.

Dr Stevenson said: "Over three years, the research materials and project reports have reached a quarter of frontline officers in England and Wales - more than 30,000 of them. The research also led to changes to 'good practice' handling of missing persons by Police Scotland. Thus the project has achieved one of its key aims: to change police attitudes to missing people and their families."

The annual ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize recognises and rewards the successes of ESRC-funded researchers who have achieved, or are currently achieving, outstanding economic and/or societal impacts.



  • Dr Olivia Stevenson, Acting Head of UCL Public Policy