News

UK Data Service Impact Fellow receives Understanding Society award for Young Researcher of the year

Article dated: 1 August 2017

UK Data Service Data Impact Fellow Sarah Knight has been awarded Understanding Society's inaugural prize for the Young Researcher of the Year. The award was presented at the Understanding Society Scientific Conference held on 11-13 July at the University of Essex, where Sarah presented her research in the paper Does clean air make you happy?

Sarah’s research found a significant and negative relationship between high NO2 levels (found in car fumes) and life satisfaction. She found that exposure to polluted air can be as damaging as ‘big-hitting’ life events, such as the death of a partner. On winning the award, Sarah said, “It’s a real honour and a real surprise to win the prize because there is so much great research out there that also uses the data.”

It wasn’t just academic prestige that put Sarah’s research in the spotlight, she comments, “The research started as a working paper and then we got contacted by The Times and then suddenly it rippled across the papers – it was my first brush with the media.” Read the media coverage.

When asked why the Understanding Society data was used, Sarah commented, “Using such a big dataset and exploiting the longitudinal nature of Understanding Society adds so much weight to your findings. When discussing it with the media, it makes the research more vigorous and adds gravity to your work.”

Visit our website for further details on how to become a UK Data Service Data Impact Fellow and how to Apply - deadline Tuesday 15 August 2017.

Discover UK Data Service