Junk The Jargon!
Claire Sarell, a PhD student from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, has beaten off stiff competition to win £500 and first prize in the final of 'Junk the Jargon'.
In the first contest of its kind, Queen Mary challenged its postdoctoral and postgraduate researchers to present their research in an easy-to-understand, jargon-free way in under three minutes.
Judging competitors in the final round were Christmas Lectures presenter Professor Sue Hartley, Queen Mary Professors Fran Balkwill and Lisa Jardine, Dr Tiffany Jenkins from the Institute of Ideas, and Simon Levey, the College's Communications Officer for science and engineering.
Winner of the judges' and audience vote, Claire was commended for her interesting, entertaining and creative delivery of the topic entitled 'What causes Alzheimer's disease?'. She explained: "I found it quite difficult. In the first heat I still tried to use quite a lot of the very specific information from my research, whereas for the final I just decided to concentrate on the disease itself. Once I decided to make that break it became a lot easier to make it exciting, interesting and funny. It has been quite difficult but now hopefully I can finally explain to my parents or friends what my PhD is about!"
Katie Lidster, from the Neuroscience and Trauma Centre at the Blizard Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, was awarded second place and £200 prize money for her detailed but clear presentation 'How do mice with green eyes contribute to MS research,' and Rebecca Burgell from the Institute's Neurogastroenterology Group, came in third place for her excellent use of props in 'Code Brown / Code Red!! Causes of constipation'.
Competition organiser Dr Jo Cordy from Queen Mary's Educational and Staff Development, explained how thrilled she was by the event's success: "I thought the standard of the finalists was incredibly high and I certainly wouldn't have liked to have been in the judges' position having to choose between them! Participants have gained improved confidence and communication skills, which are so important for researchers these days. We hope Junk the Jargon will become an annual event and we will be celebrating many more skilled communicators here at Queen Mary, maybe even the Hartleys, Jardines, Balkwills and Leveys of the future."
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