Announcing: Oxford Sparks Ambassadors 2022-23
4 January 2023
Public Engagement - news
The Oxford Sparks Ambassadors scheme is back, providing hands-on training and support for researchers to create online videos to share with the wider public about their research. Read about the 2022-23 cohort of five researchers taking part in this scheme.
Oxford Sparks, the University's digital science engagement programme led by the MPLS Division, is repeating the Oxford Sparks Ambassador scheme for early career researchers to develop their understanding, skills and confidence to communicate their research in a way that reaches, appeals to, and is accessible for public audiences.
They will take part in an in-depth training course covering the key steps of producing online video for wider public audiences, including 'on screen presence', scripting and storyboarding, marketing and promotion, and a whistle-stop tour of filming and editing.
They will then work with Oxford Sparks over the coming year to create at least one video based on their area of work. You'll be able to watch their creations over on the Oxford Sparks YouTube channel.
The Ambassadors have introduced themselves below, so read on to get to know them:
DPhil Student, Nuffield Department for Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences
I am studying for a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the University of Oxford on sabbatical from my MD (MBBS) at Imperial College London.
My doctoral studies focus on novel ways to study cellular diversity and metastasis in cancer. I aim to identify new targets for drugs against fatal skeletal cancers. I was also selected for the 2022-23 Healthcare Leadership Academy scholarship.
I have been awarded a number of prizes and awards recognising my academic achievements before and during University including: a Distinction in Medical Science from Imperial College London, best in cohort during medical school, the Mercers prize, FMF essay prize and Chelsea Procedures Prize, studentships from the Genetics Society, the Lloyd Cup and a gold CREST award in the British Biology Olympiad, amongst others.
In 2022, I was appointed Sub-Dean at St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford and I am passionate about student advocacy, sitting on a number of committees.
In my free time, I enjoy volunteering with community development projects. In 2021, I received the St. Mary’s Hospital Association Outstanding Service Award for voluntary work, and in 2022 received the Nautilus Prize from Green Templeton College for most outstanding contributions to the college community.
DPhil student, OnCology
Hi! I'm Giamp, an aspiring clinician-scientist from Italy. After completing medical school, I deferred the start of my clinical training to dedicate myself to research full time. After moving around quite a bit, I ended up here in Oxford, where I am currently reading for a DPhil in Oncology.
Communicating science to others is something I am very passionate about (check out Giamp's Instagram page here).
I think science is really cool and hope we scientists will become better able to convey the coolness and fun behind science to people from non-scientific backgrounds.
Post-docotoral Researcher, NUFFIELD DEPARTMENT FOR ORTHOPAEDICS, RHEUMATOLOGY AND MUSCULOSKELETAL SCIENCES
I am a different kind of researcher from those you usually find working at the University of Oxford Medical Sciences Division. I am not a doctor, a health professional, or even a statistician — I am a science communicator and a meta-researcher, which means I work on research-on-research.
I investigate solutions to help researchers and organisations communicate about their projects and findings in a clear way for every audience, without losing precision or completeness.
I am a researcher in the EQUATOR team. The UK EQUATOR Centre investigates the problem of health research reporting and alternatives to reduce the research waste created when science communication is suboptimal. We want to improve the way scientists communicate their studies both among themselves and to the public outside academia.
DPhil Student, Biology
I'm a DPhil (PhD) student investigating the effects of climate change on big cat habitats in order to combine climate and conservation science.
I previously completed an integrated master's degree in Geological Sciences at the University of Leeds, in which I covered a broad range of Earth and environmental science topics. During this degree, I studied at Monash University for a year, focusing on climate science and benefitting from the diverse array of leading scientists in Australia. For the master's project, I recreated marine food webs from the Jurassic period.
Following this, I undertook an internship with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, predicting past climatic change in Norfolk and Siberia using tree rings. I then undertook a second master's, also at Leeds, in Biodiversity and Conservation, studying rewilding in Portugal and African field ecology. In my spare time, I act in the Oxford University Drama Society and the Oxford Revue.
DPhil student, Nuffield Department of Population Health
Hello, I am Uchenna Gwacham. I am a medical doctor, public health practitioner, and researcher. Before coming to Oxford, I worked as a strategic technical advisor for healthcare leaders in the private, faith-based and public health sectors in Nigeria.
I received my medical training in the Philippines and obtained my Masters in public health at the University of Liverpool, England. I am currently a Clarendon/NDPH/Balliol college scholar studying for a DPhil at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford. My project focuses on developing a framework for community-based prevention of stillbirths in Nigeria.
I established and serve as the lead facilitator at Genete Resource Centre for Women, a technology-based non-profit providing free maternal health education, counselling, and support for Nigerian women throughout pregnancy and beyond.
We can't wait to share the wonderful videos they'll be creating, so watch this space.
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