Prestigious national award for HSMC Lecturer

HSMC Lecturer Helen Dickinson has won the 'best newcomers' award at this year's Social Policy Association (SPA) conference, held in Lincoln recently.  Helen was presented with her award by Nick Timmins from the Financial Times and President of the SPA, at the annual conference dinner.

The prestigious and hotly contested award is granted to a lecturer/researcher who is judged to have made a significant early contribution to the field of social policy in terms of research, publications and teaching.

Helen began her full time academic career only 4 years ago, as a Research Associate at HSMC, University of Birmingham.  During this time she has also completed her PhD.  Her nomination is based on 3 areas of outstanding achievement.

  • Helen's extensive and impressive publications record.  She has co-authored 7 books and 20 articles in (mostly) refereed journals.  In addition, she has contributed to numerous research reports and practitioner journals.  Her publications record is truly outstanding for such a new researcher.
  • Her record in securing external research income and her developing research leadership role.  As PI, Helen has secured nearly £200K external research funding.  She also leads the health and social care component of the service delivery research stream for the ESRC Third Sector Research Centre.
  • Helen's teaching and administration roles.  As well as being recently appointed as HSMC's Director of Teaching, Helen is responsible for several HSMC MSc modules targeted at practitioners and managers.  She also led the organisation for the international conference in Organisational Behaviour in Health Care, which was held in April.

Of her achievement, Helen said, "I'm incredibly proud of this award though I don't consider this to be a solo effort - rather, it is a testament to the support I've received at the Health Service and Management Centre in the School of Social Policy.  Being an early career researcher can be challenging, but I guess I'm really lucky.  I'm in a Department and a School that is really supportive, and there's something about early career researchers supporting each other that has been really helpful.  You can't underestimate the importance of networking."

The Social Policy Association is open for membership to academics and practitioners working in social policy, and to others with an interest in UK and international social policy.  Individual members receive the Journal of Social Policy and Social Policy & Society free of charge.  For more information visit

For further information and to find out more about Helen's work at the Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), please contact her on Tel: 0121 414 7069 or by email at