The purpose of these awards is to celebrate innovation, advocacy and good practice, whilst addressing and reflecting upon some of the issues and barriers faced by researchers who engage in open research. The scheme also continues to bring about long-term cultural change at the University by showcasing the work of our community and encouraging staff and students to engage in and discuss open research practice as it applies to their discipline. 

The core values and principles of open research are outlined in the University Open Research Statement:

The core idea behind open research is that all aspects of the research cycle should be shared and accessible where possible… It makes the research process transparent and creates new opportunities for outputs and methods to be reused, reproduced and credited. It generates an environment for more effective and efficient research, and a culture where open is the default.

Examples of existing open research practices and initiatives across various disciplines are available on the Open Research at York web page. The Library’s Open Research Practical Guide also provides an overview of different practices and how they can be applied to research. 

These awards have been organised by the University Open Research Strategy and Operations Groups in close collaboration with the Open Research Advocates network and colleagues from the University Library. 

This initiative has been made possible thanks to Research England enhancing research culture funding.


The submission form is open from Tuesday 19 April 2022. All entries must be submitted using the form provided by the deadline of 12 noon on Monday 16 May 2022.

Entries can be submitted by individuals, or on behalf of a group. The individual who submits the entry (the main entrant) must be a University of York affiliated member of staff or student, although groups may include staff and/or students based at other institutions. Members of the University Open Research Strategy and Operations Group and awards judging panel are not permitted to enter. 

Submissions must be based on an original research project or initiative (ongoing or completed) and must acknowledge any inspiration or work taken from existing projects or initiatives. If the research project or initiative has been funded (either internally or externally) then this should also be clearly acknowledged. The awards planning team reserves the right to reject any entries which do not meet these basic criteria for submission. 

All main entrants will receive a goody bag of York Open Research branded merchandise (see below), subject to availability. 

York Open Research goody bag, featuring a tote bag, pen, notebook and vinyl sticker

Judging process and criteria

Following the submissions deadline entries may be shortlisted by the awards planning team, depending on the volume of submissions received. Eligible submissions will then be sent to the judging panel, comprising of one member of each faculty and an ECR representative, for consideration.

The criteria for judging (and shortlisting, if necessary) will be as follows:

The judging panel reserve the right not to comment on individual submissions in cases where there may be a conflict of interest. 

The planning team will aim to notify and congratulate all awardees within two weeks of the submissions deadline, and will also notify unsuccessful entrants around the same time. A summary of awardees and their projects or initiatives will be announced more widely through the University website, social media and internal communication channels before the end of Summer term. 

The judging panel’s decision is final, and they reserve the right to award additional prizes to other entrants at their discretion, depending on funding availability.

The panel for the 2022 awards scheme is as follows:


The award prizes will be allocated as follows:

Any remaining funds will be used at the judging panel’s discretion, for example to award especially creative or innovative submissions, or additional prizes in disciplines where engagement with open research is limited or there is a lack of adequate funding in this area. 

Note that awards can only be paid to University of York employed staff or students. In accordance with Finance Department policy, staff will be awarded through Payroll (as a taxable incentive) whereas students will be awarded through Accounts Payable (non-taxable), unless the award is used to fund further work activities in which case they will need to be paid through Payroll (taxable via casual staff contracts). 

Case studies and videos

All eligible entrants will be encouraged to prepare either a short written case study for the internal Open Research in Practice wiki space or a 5-10 minute video presentation of their research project or initiative. Video presentations will be shared publicly on YouTube and may be used for advocacy and training purposes on University web pages, social media, internal communication channels, workshops and events. Additional support in producing professional quality videos will be provided by the awards planning team in liaison with the Audio Visual Centre. 

Video presentations can be delivered by individuals or groups. The main entrant will be asked to sign a standard speaker recording release form on behalf of any other members of their group, which grants the University the necessary permissions to share the recording whilst protecting the rights and the ideas presented in the work. The main entrant must confirm that they have obtained permission to reuse any third party copyrighted content contained in their recording, and ensure that their presentation is not in breach of data protection legislation or of any confidentiality obligations.

The planning team understands that not all entrants may have time to contribute a case study or video, but we will provide as much flexibility and support as is required to help produce these. 

Rights and personal information

Entrants will retain ownership and intellectual property rights to their work, but the awards planning team reserves the right to share the name(s), titles and summaries of eligible submissions on the University website, social media and internal communication channels for promotional purposes as part of the awards campaign. 

Submission form responses, including personal information such as name(s) and email address(es), will be stored securely in a Google Sheet which is only accessible to members of the Open Research Team, awards planning team and judging panel. This data will only be retained for the purposes of shortlisting and judging and it will be deleted once the awards process has been completed. A public record of awardees and information about their projects and initiatives will be maintained on the Open Research in Practice wiki space. 

The main entrant is responsible for ensuring that they have obtained permission from all rights holders and interested parties (for example, other members of their research group, supervisors and external funders) before submitting their entry. 

Submissions are entered at the individual’s own risk. The University is not responsible for any loss or damage (however caused) during the submission or awards process.


Any further questions can be emailed to the Open Research Team:


Tuesday 19 April 

  • Awards announcement and call for submissions (4 weeks)

Monday 16 May

  • Deadline for submissions 12 noon 
  • Submissions to be shortlisted by planning team if needed, then shared with judging panel for consultation (2 weeks)  

w/c 30 May

  • Judging panel to make final decisions 
  • All entrants to be contacted by planning team
  • Wider announcement of awardees to follow (before end of summer term)