UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering


IHE Digital Content Competition

15 July 2020

Calling all UCL students and early-career researchers! Time to flex your creative, sci-comm skills.



We want to recognise and help further excellence in science communication, at an early-career researcher level.  

Social media is our biggest communication channel, and we recognise how important it is to be able to convey the latest healthcare engineering findings in a concise, creative format. Particularly, at this moment in time, more and more people are turning to social media for updates and advice about health.  

The ability to clearly communicate your research with the public is a key skill for researchers at all stages of their career. We’re particularly keen to promote voices starting out in academia, giving you a bigger platform and opportunities to upskill.  

The challenge

We would like you to create a short piece of digital content – either a blog, social media thread or video – about your area of healthcare engineering or digital health research. 

The topic we’d like you to cover is ‘Things everyone should know about …' 

You can focus on a subject matter as broad or as narrow as you like, as long as it’s related to your field and is interesting to a general audience.

Deadline: 14 September 2020  

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/F7c1d46B


The prizes

There will be three category winners (one per media category), and each will receive: 

  • £200 plus a certificate of recognition presented at a virtual award ceremony 
  • A one-hour virtual workshop with a science communication expert, to continue flexing your skills 

In addition, your work will be shared on the Institute of Healthcare Engineering website, social media channels and annual report. The UCL Faculty of Engineering will also be sharing with their followers.

Out of the category winners, there will be one grand winner across all of them. In addition to the category prizes, you will be appointed the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering’s ECR Digital Correspondent for one year. You will be paid to produce 3 short digital pieces spread across the academic year.  

The judging panel

Your entry will be judged by the Institute of Healthcare Engineering's Communications team, as well as researchers with experience in media engagement.

  • Professor Mark Miodownik, UCL materials engineer, presenter and author
  • Ben Littlefield, UCL BEAMS Public Engagement Manager
  • Georgina Cade, UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, Communications and Marketing Manager

The digital content categories

Written blog (max. 750 words)

Use the power of the written word to spread your message. You can use photos or gifs, but don’t use technical diagrams. Your blog should be simple enough to follow without needing these! 


‘What the world needs now: lessons from a poker player’ (Nature.com) 

My Mother Has Dementia. Here’s What I’ve Learned From Caring For Her (Refinery29) 

14 Reasons Why "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Is Actually Super Feminist And Progressive (Buzzfeed) 

How the Hinge algorithm actually works, according to an inside (Vice.com) 

Social media thread – Twitter thread or Instagram slideshow (max. 10 Tweets or slides)

Use text, images or a combination of both to educate people. The key here is to be concise and engaging, so your audience reads on. 


External acne triggers to be aware of – Dr Pimple Popper (Instagram) 

The Museum of English Rural Life (Twitter account) 

Everything I learned about research from Pearse Keane – Mustafa Sultan (Twitter) 

Being Black in Physio – Daniel Sabiiti (Instagram) 

Video – TikTok, Instagram TV or post, Twitter, YouTube or mp4 file (max. 2 minutes)

The possibilities with video are endless: you could talk to the camera, use filters or custom backgrounds or create an animation. If using TikTok, you can string 4 15-second segments together.  


Smoking PSA – World Health Organization (TikTok)

Unbreakable bones – Dr Karan Raj (TikTok)

Chemistry with a coke can – Phillip Cook (TikTok)

This is how your brain works (YouTube)


  • You must be a current student or early-career researcher at UCL
  • Your area of study or research must be related to health, digital health or biomedical/healthcare engineering 

Judging criteria

Your entry will be judged based on: 

  • How entertaining it is: does it hook the viewer or reader until the end?  
  • How creative it is: is your content original and interesting? 
  • How informative it is: does the viewer or reader learn something new? 
  • How suitable it is for the general public: can it be understood by most people, regardless of education level? 
How to enter

To enter, complete this short form (you will need to be signed into your UCL account). You can share your submission with us via a web link or as an attachment, depending on your media type. If you’re sharing a social media post via a web link, make sure your viewing permissions are set to public.  

Note about data

Your personal data (name, email address, will only be used by the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering team for the purpose of communicating with you about the competition. We will not share your data with third parties, and we will delete your data after 12 months.