Researchers from Cambridge’s departments of Medicine and Clinical Biochemistry have won a prestigious award for public engagement in research.
Since the commencement of their research programme to develop drugs to treat Type 1 diabetes, Dr Waldron-Lynch, Ms. Kennet and Ms. Anselmiova (The CamT1D Team) have developed a Research ECOsystem – a public engagement programme to engage participants, patients, families, funders, colleagues, institutions, companies and the community, with the aim of ensuring that their research remains relevant to stakeholder needs.
The underlying aim is to demonstrate that research is not a one-way process but rather a cycle of interactions with different partners, each being reliant on the other. Amongst their outputs, the team runs a patient support group as well as an online engagement strategy through social media platforms and a dedicated website.
For this novel way of engaging these groups, the team won the University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor’s Impact Award, which is to recognise and reward those ‘whose research has led to excellent impact beyond academia’. Dr Waldron-Lynch who was delighted with the award said: “We have tried to reach out to the Type 1 diabetes community as a whole both locally and globally using social networking at diabetes charity events to explain and highlight our work and respond to people’s questions and queries directly”.
The prize was given in recognition of simultaneously raising the profile of current clinical studies within the community, the network of professional staff and patient groups to allow direct contact with the study team.
Picture: L-R Jane Kennet, Frank Waldron-Lynch, Katerina Anselmiova