UCL News


Communication is Key 2018

20 June 2018

UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences held its third annual Communication is Key event on Thursday 14th June 2018 at Chandler House.

Comms is Key badges  

The event was organised by the Faculty communications team: Kate Faxen (Faculty Communications and Marketing Manager) and Therese Johns (Faculty Communications Officer) and attracted around 65 attendees from across the Faculty.

Brain Sciences is still the only Faculty at UCL to hold an annual communications event.

Communication is Key attendees

The afternoon began with an introduction by Kate Faxen. The keynote speaker was Dr Hannah Devlin, Science correspondent on the Guardian, who spoke about the relationship between scientists and the media.

Dr Hannah Devlin delivering the keynote address

UCL Media Relations Managers Henry Killworth and Chris Lane then showcased the Faculty's recent appearances in national and international media, demonstrating how impactful the Faculty's research is on a global scale.

Attendees then attended two focus sessions, from a selection designed to empower them with new communications skills and knowledge:

  • Social media for intermediate users: Therese Johns (Faculty of Brain Sciences)
  • Technical writing: Dr Sunny Bains (UCL Engineering)

Dr Sunny Bains leading a workshop on 'Technical writing.'

  • Facilitating public engagement: Cassie Hugill (Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging)

Cassie Hugill leading the 'Facilitating public engagement' workshop

  • The essentials of writing a comms plan: Helen Khan (NIHR Moorfields BRC)

Helen Khan leading the 'Essentials of writing a comms plan' workshop

  • Expert event planning: Hayley Simpson (UCL SRM) and Candice Lewis (UCL Neuroscience Domain)

Candice Lewis and Hayley Simpson leading the 'Expert event planning' workshop

Communications Excellence Awards

During the event the Faculty also held its third annual Communications Excellence Awards. These Awards recognise and celebrate exceptional comms work and success in the Faculty, with an emphasis on highlighting the contributions of colleagues who don't necessarily have "communications" in their job titles.

The Awards were presented by Collette Lux (Director, UCL Communications and Marketing). The award categories and nominees were as follows:

Comms targeted at staff:

  • Division of Psychiatry social team: WINNER
  • BRR department, IoN
  • Lynn Haddon, Queen Square Brain Bank

Anne Laybourne and Aritz Irizar receive the Award from Collette Lux on behalf of the Division of Psychiatry social team.

Comms targeted at students:

  • IoN Education Team: WINNER
  • Jacqueline Casey, IoN
  • Jake Fairnie, PALS

Anna Foakes receives the Award from Collette Lux on behalf of the IoN Education Team.

Comms targeted at the public:

  • Kailey Nolan, Created Out of Mind: WINNER
  • Cassie Terry, Institute of Prion Diseases
  • David Blundred, IoN
  • Tammaryn Lashley, IoN
  • Victoria Fleming, IoN
  • 'Ways to Evaluate: Nominal Group Technique' film team

Kailey Nolan receives the Award from Collette Lux

Thank you to our speakers (above) and the following volunteers:

  • Jake Fairnie
  • Annora Thoeng
  • Sarah Lawson
  • Susie Sandford-Smith

The event has received very positive and helpful feedback from attendees, which will shape future communications events in the Faculty.

"Brilliantly designed and very well organised"
"Thanks for another great event."


  • All photos by Jake Fairnie