Using our Training to highlight the value of patient and public engagement in research.
Our cohort of Biomedical PhD trainees took part in a workshop working with VOICE public volunteers to discuss their research and improve their skills in communicating scientific research to a lay audience. Using the experience of this workshop the trainees then recorded a concise lay summary of their research which was entered into a competition, with the winner chosen by VOICE members. The winner was announced at the Ageing Matters: Living Well with Multiple Conditions event by BRC Director Professor Avan Sayer.
BRC Trainees work with VOICE volunteers to improve their public engagement skills.
In March, the NIHR Newcastle BRC held a bespoke training event for our Biomedical PhD trainees who are researching translational ageing and long-term conditions. The event focused on the importance of communicating scientific research to the public who will be impacted by their findings.
Working with public volunteers from VOICE, our students received feedback on how to make their Plain English Summaries more accessible. These summaries are important tools frequently used for recruiting participants to clinical trials, for research grant applications and ensuring that information is accessible to both the public and other professionals.
Using the feedback from the volunteers, the students then recorded a brief video summary of their research. Using the online VOICE platform, members then had the opportunity to vote for the clearest explanation.
Competition winner announced at Ageing Matters: Living Well with Multiple Conditions event
In May, the Ageing Matters: Living Well with Multiple Conditions event brought together a large public audience from around the region with a shared interest in Ageing research and launched the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership’s (PSP) top ten priorities in Multiple Conditions in Later Life. This provided a perfect platform for NIHR Newcastle BRC Director, Professor Avan Sayer to announce the winner of the lay summary competition. Congratulations Sadaf Iqbal!
Sadaf wins a contribution towards travel to a conference of her choice and commented on how valuable she found the experience:
“I am very thankful to the Newcastle BRC team and Professor Avan Sayer for organising the VOICE competition and giving me a chance interact with the members of VOICE directly. Talking to them increased my motivation towards my work as I realised that it’s not merely a PhD that I am working for but there are lives who will benefit from my research. The competition was also a very nice opportunity to communicate my research to the members of the public and also understand the work of my fellow students. I thank all the members of VOICE for liking my lay summary and for giving me their valuable feedback.”
Future Training Opportunities
As a next step in training on PPI and science communication in October we will be holding a multi-disciplinary training event with our Biomedical Sciences Trainees, newly appointed Clinical PhD Trainees and Undergraduate Vacation Placement students which will involve a 3 minute thesis to allow the students to learn about the other BRC funded research taking place.