Impact in Sixty Seconds Competition 2015

MVLS Impact in Sixty Seconds Competition flyer

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences recently asked its early-career researchers: ‘Could you explain your research in just sixty seconds?’

Interview with Dr Susie Mitchell, Programme Director for Glasgow City of Science

Aridhia and Glasgow City of Science logosThe Impact in Sixty Seconds competition (held in collaboration with Aridhia Informatics and Glasgow City of Science) invited PhD students and post-docs to create an original 60 second video explaining their research in an easy to understand and accessible way. 

The videos were judged on being engaging, dynamic and compelling, and on how meaningful the description would be for the general public.

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences is committed to ensuring that all our research can make an impact, that is - a constructive difference that will ultimately benefit society, be that the economy, culture, health, or the environment.  The College, with support and encouragement from the BBSRC, has been actively working to support our researchers to develop impact, to identify and work with stakeholders, and also to ensure that the outputs from our research are widely disseminated.

Being able to communicate our science in a non-technical way, not only to the public but to industry, to policy makers, and to researchers from other disciplines, is important for developing impact.  The competition recognises the importance of engagement and communication between innovative collaborations in the field of life sciences, biomedical, clinical and veterinary medicine. 

With three cash prizes sponsored by Aridhia, the competition was fierce. The judging panel included representatives from the University of Glasgow, Aridhia, Glasgow City of Science, BBC Scotland, and Twig World.  The judges were hugely impressed with the quality of entries to the ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ competition. There were almost 40 entries and the judges had a very hard time shortlisting to a top 10, which were then sent to our external judging panel.

The shortlisted video entries were showcased at a special reception in the Glasgow Science Centre on Thursday 19 November, and the winner was announced as PhD student Alex Binks, with his video “You are terminated! Reprogramming viruses to kill cancer cells” reflecting the important work he is undertaking to find a way to use viruses to treat cancer more effectively.  Dr Amber Yu, also from the Institute of Cancer Sciences and Natasha Lewis, PhD student in the Institute of Molecular, Cell and Systems Biology, took second and third place respectively.

Videos can be accessed here.

Around 100 attendees enjoyed an evening of fascinating talks from an array of experts in their fields, culminating with the awards presentation by Aridhia’s David Sibbald and Dr Carol Clugston, College Secretary of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Executive Chairman of Aridhia, David Sibbald said: “Much like data, science and industry shouldn’t exist in silos. They influence and inform each other, and together have the ability to help us understand the world, drive innovation into practice, enrich society and power the economy.

“In this increasingly collaborative world, open innovation in life sciences is rapidly becoming accepted as standard, and as a result there is increasing employer demand for excellent communicators and critical thinking skills. This competition has demonstrated that the University of Glasgow’s researchers are ready to embrace communication and collaboration with industry, and effectively contribute to a more productive and sustainable open innovation ecosystem.”

The programme director of Glasgow City of Science, Dr Susie Mitchell, was delighted with the events of the evening. She said: “Glasgow City of Science is proud to support inspirational projects like the ‘Impact in 60 Seconds’ competition that promote creative approaches to public engagement in science.

She added: “The creative industries – film, art, music, theatre – has the ability to story-tell, inspire and emotionally connect science with the wider public and help them to appreciate how science can impact directly on their lives and the decisions they make.

“I have been overwhelmed with the quality of the films produced and I hope new skills acquired by the researchers will help to communicate their passion for science to public audiences in the future.”

Dr Carol Clugston, College Secretary at MVLS, said: “‘The College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow is delighted to partner with Aridhia and Glasgow City of Science to showcase the research of our Early Career Researchers.

“We are committed to ensuring that all our research can make a constructive difference that will ultimately benefit society. Working with industry partners like Aridhia, and partnering in projects such as ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ and ‘Images on the Clyde’, enables our research to be disseminated widely through knowledge exchange and public engagement, and helps to ensure that it has maximum impact on society, the economy, culture, health, and the environment.

“We have been very impressed with the quality of entries to the ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ competition. Our three worthy winners have each made fantastic, highly professional videos that illuminate their research topics in an engaging, dynamic and compelling way. These young researchers have been able to explain complex scientific topics in under a minute, a skill that will be essential in their future research careers.”

This event also celebrated the College’s recent Images on the Clyde Project, a series of striking images used to highlight the cutting edge research taking place throughout MVLS, which is located on the banks of the River Clyde outside the Glasgow Science Centre, funded by a BBSRC Sparking Impact Award.

View competition invitation and details here.