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26 January 2024

IoPPN successes at King's Engaged Researcher Awards 2024

Inaugural celebration of public engagement at King’s brought together staff, students and community partners to showcase excellence in a variety of different engagement approaches and across diverse audiences.

IoPPN award winners at KERN 2024

Congratulations to IoPPN award winners at the inaugural King’s Engaged Researcher Awards, held on 16 January 2024.

Over 130 staff, students, and community partners gathered at the Great Hall for the inaugural King’s Engaged Research Awards to celebrate best practice in public and community engagement with research at King’s. The ceremony was hosted by Professor 'Funmi Olonisakin, Vice President (International, Engagement & Service) and Professor Bashir M. Al-Hashimi, Vice President (Research & Innovation).

The awards celebrated work across 5 overarching categories, which showcase excellence in a variety of different engagement approaches and across diverse audiences. The categories are: Communicating Research, Collaboration, Engaged Practice/Participatory Research, PhD and Early Career Research Award, Transforming Research Culture or Public Life.

IoPPN staff and students won three awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements and contributions to impactful research. Each winner was presented with a certificate, trophy and £200. They were selected from a total of 86 nominations received by the KERN Working Group.

team members of project multimodal participation in neurodiversity research speaking on stage

Participatory Research (Local): Multimodal Participation in Neurodiversity Research: Anne-Laure Le Cunff

Anne-Laure has established a neurodivergent advisory board who supported each stage of her PhD research and is also collaborating with neurodivergent artists to create mixed media depictions of what it is like to take part in research as a neurodivergent participant. This multimodal approach unlocked insights that would not have emerged from traditional participatory methods alone, and allowed community stakeholders to become co-designers. 

The project is evidenced exemplary co-production, with the ongoing consultation and adaptation throughout the research cycle. The panel also commented on the considerable commitment to meaningful involvement from an early career researcher.

King's Engaged Research Award judging panel
phoebe reynolds

PhD and Early Career Research Award: Phoebe Reynolds

Phoebe Reynolds was nominated for her innovative work in science communication and public engagement in the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, where she uses creative practice including stand-up comedy and pantomime to engage diverse audiences with neurobiology research, make science accessible and foster the next generation of researchers.

The panel highlighted the nominee's long history of public engagement and engaged research which they are bringing to King's. It was clear that they have inspired fellow colleagues, are committed to increasing the access of STEM to those from underserved groups, but also are able to adapt their approach to work in a range of settings, reaching diverse audiences.

King's Engaged Research Award judging panel
restar KERN

Participatory Research (National): RE-STAR Youth Researcher Panel

(Susie Chandler and the RE-STAR Youth Researcher Panel: Jordan Altimimi, Beta Balwani, Saskia Barnes, Tiegan Boyens, Zoe Glen, Cj Harris, Charlotte Hillman, Luke Harvey-Nguyen, Issy Jackson, Amber Johnson, Elisa Ly, Elizabeth Macauley, Maciej Matejko, Dorian Poulton, Anya Rose, Darren Webb, Archie Wilson)

The RE-STAR Youth Researcher Panel is a group of neurodivergent young adults collaborating with King’s researchers to co-deliver a research programme which aims to find new ways of reducing depression in neurodivergent young people. Over the past two years, the Y-RP has contributed to every stage of the research process. For researchers, working with the Y-RP has been a transformative experience, challenging traditional paradigms and prompting a revaluation of their own neurodiversities and contributions to the research process.

The panel highlighted this project as an excellent example of participatory research. The group took continued efforts to improve diversity of this co-researchers throughout, with the co-researchers being core to success of the recruitment of a wide and diverse group, including those with non-verbal communication. The project also supported the young people to develop wider skills and experience they can implement into their daily lives.

King's Engaged Research Award judging panel

Shortlisted IoPPN projects and individuals also included

  • Mental Health Across the Airwaves (Professor Sally Marlow)
  • The Brave Little Neuron (Phoebe Reynolds)
  • The AVATAR2 Patient & Public Involvement Group: Making Involvement Work (AVATAR2 PPI Group, Clementine Edwards, Thomas Ward, wider AVATAR2 Trial Team)
  • Elisa Genovesi
  • Kathryn Bates
  • Phoebe Reynolds

You can read more about all those shortlisted here.

Congratulations to done to all IoPPN winners and those shortlisted. You can read more here about the awards and event here.