Six Oxford social scientists shortlisted by ESRC for research making outstanding economic or societal impact

Six social scientists from Oxford Social Sciences have been shortlisted for a prestigious 'Celebrating Impact Prize' by the government's Economic and Social Research Council. Dr Julia Ebner, Dr Kate Orkin, and Lukas Lehner have been chosen for the 'outstanding economic or societal impact' of their research, making a difference to real-life world issues. Their research covers a breadth of areas including poverty, unemployment, terrorism and global kleptocracy.

Also shortlisted was a group including Oxford’s Professor Ricardo Soares de OliveiraTom Mayne and Dr Tena Prelec, members of the university’s Department of Politics and International Relations.  They are members of the Countering Kleptocracy Project team, led by the University of Exeter’s Professor John Heathershaw.

Read more at: Oxford research on poverty, unemployment, terrorism and global kleptocracy celebrated for real-world impacts | University of Oxford

julia ebner

Dr Julia Ebner

'Understanding indicators of proneness to extreme violence among online users'

Anthropologist Dr Julia Ebner, of Student of School of Anthropology, has been nominated for her insightful doctoral research, which is already having significant impact – helping to identify which extremist individuals and groups pose a risk of violence to the public, using her unique framework for assessing their online messaging.  


Dr Kate Orkin,

'Redesigning social protection in South Africa: poverty relief, job search and youth employment during COVID-19'

Economist Dr Kate Orkin, Blavatnik School of Government, has been nominated for the extraordinary impact of research-driven poverty relief measures, which have had a major impact in South Africa.


Lukas Lehner

'Designing a guaranteed job scheme to reduce long-term unemployment'

Lukas Lehner, a doctoral student with Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention, has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious awards for his research into a guaranteed job scheme to employ long-term unemployed people.

ricardo soares de oliveira
mayne thomas 20221103 research fellow
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Professor Ricardo Soares de OliveiraTom Mayne and Dr Tena Prelec

'Countering Kleptocracy Project'

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira, and Research Fellows, Tom Mayne and Dr Tena Prelec, in collaboration with academics from University of Exeter - Professor John HeathershawProfessor David Lewis and Dr Catherine Owen - have provided evidence of how money and reputation laundering are enabled by British financial and legal services. The research has led to the UK’s kleptocracy problem becoming a key part of public and political debate, and an increase in awareness of the extent of illicit finance from the former Soviet states in the country. It has influenced foreign policy and two key new pieces of legislation.



The research and related knowledge exchange work was supported by the ESRC, Global Integrity (FCDO), British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and the Joffe Trust.

All the researchers received ESRC funding for their work. The winners of impact prizes, of £10,000, will be announced  at an awards ceremony at the Royal Society, London, on 15 November 2023. According to the ESRC, ‘The ESRC Celebrating Impact Prize, now in its 11th year, is an annual opportunity to recognise the success of ESRC-funded researchers in achieving and enabling outstanding economic or societal impact from their research.’