Child health expert shortlisted for top research honour - Dr Emily Marchant

A Swansea University academic is in the running for a nationwide award for her pioneering work in the field of child health and education during her PhD.

Dr Emily Marchant has been shortlisted for this year’s Economic and Social Research Council’s Celebrating Impact Prize which recognises the success of ESRC-funded researchers in achieving and enabling outstanding economic or societal impact from excellent research.

She is a researcher and ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow for HAPPEN Wales (Health and Attainment of Pupils involved in a Primary Education Network), a project aimed at enhancing children’s health, wellbeing and education, enabling schools to identify specific areas of need for their pupils and plan for the new Curriculum for Wales, due to be rolled out from 2022. 

Through its research the HAPPEN team hopes to gain a better understanding of pupils’ physical, psychological, emotional and social health by developing a national-scale primary school health/attainment research network.

During her PhD, Dr Marchant expanded the network ten-fold across Wales alongside undertaking research in children’s health and education. 

She said: “I am delighted to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and have my doctoral work recognised by the ESRC. Research into children’s health and education couldn’t be more important as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing the impacts of widespread school closures and disruption to children’s lives.

"I look forward to building on my doctoral research and continuing to conduct research that impacts current and future generations.” 

HAPPEN is part of the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research, funded by the Welsh Government through Health and Care Research Wales.   

ESRC’s Professor Alison Park said: “This competition is an excellent opportunity to recognise the UK’s world-leading economists and social scientists and highlight how their work makes a difference to people and organisations within in the UK and in other countries. 

“The important contribution being made by the social sciences to helping communities and businesses navigate the pandemic features prominently among the finalists, but others highlight insights focused on enduring issues including education, sustainability and health.” 

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 18.


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