The Ben Pattison award is an annual award which is open to all undergraduates and taught postgraduates attending a UK University. Focussing on original undergraduate and postgraduate research evidenced by the production of a dissertation the Award Panel welcomes nominations which clearly exhibit originality of thought, quality of research and reflects Ben’s interests in housing inequality. Each year we intend to provide two awards, one each to an undergraduate and a taught postgraduate.

Nominations to the award should be made by dissertation tutors or heads of departments. The award includes a cash prize of £150 for the winner and £50 for a runner up/special commendation. The annual deadline for receipt of applications for both undergraduate and postgraduate level will be 1st November.

The prize is made available with the continuing generous support of the Housing Studies Charitable Trust. 

Who was Ben Pattison?

The Ben Pattison Award is given in memory of Ben Pattison who passed away in 2020 at the age of 40 after battling myeloma and amyloidosis. Ben, at the time of his passing, had recently stepped down from the Executive Committee of the Housing Studies Association after serving roles which included Bursary Officer. He was also employed as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at the Sheffield Hallam University. 

Ben had been an ESRC funded postgraduate researcher at the University of Birmingham. The title of his PhD is: 'Understanding the growth of the private rented sector in England: Has Generation Rent been Priced Out?'. During his time at the University of Birmingham he worked as a teaching associate and a researcher. This included research on an international project comparing housing wealth and welfare.

Prior to his PhD Ben worked for the Building and Social Housing Foundation (BSHF) on a variety of topics including Housing Benefit, self-help housing and the private rented sector. For three years, he was a trustee of a charity which provided accommodation for refugees and asylum seekers in the East Midlands. He also has experience of conducting research for public and third sector organisations across subjects including health and international development. His research interests coalesced around housing inequality and included topics such as: the private rented sector; housing associations; support with housing costs (e.g. Housing Benefit and Universal Credit); community-led housing; regeneration; and, health inequalities.

Ben published widely, always seeking to foster and create social impact with his work. His scholarly publications featured in Social Policy and Society, Housing Studies and the International Journal of Housing Policy.

More importantly Ben was a sincere, supportive and fun-loving person. He was a relaxed colleague, thoughtful and generous with his time. The Housing Studies world is a relatively small and close knit one and his is sadly missed. With this award the Housing Studies Association hope that we can make the Housing Studies world a little bit larger – by investing in future scholarship – in Ben’s name.

A selection of Ben’s work includes the following:

  • Pattison, B., & Mccarthy, L. (2020). The role of mental health in multiple exclusion homelessness. Social Policy and Society. http://doi.org/10.1017/S147474642000069X
  • Preece, J., Hickman, P., & Pattison, B. (2019). The affordability of ‘affordable’ housing in England: conditionality and exclusion in a context of welfare reform. Housing Studies. http://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2019.1653448
  • Cole, I., & Pattison, B. (2019). Opening a new route into home ownership? The extension of the Right to Buy to housing associations in England. The international journal of housing policy. http://doi.org/10.1080/19491247.2019.1639239
  • Archer, T., Crisp, R., Ferrari, E., Green, S., Mccarthy, L., Moore, T., ... Sacranie, H. (2019). Scaling up social lettings? Scope, impact and barriers. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. https://www.shu.ac.uk/centre-regional-economic-social-research/publications/scaling-up-social-lettings-scope-impact-and-barriers
  • Hickman, P., Pattison, B., & Preece, J. (2018). The impact of welfare reforms on housing associations: a scoping study. UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence. https://www.shu.ac.uk/centre-regional-economic-social-research/publications/the-impact-of-welfare-reforms-on-housing-association
  • Reeve, K., Mccarthy, L., Pattison, B., Parr, S., Batty, E., Maye-Banbury, A., ... Dayson, C. (2018). The mental health needs of Nottingham's homeless population: an exploratory research study. Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam University. https://www.shu.ac.uk/centre-regional-economic-social-research/publications/the-mental-health-needs-of-nottinghams-homeless-population-an-exploratory-research-study

You can read a tribute to Ben Pattison by Prof. Ian Cole.

What is Housing Studies?

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) provide a useful overview for what Housing Studies is: 

"Housing studies is concerned with the production, consumption and experience of housing. It is a field of study which brings together a blend of academic perspectives as well as social experience. These can include sociology, psychology, economics, politics, law, social policy, management studies, geography, construction, architecture, urban design, neighbourhood planning and the housing market and how these impact on the environment and wealth.

Housing studies is a field of study, the starting point of which is a focus on residential buildings and their neighbourhoods, the organisations that provide and manage those buildings and the people who live in them (or who would like to) in equal measure. Health, well-being and social care are primary concerns as well as understanding the social, economic, legal, physical and other processes involved in the production, consumption and exchange of dwellings within a housing system

Housing studies is a multidisciplinary subject, operating within an environment of substantial change. The boundaries of housing studies are, therefore, broad and flexible. As an academic subject, it draws upon a range of theoretical influences and applies these to practical situations. It offers students transferable skills appropriate to a range of employment opportunities associated with people and their homes."

What are we looking for?

Dissertations will be considered if they describe a contribution to the field of housing inequality. The field includes subjects such as: 

  • the role of the private-rented sector, 
  • the impact of regeneration, 
  • alternative forms of housing, 
  • lived experiences of housing, 
  • the diversity of the housing experience, 
  • relations between housing and welfare, 
  • links between housing and health inequalities. 

We expect submissions to reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of the field of Housing Studies and welcome nominations from the following (this is not exhaustive and nominations will be considered from other subjects): sociology, psychology, economics, politics, law, social policy, management studies, geography, construction, architecture, urban design, criminology, neighbourhood planning. 

Studies which have taken empirical approaches utilising qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods approaches are particularly encouraged. Examples of methods reported include questionnaires, observational work, interviews, focus groups, desk-based reviews, policy analysis, and spatial analysis. Regardless of the methodology used the originality of the work and fit to the scope of the award will need to be clearly outlined. 

Only students registered at UK universities are eligible.

The process

The Ben Pattison Award is available to students who have completed an undergraduate degree or taught postgraduate degree and produced a dissertation in a subject area related to the field of Housing Studies at a UK University.

It will be for dissertation tutors or heads of departments to nominate dissertations for this award by submitting nomination form that includes an abstract of the dissertation to a panel of assessors. This will include an extended abstract, up to a maximum of 500 words, prepared by the student for the Award Panel. This should include 3-5 key references (with the full references at the end, not included in the word count). An electronic copy of the completed nomination form abstract must be submitted by 1 November.

The Panel of Assessors will select from the submitted abstracts 3-4 dissertations for further consideration and the chosen candidates will be notified within two weeks (14 November) of the need to submit a full dissertation. Unsuccessful candidates will also be informed within the two-week period.

Electronic copies of the full dissertations are to be submitted by 30 November

They should be sent to [email protected] for the attention of the Ben Pattison Award Panel. The Panel of Assessors comprises national and international Housing Studies scholars.

The Panel will, amongst other things, be looking for:

  • A strong clear link between the introduction, methods, results and discussion
  • A clear and engaging introduction which identifies the major points to be covered including clearly presented aims, objectives, research questions and/or hypotheses
  • A clear description of the study design and the analytical procedures used
  • Results which are clearly presented with good use of illustrative material as appropriate
  • A clear discussion in terms of the theoretical, methodological and practical implications of the findings
  • A conclusion which summarises the main findings for each of the research questions or hypotheses and the recommendations for future research
  • The contribution and/or insights gained about housing.
  • References which are complete and correctly cited throughout

The winner of the award and the institution will be notified by 31 January. 

The winner may be offered the opportunity for a short paper based on their entry to be published on the Housing Studies Association website. The abstracts of the selected finalists will be published on the website of the Housing Studies Association.

Applicants do not need to be members of the Housing Studies Association to take part in the process. However, those interested in the field of Housing Studies are welcome to join our community and membership information is available here.

How to submit

Download the nomination form, complete and send to [email protected] 

Key dates

  • 1 November: Submission of abstracts
  • 14 November: Notification of decision on need for submission of full dissertation
  • 30 November: Submission of full dissertation
  • 31 January: Notification of winners of the award

For further information contact: 

[email protected]

Ben Pattison Prize Nomination Form
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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