UCL News


Faculty of Brain Sciences: Comms is Key

6 July 2016

The Faculty of Brain Sciences threw their first-ever 'Communication is Key' event on Wednesday 29th June 2016.

Professor Sophie Scott The theme of the event was 'Reaching Your Audience Online,' and it was open to staff from all areas across the Faculty, from research to Professional Services. By demonstrating best practice and giving practical advice, the event aimed to empower Faculty staff to use new and innovative communication methods to deliver their key messages and connect with audiences.

The event opened with a series of talks by Professor Sophie Scott (ICN), Ben Stevens (CAM) and Laura Hewison (CAM), to discuss the importance of social media, web content and video respectively, in promoting UCL and the Faculty and connecting with audiences. Kate Faxen (Faculty of Brain Sciences) and Clare Kennedy (DP) provided an additional update on UCL's new CMS project.

After a break, the event continued with three workshops: 'Writing Great Web Content' by Clare Kennedy; 'Planning Your Video Project' by Laura Hewison and Neil Roberts (Ear Institute); and 'How to Reach Your Audience Using Social Media' by Professor Sophie Scott and Matt Cole (PALS). These workshops aimed to give hands-on advice to staff looking to increase their web communication skills.

Communication excellence awards

The day finished with an awards ceremony to recognise and celebrate Faculty staff who have demonstrated best comms practice. Awards and certificates were presented by Geoff Dunk, Faculty Manager. The categories, nominees and winners were:


Winner: Dr Andi Skilton (IoO) for his work on Retina Day 2015, a free one-day event organised between IoO and NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, for patients with inherited retinal diseases to meet with clinicians, charities and researchers, and learn more about ongoing research. Click here for more information about Retina Day.

Also nominated: Dr Elodie Chabrol (IoN) for Pint of Science France and Dr Katrina Scior (CIDDR) for the report 'Intellectual Disabilities: Raising Awareness and Combating Stigma - A Global Review.'


Winner: Helen Devine and Dr Rickie Patani (IoN) for their new YouTube channel 'Lab Life.' The vlogs on their channel follow the research and day-to-day practice of the Patani Stem Cell Lab. 'Lab Life' can be found here.

Also nominated: Dr Jake Fairnie (PaLS) for videos produced for PaLS including the recent ICN@20 film.

Social media/web:

Winner: Sarah Lawson (IoN) for her work to migrate the IoN website to Indigo, and her excellent use of social media to promote the Institute.

Also nominated: Matt Cole (PaLS) for his work on PaLS's social media presence and Dr Hugo Spiers (EP) for promoting dementia research via Twitter and other media.

Thank you to all of our speakers and those who helped organised the day. The Faculty plans to make 'Communications is Key' an annual event and feedback suggests that many Faculty members would love to learn more about new and innovative ways to communicate to key audiences.

Did you miss the event?