“The Grants, Engagement and Communications (GECo) Facility coordinates institute-wide grant applications, organises engagement projects to encourage public interest in science, and communicates LMS research to a broad audience.”
The GECo facility:
- Shares LMS research with a wide audience
- Encourages and supports LMS researchers to engage with a wide audience, including: the public, the media, industry, policymakers, charities, funders and potential industrial and academic collaborators
- Fosters dialogue between researchers across the sciences and the arts
- Promotes women in science
- Develops partnerships to deliver LMS communication and engagement goals
The facility coordinates and advises on large, Institute-wide grants, as well as grants that support individual researchers. It works closely with the LMS Grants & Contracts Coordinator, Imperial College and UKRI to provide timely information on research grants for scientists and other grants of benefit to the Institute, such as those which support engagement or training opportunities.
The GECo team develops, delivers and supports a range of engagement activities and projects. Some examples are:
- Women in STEM: Our Suffrage Science award scheme celebrates women in STEM for their scientific achievements and their ability to inspire others. Every two years, the recipient nominates a recipient for their scientific “heirloom” – a unique piece of jewellery designed by students of Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, and inspired by the themes of science and suffrage. This handing-on process creates an inspiring network of female role models. In 2021, the scheme will celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
- Science and Art: The LMS fosters dialogue between researchers across the sciences and arts through a range of The latest is called ‘A Picture of Health’ in which we will invite 100 contributors from a cross-section of society to submit a response to the phrase ‘A Picture of Health’. The project began as a community engagement tool to discuss current research in key health areas such as sleep, genetics and mental health through the medium of art.
- Biomedical Picture of the Day (BPoD): The LMS devised and curates this online platform which has shared a beautiful biomedical image every day since January 2012, each accompanied by a 150-word summary.
- Illustrated Books: The latest edition of LMS illustrated books, called ‘Pioneers of Progress’, was published in March 2020. This shares the stories of pioneering women in STEM. Its sequel is due for publication in Autumn 2020. An earlier illustrated book, called ‘Heroes for Health’, was published in 2018 to celebrate 105 years of the Medical Research Council.
- Community Engagement: Researchers from the LMS often deliver talks to public audiences at science festivals such as Pint of Science, the Imperial Festival and MRC Festival of Medical Research, as well as in schools and community groups. One current community engagement projects has involved collaboration with our neighbouring school, Ark Burlington Danes Academy, to co-create a design for the hoarding around the construction site where our new building is taking shape. This design reflects LMS research as well as questions the students wanted to ask of their peers.
- Engaging Libraries: The GECo team is also collaborating with local libraries in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham on a project called ‘Telling the Tale’. Using stories and storytelling skills, we will explore the theme of self-care and specifically the genetic and digital self.
- WOWS Allies and Mentoring Scheme: Developed by the LMS with the African Research Excellence Fund (AREF) and launched in 2020, this scheme pairs mentees from 6 countries across Africa with a scientific mentor from the UK. The WOWS scheme provides advice and guidance for mentees, enabling them to take the next steps in their career or development.
More details on all these projects and all previous projects can be found on our Public Engagement pages.
The GECo facility co-ordinates an array of communications channels, in close collaboration with communications and press teams at UKRI and Imperial College London.
- News – Keep up to date with the latest LMS News through our website. Accessible summaries of our cutting-edge research, reports on our latest events and partnerships and feature pieces from our colleagues can all be found in the News section. The facility maintains the LMS and affiliated websites including the Institute of Clinical Sciences.
- Social media – Our social media platforms share the latest updates from across the LMS. The GECo team arranges social media takeovers which enable audiences to follow along and interact directly with our researchers. Our YouTube channel hosts a growing collection of videos to give you a sense of life at the LMS. We also use social media for some of our digital engagement projects and
- Internal Communications – The GECo facility is responsible for a number of internal communication updates including a monthly newsletter, a bimonthly GECo bulletin and a weekly event update to ensure colleagues are aware of all opportunities to develop their careers and skills.