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The RTPI Awards for Research Excellence recognise and promote high quality and impactful spatial planning research from RTPI accredited planning schools and planning practitioners in the UK, the Republic of Ireland and internationally. The Awards are intended to:

  1. Recognise the best spatial planning research from RTPI accredited planning schools and members;
  2. Highlight the implications of academic research for policy and practice;
  3. Recognise the valuable contribution of planning practitioners (in the public and private sectors) to planning research; and
  4. Promote planning research

Being shortlisted or winning these prestigious awards is a clear demonstration of the quality of your work. All shortlisted and winning entrants will be provided with an RTPI Awards for Research Excellence logo, which can be used on your website, email, social media, and promotional materials. We wish you the best of luck.

The Planning Practitioner Award


The Planning Practitioner Award is open to non-academic planning practitioners and organisations conducting valuable research with the potential to inform planning policy and/ or practice. The entrant must be an RTPI member[1].

Only planning research first published between April 2022 and April 2023 (inclusive) is eligible for entry.

Geographical coverage

The submitted research and its potential implications for planning policy and practice can relate to anywhere in the world (focus on UK or Ireland is not required).

The definition of ‘planning practitioner’

We adopt a broad definition of ‘planning practitioner’ as someone working in a range of organisations including (but not restricted to) local authorities, government agencies, planning consultancies, charities and social enterprises based anywhere in the world.

The definition of ‘planning research’

We interpret ‘planning research’ broadly. For example, research could primarily have implications for planning education or professional development, rather than practice or policy. Though the awards focus on spatial planning research, we encourage interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. We welcome non-traditional pieces of research such as applied research, action research or research by design, as long as they are published (see below).

For the purposes of the award, ‘research’ is a single published piece of research and the actions directly related to its communication and dissemination. For example, a single article, a single chapter in an edited book, a single report, a book, a toolbox, a project, or a plan can all be considered as ‘research’. Wider research programmes, edited thematic numbers and books comprised of different contributions, and series or collections are not considered as ‘research’ for the purposes of the award.

The definition of ‘published’

We accept entries published in any form. However, publications submitted for this award category must be publicly available online at the moment of the submission (whether for free or behind a paywall). In the case of published books, they must be available for free download or for purchase and the full text must be made available to the judges in digital form (to this end, preprint versions are accepted). Online repositories, including, Researchgate, institutional repositories and project websites are all considered as forms of publishing for the purposes of the award. When entries have been published multiple times, the publication date refers to the date it was first published and must be within the date range specified for each category.

Judging criteria

Entries to this category will be judged on the strength of the research submitted and its academic rigour. A particular stress will be put on ‘impactful’ research (i.e., that furthers planning practice, theory, or research) and on innovative research putting forward cutting-edge methods, approaches and theories.

A successful submission must satisfy the following four criteria:

  1. Relevance: addresses issues and themes of current concern and relevance to spatial
  2. Robustness and methodology: evidence of an appropriate review of relevant literature and understanding of the current state of Evidence of sound methodological reflection leading to the choice of an appropriate methodology and methods, depth of analysis and critical abilities in handling the qualitative/quantitative results.
  3. Outcomes: clearly presented results that achieve a better understanding of the subject and/or the development of new fields of
  4. Dissemination and impact: implications of the research and analysis for planning policy and/or practice.

Terms and conditions

  1. Full submissions must be received by the RTPI by 14 May 2023.
  2. The RTPI reserves the right to share submissions with our member magazine The Planner.
  3. The RTPI reserves the right to share submissions and entry forms with our judging panel.
  4. Submitted material will be retained electronically by the RTPI.
  5. The Royal Town Planning Institute is not liable for any costs you incur submitting this entry.
  6. The decisions of the judging panel are final, and no correspondence will be entered into before or after the event.

[1] For the purposes of the practitioner award, all types of membership (excluding Affiliate membership) are considered.