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Awards - Lyn Thomas Impact Medal

1) Introduction

The Lyn Thomas Impact Medal is awarded annually for the academic O.R. research which best demonstrates both novelty and real-world impact, backed up by evidence. Impact can be of many forms including societal, economic, cultural, entertainment, health related, political, quality of life, etc.

2) Eligibility

The underpinning research should have been undertaken in the previous ten years and the impact itself must be demonstrable within the past two years.

All academic researchers who are members of the Society and work at UK universities are eligible to enter.

3) Award

The award shall consist of a medal cast in bronze and appropriately inscribed, together with an appropriate citation. No more than one Lyn Thomas Impact Medal may be awarded in any year.

4) Entry

Candidates must submit to the Secretary & General Manager a description of their research work and the impact that it has generated. The total page limit is three pages of A4 including references. This document must be accompanied by letter(s) of support on headed paper written by research user(s) who are in a position to confirm the accuracy of the submission and the contribution, impact or benefit of the research outputs. A maximum of five letters of support can be provided.  Referees may be approached by the ORS Awards Panel to further corroborate claims. The judging sub-panel will be a subset of the Awards Panel and will consist of both academics and practitioners.

5) Selection

The quality and novelty of the underpinning O.R. research, evidenced by publications, theses, conference presentations, working papers or other outputs directly related to the research.  The threshold for research quality and novelty will be fairly low, but standard applications of existing O.R. methods are not eligible.

The reach of the research impact, indicated by how widely it has been felt, the number of beneficiaries, etc.  Reach is a relative concept: like market share, it refers to the proportion of all possible situations where the solution could be used in which it actually has been used.  The absolute size of the “market” for the impact is relevant, but is not the main criterion for assessing reach.

The significance of the research impact, indicated by how transformative it has been.

The estimated longevity of the research outputs and the sustainability of the impact.

All types of impact listed in point 1 are considered equally important, but higher ranking will be given to submissions with reliable evidence of the impact. Evidence may include indicators of impact or contribution and references to external sources of verification. The indicators do not need to be quantitative or financial, but they should be auditable. References to external sources of verification include external reports or other publicly available information, or contact details of research users that could potentially be asked to corroborate claims.

6) Current Awards Panel Practice

It is current practice that announcements relating to the Lyn Thomas Impact Medal shall be published on the Society’s website as well as in Inside O.R.

Entries for any year should be submitted electronically to to arrive no later than the 31 August 2017.