On the evening of 11 November 2020, Dr. Rocío Nogales Muriel won the 2020 ENCATC Research Award on Cultural Policy and Management for her doctoral thesis “Social transformation and social innovation in the field of culture: The case of the SMart model and its adaptation across Europe” obtained from the Center for the Study of Culture, Politics and Society (CECUPS) at the University of Barcelona in Spain.

The 2020 Award winner was revealed at the annual ENCATC Research Award Ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 context, this year the ceremony took place online on the last day of the 2020 ENCATC Digital Congress “Cultural management and policy in a post-digital world – navigating uncertainty” (3-11 November).

The Ceremony began with a welcome by Tanja Johansson, ENCATC Vice-President, Vice Dean, Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Finland. This was followed by the opening speech by Catherine Magnant, Head of the Unit in charge of Culture Policy, DG EAC, European Commission where she praised the Award’s contribution to the momentum of policy developments and support measures are all going in the same direction: supporting and improving the sustainability of the research and education sectors to also serve society and its citizens.

Next, a round table was held for the Award finalists to present their research and take questions from the Award’s international jury who asked questions about research methodology and potential impact of the research on cultural policy.

After a short break and for the jury to make their final deliberations, Ms. Catherine Magnant delivered the highly anticipated Award announcement of Dr. Rocío Nogales Muriel as the 2020 Award winner.

Speaking on behalf of the Award’s International Jury, Francesca Imperiale, ENCATC President and Award Jury President, said: “The Jury’s choice was certainly not an easy one this year. The Jury decided to award this year’s recognition to a work that is solid at the theoretical level, but which is particularly valuable for the applicability of the theoretical knowledge. The topic of the research by the elected is not only highly interesting for the ENCATC membership, but it also perfectly fits in the European scheme and the purpose of this ENCATC Research Award. Also, she showed deep knowledge of the topic and was able to defend it very well today.

The winner, Dr. Rocío Nogales Muriel expressed her special gratitude to receive the ENCATC Research Award and its prestigious international recognition: “I would like to thank ENCATC and members of the Award’s international jury for maintaining this opportunity for early career researchers. I also like to recognise my fellow finalists for the inspiring work they are conducting. I was so honoured to be part of this talented group of women. I am privileged to join the dynamic and diverse ENCATC research community and I look forward to future collaborations.”

Alongside the 2020 winner, the finalists were praised for their relevant contributions to the field of cultural management and policy research: Dr. Ali FitzGibbon, for her doctoral thesis: “The Artist in the Room: An investigation of the independent artist as stakeholder in the decision-making of subsidised theatre in the UK” obtained from the Queen’s University Belfast in the United Kingdom; Dr. Eman Kandil, doctoral thesis: “The EcoMuseums: An Approach for the Preservation of Heritage Attributes in Egypt’s Historic Urbanism” obtained from the Menoufia University in Egypt; and Dr. Anastasiia Sedova, doctoral thesis: “Spaces ‘Out of Religious Use’ and ecclesiastic architecture as marketable real estate assets: A potential solution for Russia’s abandoned religious heritage artifacts” obtained from the Politecnico di Milano in Italy.