*The BSI Communication & Engagement grant scheme was previously known as the BSI Communicating Immunology grant scheme.*
Visit the BSI Communication & Engagement Grant page for details about how to apply, guidelines and marking criteria. You can apply for up to £1,000 and there are three deadlines throughout the year to apply: 1 October, 1 February and 1 June.
If you have any questions or wish to discuss details of the grant scheme, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Erika Aquino, BSI Public Engagement Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
The BSI were delighted to fund the following projects in previous rounds of this grant scheme:
- Delphine M. Depierreux, from the University of Cambridge, has been awarded funding to extend their ‘Women’s Health Under the Microscope’ project, which aims to make scientific research related to women’s health accessible, break stigmas and raise awareness on social media. The educational content created and shared will include infographics, podcasts, interviews and short films.
- Ella Mercer, from the Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Edinburgh, has been funded for ‘HPV vaccine, what's the fuss?’ to engage with local high school pupils through a series of workshops to raise awareness of the HPV vaccine, why it is important and how it works, with the aims of empowering young people to advocate for their health and make an informed choice when offered the HPV vaccine.
- Ximena Lucia Raffo-Iraolagoitia, from the CRUK Beatson Institute, has been funded to run ‘Using the immune system to attack cancer’ interactive activities to explain cancer immunology and immunotherapies at the Glasgow Science Festival. They will be developing an interactive card game as well as showcasing latest microscopy imaging on tablets.
- Leo Swadling, from UCL, has been awarded funding to support the ‘UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation Schools Open Day’, designed to bring local students into the new building to introduce them to the vital research going on in the heart of their neighbourhood, offering informal immunology teaching through engaging lectures and interactive activity stands to promote diverse career options related to Immunology.
- Emma Reeves and the Wessex Immunology Group have been funded for their project ‘Engaging with immunology in a time of COVID19’, to deliver two engaging outreach events in the region. The first will be an interactive antibody-making activity at the hugely popular Science and Engineering Day at University of Southampton and the second a three day event at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show to showcase the importance of snot and lungs through hands-on activities.
- Sofia Sintoris, from University of Edinburgh, was funded to develop ‘Operation Colodenum’ a gamified, interactive digital learning resource for schools. The resource will be co-developed with local school partners and linked to curriculum-specific learning objectives.
- Kirsty Le Doare, from the MRC Uganda Virus Research Institute, was funded to develop ‘Comic book on COVID-19 for children under 12’ to disseminate a book to help primary school children in Uganda to be more informed about COVID-19 symptoms, transmission, prevention and vaccination. The local team of immunology University students will hold launches to engage with the children and provide printed copies to schools.
- Arwen Altenburg, from the University of Cambridge, has been funded to further develop ‘The Infection Game: Virus vs Host’ an online game for all ages to learn about viruses and immunity in a playful manner. The updated game will be used to engage audiences at the Cambridge Festival and at local schools.
- Jaime Adame-Gallegos, from the Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua, has been funded to bring interactive immunology education to children and teenagers from marginalized communities in rural areas in Mexico. The funding will also support the translation of BSI resources and outreach materials into Spanish.
- Matthias Eberl, from Cardiff University, has been funded to further develop the “Superbugs” educational online resource with additional content about immunology and vaccines. They will also translate the website into Irish (along with current English and Welsh) and interact with wider communities through schools and science festivals.
- Adrian Liston, from the Babraham Institute, has been awarded funding to develop the “Virus Fighter” online game about viruses and vaccines with additional features to enhance the educational value of the game. They will share teaching resources based on the game and interact with the public at future science festivals.
- Rosemary Norton and the BSI East Anglia Immunology Group, from the University of East Anglia, have been awarded funding to exhibit at the annual Norwich Science Festival 2021 using the BSI’s vaccine engagement activities to raise awareness of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine development and the drug discovery pipeline as well as their own research.
- Dannielle Wellington, from Oxford University, has been funded to run a stand at the IF Oxford Festival 2021 to explore what a virus is and how they are sensed by our innate immune system and how the more highly tuned adaptive immune system is activated.
- Hannah Baer, from the University of Glasgow, has been awarded funding to deliver the “Great Immune Escape” escape room game to children at schools in the greater Glasgow area. Using a playful approach to explain the different ways pathogens evade the immune system, the game will bring immunology into schools and make science accessible.
- Amanda Gibson and the Comparative and Veterinary Immunology Group have been awarded funding to deliver ‘Bite-Sized Flu Camp’ for 14 – 16-year-olds, which highlights the zoonotic nature of influenza and the role of vaccination in preventing disease and reducing transmission. The activity will complement the national curriculum to engage students and provide opportunity to interact with immunologists through Q&A sessions.
- James Pearson, from Cardiff University’s Diabetes Research Group will be funded to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of insulin by creating a film showcasing type 1 diabetes immunology research. The film will highlight how a research idea is developed to understand more about type 1 diabetes and could contribute to a future cure or prevention.
- Georgia Perona-Wright, from the University of Glasgow, is being funded to create a series of short, animated videos addressing common questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. These accessible animations will present accurate information to reduce vaccine hesitancy and empower people to make confident decisions about vaccinations.
- Franca Fraternali from King’s College London has been awarded funding to create short films explaining how the COVID-19 vaccines work, addressing safety concerns and presenting the results from a research project looking at antibody repertoire of vaccinated individuals, in an accessible way for the public. These films will provide better understanding of how vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2.
- Angi Mariani, from television production company Latest CIC, has been funded to create a one-hour long TV programme broadcast across the UK Local TV network providing up to date COVID-19 immunology research made accessible to the public. The programme will explore questions about immunity and vaccination and feature the work of immunologists in an easy to understand way.
- Jo Pennock at the University of Manchester has been awarded funding to debunk COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and tackle vaccine hesitancy. The project will collaborate closely with UK patient groups and work through social media to determine key concerns about COVID-19 vaccines. Short animations will be created to help address those questions and reduce barriers to vaccination.
- John Tregoning from Imperial College London has been awarded funding to illustrate his forthcoming book on immunology and infectious disease. The funding will allow collaboration with artists and professional illustrators to turn the scientific concepts into pictures to support the story, as a picture paints a thousand words.
- Lucia Martin-Gutierrez and colleagues from University College London have been awarded funding to develop their ‘Raising awareness of immunological and inflammatory condition through public engagement’ online project. They will host six virtual events over the next year for patients and public affected by autoimmune diseases to remain engaged with immunology research. They will be exploring online Zoom and sli.do platforms to interact with participants.
- James Harker and colleagues from Imperial College London have been awarded funding to develop their ‘Origami Outbreak’ project and deliver the activity at the Great Exhibition Road Festival 2020. Using modular origami, the public will construct different immune cells, discuss these with immunologists, and contribute them to an installation showing the evolving immune response to an influenza virus infection.
- Charlotte Bell and colleagues from the University of Manchester have been funded for their project titled ‘Infiltrate the tumour’. They will design and create an interactive game to demonstrate the complex role that different immune cells can have within the tumour microenvironment, which will feature at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2020.
- James Penney from The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been awarded funding for his ‘Madagascar Medical Expedition 2020’ project to deliver a ‘teach the teacher’-style educational campaign for local doctors to provide sustainable education surrounding schistosomiasis to the local population.
- The giant nose will be attending the Cambridge Science Festival 2020 through funding for Maryam Arasteh and colleagues at the BSI Cambridge Immunology Group. Using hands-on activities, the group will engage with the public about the body’s amazing immune defenses against viruses and other bugs.
- George Finney and Cecile Benezech have been funded to run their ‘Vaccines are for everyone’ project at the Glasgow-Edinburgh Network for Immunology Excellence symposium venue. The project aims to educate young children and parents about how vaccines work and why they’re important through interactive games and activities.
- Héctor José Pérez Hernández from the Medical Sciences University of Santiago de Cuba has been funded to deliver his project titled ‘Interactive communication in immunology’. Working directly with the local community, the project aims to communicate how diet, hygiene and physical exercise have a relationship with the immune system and allow the public to make informed decisions about their health.
- Samantha Mariani and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh were funded to deliver their project "Amazing Immunology: Be a scientist, build a vaccine!", a fun and hands-on workshop to explain the importance of vaccination. Children (aged 7–13) will learn how successful vaccines have
been, how they work and the concept of ‘herd immunity’.
- Michael Daniels from the University of Edinburgh, working with colleagues at the University of Glasgow and University of Manchester, have been funded for their project "Have you heard?". Tailored sessions aimed at clearing the haze that can surround science in the media, will open discussions about research headlines, recount the journey of a project from brainstorm to media storm and break down how to interpret a science story in the news.
- Ceri Harrop, Fiona Foster and Sheena Cruickshank from the University of Manchester were awarded funding for their project "Invisible Festival: exploring hidden illnesses". The project will bring together immunologists, members of the public with patient experience of invisible illnesses and creative practitioners to co-produce artistic pieces for exhibition at Invisible Festival. The festival will broaden the conversation of the role of immunology in diseases such as Crohn's disease which can be debilitating but not visible to others.
- Maria O'Connell, Rosemary Norton and Anastasia Sobolewski from the University of East Anglia were funded to deliver "Immunology at the Norwich Science Festival". Their project will bring the BSI Giant Nose model to the festival, along with hands-on activities on allergy and inflammation to raise awareness of immunology and research in East Anglia.
- Joanne Pennock from the University of Manchester has been funded for her project "Outbreak!" to be delivered at Green Man Festival. The project is to run this interactive treasure-hunt style game about infection control and antibiotic resistance in Einstein's Garden.
- Lucy Marshall and Meredyth Wilkinson from UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health have been funded to deliver “Juvenile Dermatomyositis Family Day” to connect affected families, whilst communicating with clinicians and scientists about recent research progress.
- Ines Diaz del Olmo, Susanne Dechantsreiter and Daniel M. Davis from the University of Manchester were funded to deliver their project "Singing for Lung Health" at Bluedot Festival. The activity combined scientific talks about immune responses in the lung and diseases such as asthma, with singing workshops focusing on breathing, stretching, lung capacity and breathe control in collaboration with SHE choir.
- Lisa Whittaker from Tenovus Cancer Care, collaborated with Sarah Galloway and Georgie Mason from Cardiff University to receive funding for their project "Your Immune System in Virtual Reality". Working with a creative content business, a virtual reality (VR) experience was created to explain T-cells and their role in the immune system and cancer. The VR experience was showcased at Merthry Tydfil Science Festival.
- Shona Moore, Lance Turtle and Rebecca Glennon-Alty from the University of Liverpool were awarded funding for their project "Outbreak at Bluedot Festival". The activity demonstrated how easily infectious diseases can spread and educated the public about the role of vaccines in preventing these diseases, and how immunologists work to research and create new vaccines.
- Sian Faustini, Adrian Shields and Alex Richter from the University of Birmingham were funded to deliver their project "Preventing Plagues". This project is to run a family education day for local schools to increase understanding of infectious diseases, the immune system and how vaccines protect from disease.
- Jill Johnson, Andrew Devitt and Joanne Gough from Aston University were awarded funding for their project "Synapse". The project will be a two day workshop event to bring immunology and young women together. Recruiting from Girl Guide units in Birmingham will afford girls aged 10-15 the opportunity to experience immunology through hands-on activities and direct engagement with scientists.
- Angela Midgley, Michael Beresford and Anna Surace from the University of Liverpool were awarded with funding for their project "Superhero Team in your Body". The project will use 'Top Trumps'-style playing cards to illustrate the different immune cells in the body and hands-on craft activities to make superhero and supervillain masks, showing that different pathogens require different types of immune responses.
- Artist Mellissa Fisher and Sheena Cruickshank from the University of Manchester were awarded funding for their project "Pillcam - visualising the gut and its immune system". This project is an art-science collaboration which will explore the intestinal immune system using pillcam to capture images of the gut as well as allowing Mellissa to investigate the immune system in the lab. A series of pieces from these investigations will be displayed to the public at the Manchester Museum and Quarry Bank Mill.
- Debby Bogaert, Meghan Perry and Donald Davidson from the University of Edinburgh were funded to carry out their project "World Pneumonia day; teaching the public about infections and antibiotics through music". This project involved carrying out a range of engagement activities surrounding pneumonia and other respiratory infections on World Pneumonia Day. The project also included a performance of the educational musical “The Mould that Changed the World”, which focuses on the wonders of antibiotics as well as current threats to the treatment.
- Umme Aysha and Daniel Pennington from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) were awarded funding to deliver their project "Invasion! Infection & Immunity" at the Centre of the Cell, a science education centre in East London. As part of the project, free workshops will be held for A-level students from around East London covering the immune system as a line of defence against infection. There will also be 'Meet an Immunologist' sessions whereby researchers from QMUL's Blizard Institute will discuss their research with pupils in a hands-on way.
- Claire Pearson and Samuel Bullers from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, University of Oxford were funded to produce a large interactive board to engage with schoolchildren about the intestinal immune system. They also plan to take the activity to a range of science festivals and engagement events.
- Sarah Haywood-Small and Emma Henly from Sheffield Hallam University were funded to carry out their project "The Supercells Part 2 - Inflammation Nation". This is the second installment of a cartoon which illustrates the different functions of the immune system in an engaging and accessible way. The video will be shown at various venues. You can watch both of the videos here.
- Kate Hyde, Sheena Cruickshank from the University of Manchester and and Stephen Spencer from the Royal United Hospital, Bath, were awarded funding to deliver their project "A longitudinal study of the prevention and treatment of schistosomiasis in Madagascar". This project aims to educate school children in Madagascar about the life cycle of the schistosome parasite with the aim to prevent the spread of the disease.
- Xinyang Hong and colleagues from the universities of London, Oxford and Nottingham were awarded funding to deliver their project "Disease Detectives". This activity involved a treasure hunt in order to illustrate the role of wildlife in bovine tuberculosis transmission. The activity was to be run at a range of science festivals and other venues across the UK.
- Iris Mair and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh were funded to run the project "Denny and the T Team Fight Cancer". The project aimed to fun and active workshops to reveal a broad range of immunological concepts and extending these to an introduction to cancer immunotherapy.
- Jill Johnson and colleagues (Aston University) "Synapse - bringing immunology and young women together" is a two-day workshop to give girls aged 10-15 the opportunity to experience immunology through hands-on activities through direct engagement with scientists.
- Natalie Riddell and Deborah Dunn-Walters (University of Surrey) "SHARP Immunology" aims to teach older people about how failing immunity can lead to increased incidence of infection and reduced vaccine effectiveness and also how research may find how to reverse the effects of immunosenescence and promote health ageing.
- Sarah Williams (Staffordshire University) "Vaccinations and Herd Immunity" is an educational event to teach primary-aged children about how vaccines and herd immunity prevent the spread of infectious disease.
- Juan Aldave (Luke Society Trujilo and Hospital Nacional Edgardo Rebagliati): "Immunocyte toys to promote health in children" was a one day workshop for children and their families in a village in Peru, to learn about how the immune system copes with communicable disease and the importance of hygiene and vaccines, amongst other factors, in protecting against infection.
- Simon Jochems and colleagues (The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine): "Breathtaking Pneumococcus" interactive activities, including live demonstrations of nasal washes, to educate the public on pneumonia and pneumonia-causing bacteria.
- Pasquale Maffia and Jonathan Noonan (University of Glasgow): "Nanomate" an exhibit at multiple science festivals aiming to educate the public on the revolutionary use of nanoparticles in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.
- Sheena Cruickshank and colleagues (University of Manchester):"Managing Schistosomiasis in rural Madagascar through treatment and education" an education programme to increase awarness of schistosomiasis and reduce infection intensity in the Morolambo District of Madagascar.
- James Doonan and colleagues (University of Strathclyde): "Parasites - friend or foe?" an interactive exhibit that describes the variety of helminths that infect humans, the ways in which they can influence our immune system to survive and how we exploit these mechanisms to develop new drugs against allergic and autoimmune diseases.
- Phebe Ekregbesi, placement student (The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine): "Immunology: fight against infection" an interactive workshop for year 5/6 school children about the different parts of the immune system and how they contribute to prevent or clear infection.
- Alice Halliday and colleagues (Imperial College London) produced an animated film about latent TB screening for specific target populations.
- Kerry McLaughlin and colleagues (Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism): "Eyes on Diabetes: Research and Innovation" one day showcase of research to demonstrate why and how Type 1 Diabetes develops and up to date treatment options.
- Paul Garside and colleagues (University of Glasgow and KEMRI-Wellcome Research Programme): "KENYA: Enhancing public awareness of the role of immunology in our lives" a series of talks and hands on sessions for school children and clinicians in the Kilifi region of Kenya.
- Melanie Jimenez (University of Glasgow): "Importance of the immune system in the fight against malaria" a collaborative project between immunologists and biomechanical engineers to engage school children with the development of diagnostics and treatments for malaria.
- Beatrice Tyrrell and colleagues (University of Oxford): "Oxford Hands on Science" a roadshow to engage school children and their families with inspiring science through hands-on experiments.
- Katherine Walwyn-Brown (University of Manchester): "Soapbox science: Natural Killer Cells" this funding enabled Katherine to take part in the Soapbox Science initiative including attending a training session.
- James Penny and Dr Stephen Spencer (University of Manchester): "Raising infection transmission awareness in schoolchildren in Madagascar" a medical expedition to Madagascar to study schistosome prevalence and also educate local populations about the schistosomiasis.
- Louisa Wood and colleagues (Babraham Institute): "Introducing European audiences to cutting-edge immunology" a project to translate a popular immunology video from the institute into a range of European languages to increase the reach of the work. The videos can be viewed on the Babraham Institute's YouTube channel.
- Megan McLeod (University of Glasgow): "Afterglow and Immunecraft: digital artists reimagine scientific research" a project to increase the audience of the digital artworks Afterglow and Immunecraft produced as part of the national project Silent Signal.