Home Our work Science Communication Awards 2014 Science Communication Awards: The winning entries

2014 Science Communication Awards: The winning entries

Last reviewed 
15 December 2014

The winners of the 2014 AMRC Science Communication Awards are:

Category winners:

Overall winner

The judges were uniformly impressed by Alzheimer's Research UK's Dementia Lab, praising the comprehensive campaign for its engaging, easy to use design. On the site, visitors are guided through a virtual, interactive lab which explains each stage of dementia research and the work of the charity. It can be accessed online or through a DVD for those without internet, and uses social media to engage younger audiences.

Judges' comments:

An amazing site, both in its design and content.

Made me think more than I ever have about dementia.

Best entry from a small charity

Target Ovarian Cancer's Clinical Trials Information Centre website was the winner of our best entry from a small charity award. The charity wants to get more women involved in ovarian cancer research and has produced the website to help patients and health professionals find out about clinical trials.

Judges' comments:

This is an excellent example of an elegant solution to an identified and well-scoped problem.

The site fits its brief perfectly, is well laid out, intuitive and provides lots of much-needed contextualisation and support, clearly tailored to its target audience.

Best design

Cancer Research UK, which entered its annual review to the Best print publication category, was the winner for best design. The review presents the charity's achievements through the eyes of patients and their families, emphasising the core concept of 'strength in numbers', and included a leaflet showcasing the year's highlights.

Judges' comments:

Fantastic personal connections throughout... with great images. Portrays how they put people at the heart of all their research.

I love the chapter breaks. They break up the in-depth text, enticing the audience to read on.

Judges discretionary award

This year the judges awarded a discretionary award to Huntington's Disease Association for its HDBuzz website, which explains the latest Huntington's disease research in plain, understandable language. In addition to research articles, the website also publishes information to put sensationalised 'miracle cures' into a realistic context.

Judges' comments:

The HDBuzz website is an excellent idea; the research information is shared so comprehensively. Many of the larger funders could learn from this!

Category 1: Online and social media

Our judges chose Alzheimer's Research UK's Dementia Lab as the winning entry in the online and social media category. The  virtual lab takes visitors on a journey, showing people the dementia research process and the pioneering work of the charity. It is designed to attract new digital audiences and allows visitors to personalise their experience using Facebook and to start dialogues using social media.

Judges' comments: 

Shows how you can make the most of different types of content – text, audio, video, infographic – and pull it together seamlessly to tell a story.

Category 2 : Best print publication

Progress, Prostate Cancer UK's magazine was the winning entry in the best print publication category. A ‘news and views’ magazine covering a range of topics of interest to men with prostate cancer and their families, its main objectives are to communicate useful, interesting information to men with prostate cancer and to engage readers and encourage them to become volunteers, campaigners and supporters. Prostate cancer research is of extreme interest to men with prostate cancer and their families as it provides hope for a brighter future.

Judges' comments:

An inspiring and refreshing read.

Clear strong branding.

The layout and imagery, including the quirky way the brand icons are used, result in a friendly, approachable and easy-to-read document.

Information is clear and impactful. Good change of pace – the more intense research articles flanked by pages containing snippets of useful information and facts.

Category 3: Communicating controversial topics

Breakthrough Breast Cancer's online guide NHS breast cancer screening: the facts was selected by our judges as the winner in the communicating controversial topics category. The guide supports women aged 50 to 70 in making an informed choice about whether to attend routine breast screening. It uses an interactive design alongside imagery, animations and expert and case study videos to explain the facts surrounding mammography in an accessible and engaging way. Following expert debate and a media storm in 2010–2012 that heightened confusion about the risks of breast screening, the guide demystifies this controversial topic and empowers women to make the right choice for them.

Judges' comments:

Clearly meets patients’ needs.

Excellent feedback from target audience.

Nice design - easy to use and straightforward

Category 4: Campaigning and influencing

The Brain Tumour Charity's campaign HeadSmart: Be Brain Tumour Aware is the winner of our campaigning and influencing category. This national award-winning campaign to raise awareness of childhood brain tumour signs and symptoms among health professionals and the public, was developed by a partnership of The Brain Tumour Charity, the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at the University of Nottingham and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Ten children are diagnosed each week in the UK and brain tumours are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths associated with acquired disability. Since the campaign was launched, the time to diagnosis has dropped from 9.1 weeks to 6.9 weeks.

Judges' comments:

An exemplary campaign and competition entry. Clear aims, clear achievements and impressive examples of beating many of the targets you set yourselves.

Category 5: Engaging patients and the public

British Heart Foundation's Lab Live project is the winner of our engaging patients and the public category. The project brought a BHF-funded laboratory to its supporters by hosting a Google+ hangout from the University of Oxford. The hangout was an opportunity for supporters, including heart patients and the wider general public, to engage with a researcher and learn more about what happens in the lab. The event was watched by over 300 people live, who were able to ask questions via Twitter using the hashtag #LabLive.

Judges’ comments:

Good idea to combine knowledge of researcher and nurse.

Clearly increased supporters’ engagement with the charity

Very innovative - other charities could learn from this.