Connecting Science Public Engagement Prizes 2019

Our campus prize scheme to reward and celebrate excellence in public engagement

Our Connecting Science Public Engagement Prizes recognise outstanding efforts in engaging public or school audiences with Wellcome Genome Campus’ science, research and innovation.

This year a diverse range of people and projects were nominated for a prize, and we would like to congratulate everyone who was nominated.

You can read more about all the nominees and winners in the Prize’s booklet.

Commitment to Public Engagement Prize

Winner: Kim Judge

The Commitment to Public Engagement Prize celebrates staff or students who have demonstrated significant and longstanding commitment to public engagement.

Kim is a Senior Staff Scientist in the DNA Pipelines Research and Development team, where she has lots of experience with sequencing using a tiny DNA sequencer called a MinION. Kim realised that the size and portability of the MinION would allow her to visit schools with only a suitcase to share the heart of Wellcome Sanger Institute’s science, DNA sequencing. Sequencing in a Suitcase is now a thriving and innovative project that has brought DNA sequencing to students in five countries, a shopping centre, a football stadium, a theme park and many schools.

Early Career Prize

Winner: Hannah Currant

The Early Career Prize Celebrates staff or students at earlier career levels who have demonstrated pro-activity and achievement in public engagement.

Hannah is passionate about engaging young people with coding in a fun and approachable way. When she moved to Cambridge in 2016, Hannah found there was not an active CoderDojo group, so she set up her own, finding a venue, sponsors and mentors. CoderDojo is a global organisation that promotes free computer science education for young people through self-learning. The Cambridge group was so successful that it now runs monthly with around 25 children and their families attending each session.

Support for Public Engagement Prize

Winner: Rich Livett

The Support for Public Engagement Prize celebrates staff or students who have supported public engagement through leadership, guidance and practical support.

Rich supports his team to engage with the public in a variety of ways and ensures efforts are captured and celebrated in the context of team-wide objectives. Two members of his team, Stephen Inglis and Harriet Craven, run a Code Club at a local primary school. With Rich’s support, Stephen and Harriet visit the school on a weekly basis to run a 45-minute session. The Code Club has been a huge success, with students finding a talent for software development whilst also using their imagination, creativity, problem solving and team working skills.  

Public Engagement Project Prize

Winner: Malaria Summer Placement Scheme

The Public Engagement Project Prize celebrates a piece of planned work by a team or individual that demonstrates outstanding success in engaging external audiences with aspects of Wellcome Genome Campus science or research. 

Last year, the Malaria teams at the Wellcome Sanger Institute brought a group of students to the Campus for a week-long, immersive research experience to explore how diverse scientific backgrounds come together to tackle antimalarial drug resistance. The placement aimed to show how big biological problems in infectious diseases are approached by providing students with an immersive experience of genomics research that included a combination of field work, innovative lab experimentation, tours of Campus labs, and other education and engagement activities.