GW4 Open Research Prize 2023

Welcome to all information relating to the 2023 GW4 Open Research Prize awards

The winners of the inaugural GW4 Open Research Prize, celebrating best practice in open research, have been recognised in an online prize awards event, organised by Library Services Teams from across the GW4 Alliance universities and led, for this year, by the University of Bristol. 

Open research is a broad range of practices which, when combined, make research more accessible, transparent, reproducible and visible.

Professor Marcus Munafò, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research Culture at the University of Bristol, explains:

“Open Research is important from a number of perspectives, encouraging best practice, allowing data to be shared and re-used by others, and fostering good levels of quality control – greater transparency of work allows for scrutiny and error detection, improving our outputs. Significantly, academic work is often funded through public money and charitable donations. Making our work as open as possible allows those who have ultimately funded it to access the findings of our research – increasing its impact.” 

The Prize, which was delivered as part of GW4’s Open Research Week – an initiative by the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter – was first introduced by the University of Bristol in 2021 to celebrate and recognise the excellent work of researchers in making their research more accessible to all, thereby increasing its potential impact. For 2023, the Prize was extended to researchers from across all four Alliance universities.  

Researchers in all disciplines from across the Alliance were asked to submit applications, which demonstrated the listed open research practices, across four different prize categories: Widening Reach; Improving Quality; Poster Session Prize, and the GW4 Early Career Publishing Prize.   

The shortlisted applicants were selected to attend a cross-Alliance awards event, where they presented their entries to members of the public, academics and representatives from across the universities, with audience members invited to vote for the winning entries for three of the categories. The winner of the Early Career Publishing Prize was selected by a review panel. 

A number of high-quality entries were received from researchers across all disciplines. Four prizes of £250 were awarded across each of the four categories, with the winner of the GW4 Early Career Publishing Prize also invited to take their monograph proposal through the full Bristol University Press (BUP) commissioning process. 

Ed Fay, Director of Library Services at the University of Bristol, said:

"The University of Bristol’s commitment to open research is underpinned by our institutional policies for Open Access, and Research Data Management and Open Data. We have seen great success running the Open Research Prize at a local level, and were delighted to extend the Prize to our colleagues across the GW4 Alliance universities for 2023. The variety of submissions received, this year, shows a clear appetite for embedding the principles of open research across all disciplines – improving the impact of our work.” 

GW4 Alliance Director, Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE, said:

“We are delighted by the fantastic quality of entries that we’ve received for the GW4 Open Research Prize; the first time that this initiative has been run across all four of the GW4 Alliance institutions. Collaboration and innovation is at the heart of everything we do at GW4, and the calibre of this year’s Prize entries clearly demonstrates the excellent work being carried out by researchers across our universities, to make their research more discoverable and accessible by all.” 


The Prize Winners: 

Widening Reach Prize 

Improving Quality Prize 

Poster Session Prize 


GW4 Early Career Publishing Prize: 

New for 2023, the GW4 Early Career Publishing Prize is a pilot initiative from the GW4 Alliance, in collaboration with the Bristol University Press (BUP). It seeks to celebrate Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and support the prize winner in exploring publication of the research in their doctoral thesis as an open access monograph. 

Victoria Pittman, Editorial Director at Bristol University Press, said:

“Bristol University Press is a leading social science publisher, committed to making a difference. Collaborating with the GW4 Alliance on the Early Career Publishing Prize will be a fantastic chance to support a talented early career researcher with the opportunity to publish an open access monograph which has the potential to widen the accessibility and impact of their research, for the global community, and increase their visibility as a researcher.” 

This year’s winning entry for the GW4 Early Career Publishing Prize is: 

  • Alison Oldfield, University of Bristol: Going to the farm: A sociomaterial ethnography of autistic young people in a natural environment 


Shortlisted Runners Up: 

Widening Reach Prize 

Improving Quality Prize 

Poster Session Prize 

Previous Open Research prizes

Open Research Prize 2021

Open Research Prize 2022

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