Changing Perceptions Challenge

A newspaper with immigration as the headline

Please note: the competition has now closed. 

Opinion polls in recent years have consistently found that the UK public believes immigration has a negative impact on the economy, their job opportunities and their wages. Economic research, on the other hand, shows that, if anything, immigration tends to have a positive impact on local economies. How can we help change public attitudes by communicating these findings in an exciting and engaging way?

The challenge

This competition asked participants to compare public and media attitudes to immigration with the latest findings of data-driven academic research, and then to design a campaign to improve public understanding of the economic impacts of immigration.

Entries was judged by experts in the field.

The winner was announced on the Data Impact blog in May 2022. Read the winning entry.


The competition was devised by PhD student and Data Impact Fellow, Ben Brindle, and is being run with support from the UK Data Service Impact team.

Ben recently spoke on BBC Essex about the competition and was interviewed for a special UK Data Service podcast about what kind of creative campaigns students could produce for the challenge.


What is the UK Data Service and why did we support this competition?

The UK Data Service is a government-funded ‘one stop shop’ for high-quality data about society, economics and populations.

We make data available to researchers and analysts not only in further and higher education, but also in the voluntary and charity sector, to thinktanks and policy organisations, and to local and national government.

It is a key part of our work to identify, evidence and promote how the data in our collection is used to create real-world impact and public benefit.

As part of our work, we support the development of new ideas for creating and demonstrating impact. This competition, conceived by one of our Data Impact Fellows – early career researchers we work with to develop ideas of what impact can look like – is a great opportunity to link academic research and impact communication.

Neil Dymond-Green, UK Data Service Director of Impact


Have a look at these resources to learn more about the topic!

Terms and conditions

Read the full terms and conditions for the competition.