Dr Claire Sexton, who is part-funded by the NIHR Oxford Health BRC, has won an Early Career Researcher award in this year’s Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards.
The awards celebrate public engagement work across the University, and last year’s winners include Dr Liz Tunbridge, our training theme lead.
The award win was announced at a ceremony at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on 28 June, hosted by Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson.
Dr Sexton, who is a researcher at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry, said; “I am delighted to be awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research award.
My public engagement work aims to increase awareness about dementia and how healthy brain ageing can be encouraged through non-pharmacological means, which is my particular research focus. Public engagement activities are crucial to bringing research findings in this area to wider audiences, and it’s fantastic for this work to be valued by the University.”
Dr Sexton has worked to engage the public with her research on healthy ageing – she is the Founding Chair of the Dementia Friendly Chipping Norton, and she has worked with the ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative, giving public talks and information sessions about her research to over 900 people, and organising film screenings of the documentary “The Age of Champions”. The Dementia Friendly Chipping Norton group aims to bring together people living with dementia, caregivers, community organisations and researchers to increase awareness of dementia locally and improve inclusion and quality of life.
Dr Sexton has also built capacity for public engagement, encouraging, training and enabling other researchers at Oxford to take part.
The Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Awards recognise and reward those at the University who undertake high-quality engagement activities and have contributed to building capacity in this area. Dr Sexton was one of five Early Career Researcher winners at the awards.
Watch Dr Sexton deliver a presentation on her research and outreach:
Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor says: “I have been deeply impressed by the quality of the public engagement with research projects submitted for this year’s awards. The breadth and diversity of the activities taking place show how seriously the University takes its commitment to public engagement. It is inspiring to see the positive impact these activities have both on research and on the individuals and communities that have been involved, from warriors in Tanzania and young adults in Brazil, to local communities affected by dementia.”
Professor Alison Woollard, the University’s Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research says: “Public engagement enriches both research and society and the University is committed to enabling our researchers to inspire, consult and collaborate with the public. I’m delighted that we are able to recognise and highlight the fantastic work our researchers are doing and hope these awards encourage more colleagues across the University to carry out their own public engagement with research.”
Dr Sexton is funded by: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) based at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and University of Oxford, the NIHR Oxford Health BRC, Oxford Alzheimer’s Research Trust Network.