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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Roadshow win for NAMRIP

Published: 21 November 2016
NAMRIP members receiving award

NAMRIP was awarded the ‘Wow Factor and Impact’ prize at the 2016 ‘Bringing Research to Life’ roadshow awards ceremony (17 November 2016).

NAMRIP has taken its message to many public events in 2016 , and the Roadshow provided fantastic support in transport, advice, venue, and generally taking all the strain out of the adventure ! Consequently NAMRIP folk could turn up with their ‘toys’ and talk to the public.

Photo shows the presentation of the award. From left to right: Rhiannon and Timothy Leighton (who both staffed the Cheltenham NAMRIP stand), Mark Spearing (Vice President for Research, presenting the award), Craig Dolder ( Beating infections without jargon ) and Paul Hurley ( Mapping Microbes ).

The citation read:

“This award is for an activity where time after time we consistently see visitors having a ‘wow’ moment of delight and understanding as the point of the activity suddenly hits them. The winning team also make a point of focusing on finding smart ways to measure and evaluate the impact of what they’re doing. So in recognition of their overall approach, and specifically for the suite of activities they brought to Cheltenham Science Festival , the NAMRIP team”.

Excellent feedback
Public feedback of the NAMRIP exhibit at Cheltenham Science Festival

Accepting the award, Professor Leighton, Chair of NAMRIP said “It has been great fun doing a host of Public Engagement Activities for NAMRIP, and I cannot stress how valuable is the support of the Roadshow. For each person that ‘fronts’ an exhibition to the public, there are usually three or four in the team who put each exhibit together, so many people deserve to share recognition for this award. This is an award that is definitely shared by all the many NAMRIP members who talked to the public, built exhibits, suggested ideas, and helped with logistics.”

“If you think talking to the public is beyond your skill, join in building an exhibit, in the belief you can avoid talking to the public….. and then go talk about it to the public – after the first hour you will be a pro! If you think your research is too complicated to describe, talk about something else – at Cheltenham, our biggest draw by far was a simple hand cleaning demo that half a dozen of us put together one rainy afternoon, and it got across a clear message to toddlers and senior citizens alike – we had people queuing up to ask us questions, and kept that level of interest up for 7 hours. It is wonderfully rewarding, not nearly as difficult as it sounds, and Roadshow take all the heavy lifting out of the logistics. So I urge you to join in.”

“In the last year, the Roadshow managed over 20000 ‘engaged’ conversations (by ‘engaged’, we mean there was real dialogue between the public and the researcher, as opposed to passive interaction whereby members of the public simply walking past our exhibits and look at it. This was achieved at more than 12 major events per annum (with overall event attendance figures well in excess of 500,000). All credit to the Roadshow team. The events were targeted to engage with a really diverse spread of audience types including the general public, schools, professionals, fans/enthusiasts and themed cultural events. This is a fantastic activity and I urge researchers to join in – you not only engage with the public, but make friends on the Roadshow, and I have seen it transform the communication skills of so many researchers in just a couple of hours.”

"I am grateful to a number of funders who supported the cost of our Public Engagement activity over the last year, notable the EPSRC through the ‘Bridging the Gap between EPS and non-EPS Researchers’, and an award from PERU (Public Engagement in Research Unit at the University of Southampton)”.

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