Sociology Public Engagement Prize winners are announced

Researchers working to reduce the risk of social exclusion for older people in Greater Manchester, and to reduce the stigma of assisted reproduction in Iran have won the Sociology Public Engagement Prize.

Winner - staff


Chris Phillipson, with Luciana Lang, Sophie Yarker, Camilla Lewis, Tine Buffel, Patty Doran and Mhorag Goff won the staff prize for their work to reduce the risk of social exclusion for older people during the pandemic. When Covid 19 hit, the team used their existing community links to investigate the differing impacts on older people in Greater Manchester. Knowing that their findings would be useful for local authorities, practitioners, and policymakers, they produced a report and launched it with local authority and third sector partners. The report has been downloaded nearly 7,500 times. They then shared their research via an extensive programme of blogs and online presentations, to national and international third and public sector groups.

Winner – PhD student


Tiba Bonyad won the PhD student category for sharing her research on sperm and egg donation, surrogacy and reproductive justice in Iran. These methods for starting a family are not widely understood and donors and surrogates often face stigma and victimisation. Tiba wanted to change this by sharing her knowledge and expertise with a wide audience, in Iran where her research took place.

She was a guest on two episodes of the popular sex education podcast, Arishan, proving such a hit with listeners that she was asked back for a third Q&A episode. The three episodes were accessed over 30k times on Instagram alone.

Tiba also suggested a special issue of Zanan-e Emrooz, the most influential feminist magazine in Iran, on reproductive justice. She then wrote about her research in the lead article, and persuaded the editors to make it open access on their website to reach the widest possible audience.

Tiba showed that you can bring a complex topic to a wide audience and explain it in a way that is accessible and persuasive.


Highly commended - staff


Jessica Mancuso, David Dobson, Jaime García-Iglesias and Amy Barron were highly commended in the staff category for an innovative project to capture the stories of Manchester’s Gay Village. The original plan was to run in-person workshops followed by an in-person exhibition…but the pandemic meant none of this was possible. The team decided instead to collect stories online, using an interactive map where people could pin their stories about the gay village to a map of the area. The team promoted the project online via media networks (including MEN, Gaydio) and social media. They are now working on a non-academic book about the project for Manchester University Press.

·       View the Manchester Village Stories website