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Celebrating prestigious FASS Research Impact win for Dr Gemma Briggs

Dr Gemma Briggs behind Teal background with ‘Winner O2RB Excellence in Impact Award 2021’

Dr Gemma BriggsSenior Lecturer and Head of Discipline in the School of Psychology & Counselling has won an O²RB Excellence in Impact Award 2021 for her work advising the national campaign to educate drivers on the dangers of hands-free phone use. 

The Excellence in Impact Awards, supported by the University of Oxford’s ESRC Impact Acceleration Account (IAA), recognise and reward social scientists whose research has achieved excellent economic and social impact.  

Dr Gemma Briggs’ vital research places her in a prestigious group of winners who have collaborated with policymakers, industry partners, academics and NGOs around the globe to impact a wide range of complex and urgent societal challenges; from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on rates of parenting stress and child abuse, to European cities’ policies and practices towards irregular migrants.  

Reacting to the award, Dr Briggs said: “I’m delighted to have been given this award, which recognises the work that I’ve carried out alongside several colleagues and partner organisations.  

It’s great that our research has achieved impact in this way, and that there is an appetite in both the public and private sector to engage with this work in the hope of achieving evidence-based practice.  

“It’s equally fantastic that public awareness of the dangers of hands-free phone use while driving is increasing, and the opportunity to help the police and road safety charities to share research in this area has been valuable.” 

This research into the effects of distracted driving has significantly influenced national policy, police campaigns, and public attitudes towards the dangers of phone use at the wheel – a danger that contributes to an average of five deaths per day on UK roads.  

Find out more about on the Driving Change project websiteor watchGemma’s recent talk at the launch of the Open Psychology Research Centre. 

Dr Briggs’ reflections on her impact journey will be shared at the Awards ceremony, live-streamed from Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History on 19th October 2021, from 6pm. Register here:   

Read more on OU News.

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