Prize objective

This prize will give early career housing researchers an opportunity to showcase their work to a wide and influential audience. This is the fourth year that the competition has run. The aim of this competition is to encourage papers that meet the entry criteria below.

Entry criteria and requirements

The competition is open to those with up to eight years research experience. Candidates with or without a PhD, and those working within academic or non-academic institutions (the voluntary sector, think tanks, membership organisations, the media, housing associations, local authorities etc) are welcome to apply. Please note that time spent in doctoral-level research study counts as research experience (as such, entrants who spent three years completing their PhD may have up to five year’s further work experience). Co-authored papers are permitted in cases where all authors meet the entry requirements. It is open to UK and non-UK applicants.

Applicants from Sponsor organisations may apply on the basis they declare their interest.

It is our preference that papers have a focus that matches the broad interests of Thinkhouse.  This is policy publications that cover ways to increase the amount and quality of the UK’s housing stock and the related economic, social and community benefits of doing so.  However, the judging panel will accept papers that they consider are relevant to housing and related issues but please contact us beforehand.

We will consider think pieces, review papers synthesising existing evidence and policy analysis, papers sharing the findings of original empirical research or investigative journalism type pieces. Journal articles or other papers already published or under review will be accepted.

Submission should be between 4,000-8,000 words in length and submitted in a MS Word format, which includes the following information: author(s) name(s), institutional affiliation, current job title, email address, paper title, 200 word abstract and word count.

Papers must be submitted to [email protected] by 17.00 Thursday 28th September 2023.

The winning entry

Authors of the winning paper will be awarded £500 cheque, will have the result covered by our media partner, Inside Housing and have their paper published on the Thinkhouse website. We reserve the right to have editorial control over any item published on the site.

The winner will be announced on Wednesday 15th November 2023.

Judging criteria

  • Writing style/clarity
  • Engagement with literature and theory
  • Methods
  • Empirical rigour/theoretical depth
  • Strength of conclusions
  • The extent of how the research is outcome and impact-focused so that it contributes to useful knowledge exchange
  • The scalability of the research (ie the scope to make a widespread difference)  


Prize sponsors for 2023 are:

Altair Ltd

Altair is a leading housing consultancy that brings together sector experts with a wealth of experience. Our clients cover a range of organisations working within the housing sector, including registered providers, local authorities, ALMOs, private developers, contractors, the HCA and representative bodies.

We provide support at a senior level and offer leading strategic advice to our clients facing three key strategic challenges: how to grow, how to change and how to remain resilient.

Altair’s core services cover the following areas:

Strategy, Transformation and Governance – We provide strategic and practical advice on governance issues, growth strategies, service transformation (including digital), risk management and more.

Finance – we provide expert technical and practical advice on a wide range of financial matters.

Property (Development and Regeneration) – We add value by bringing together public and private sector partners to realise programmes and projects.

People (HR and Recruitment) – We provide interim management expertise and recruit to executive and non-executive positions, in addition to a range of HR services.

International – Altair International provides specialist consultancy advising on interventions to increase the provision of affordable housing in developing countries.

Aster Group

Aster Group supplies a wide range of housing options in response to the housing crisis, working towards its vision of ensuring ‘everyone has a home’.

The housing association manages over 36,000 homes across the south and aims to provide its customers with safety and security through a range of good, modern housing services. Running throughout Aster Group’s strategy, is an effort to nurture a positive and empowering culture which helps each colleague bring their best selves to work.

The Aster Foundation enables better lives, through investing in our communities and in their future through its impact programmes, innovative approach to tackling social challenges and influencing programme. For more information visit 

Central and Cecil Housing Trust, East Boro Housing Trust and Enham Trust form part of the Aster Group. For further information visit:, and   

Inside Housing

Inside Housing is the leading monthly magazine for housing professionals in the UK and the first choice for anyone looking for a job in housing. With its lively mix of news, features and analysis, housing professionals rely on Inside Housing to keep them fully updated on everything in the social housing world.


L&Q house around 250,000 people in more than 105,000 homes, primarily across London and the South East.

Their vision is that everyone deserves a quality home that provides them with the opportunity to live a better life.

This echoes their purpose to provide homes and neighbourhoods everyone can be proud of, achieved by delivering safe, high-quality homes, services and support for all of their residents.

Judging panel 2023

  • Richard Hyde – Thinkhouse
  • Social housing representative - TBD
  • Ken Gibb - UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence
  • Stephen Aldridge – Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Helen Taylor – Cardiff Metropolitan University
  • Steve Moseley – L&Q
  • Martin Hilditch – Inside Housing
  • Dawn Fowler-Stevens – Aster
  • Karen Gregory - Aster
  • Kirsty Hickson – Altair Ltd

The Housing Studies Association (HSA) is a limited company registered in England and Wales under company number 13958843 at 42 Wellington Road, Greenfield, OL3 7AQ.
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