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ICR wins prestigious award for openness in animal research communication

The ICR has won a prestigious communications award that celebrates our success in communicating openly about animal research. 

ICR won the highly commended prize in  the Media Engagement or Media Stories category at the Second Annual Openness Awards 2015, which is run by Understanding Animal Research – the organisation that publishes the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research. 

Our entry focused on Can You Cure My Cancer?, a BBC One Panorama documentary which aired in February this year filmed exclusively at The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. 

This is the first time the ICR has ever won this sort of award. 

First place for this prize was given  to King’s College London for inviting the Daily Mirror to film inside a primate facility. 

Can You Cure My Cancer? showed viewers a clear link between research – including animal research at the ICR – and benefits for people with cancer. It included an interview from BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh with Professor Louis Chesler in our animal facility, and filming of an imaging experiment involving a live mouse. 

The programme was a milestone for the ICR and the first time we have allowed journalists into our animal research laboratories. It was made possible by the support of a wide range of researchers, including Professor Chesler, Dr Gabriela Kramer-Marek and Professor Kevin Harrington, and staff in the Biological Services Unit. 

Explaining their decision to give the ICR this award, the judges praised the effort and collaboration of people of all levels in many different departments at the ICR for making the filming possible. 

They also praised the willingness to get involved of researchers who had not had previous experience of communicating about their work using animals. 

Dr Eva Sharpe and Henry French, from the ICR’s communications team, collected the award from Professor Sir Colin Blakemore in a ceremony at the Wellcome Collection earlier this week. 

You can read more about the awards and see the other winners here. 

Earlier this year a report from Understanding Animal Research also highlighted the ICR’s communication about animal research on our website and in press releases as examples of best practice. 

Since signing the Concordat in 2014, we have also launched a dedicated section of our website about our animal research, spoken to members of the public through engagement events, supported best practice in publishing the results of our animal research and updated our position statement.

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