28 September 2023

The RCPath Science Communication Prize is kindly sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK and is open to trainees, Foundation doctors and undergraduates.

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the RCPath Science Communication Prize: Dr Zoe Rivers, who was awarded the prize in the trainee category, and Dr Charlotte Woodward, who was awarded in the undergraduate and Foundation doctor category. 

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© Zoe Rivers and Charlotte Woodward The winners of the 2023 RCPath Science Communication Prize, which is kindly sponsored by Sonic Healthcare UK: Dr Zoe Rivers (left) and Dr Charlotte Woodward (right).

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of this competition by Sonic Healthcare UK, both winners will be awarded £500 each. We are also very grateful to the competition’s judges: Dr Shubha Allard and Professor Sarah Coupland.

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Zoe and Charlotte will attend the RCPath New Fellows Ceremony in February 2024, where they will be presented their certificates by the College President. They are both very worthy winners of this year’s prize, having shown a consistent commitment and proactivity to promoting pathology. 

Sonic Healthcare UK are pleased to sponsor the Science Communications Prize and promote pathology in the UK.

About our 2023 winners

Dr Zoe Rivers

Dr Zoe Rivers is a recently qualified consultant working in histopathology at the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust. Since June 2022, Zoe has participated in 42 science communication events involving over 1800 school students, ranging in age from 5 to 16 years. Throughout her time as a pathology trainee, Zoe volunteered many hours to developing and delivering a range of activities aimed at inspiring young people about careers in pathology.

She created a virtual session about the journey of an appendix through a histopathology laboratory, bringing this to life for primary school children using soft toys (namely a ‘patient’ called Lenny the Lion) and clay. Zoe presented this online, interactive session 35 times between summer 2022 and summer 2023. She also delivered five hands-on in-person activities for primary school students about the skeletal, digestive and cardiovascular systems.  These sessions introduced key science concepts, using plastic anatomy models and household objects to help bring the subject to life. Zoe collaborated with several primary school teachers, to ensure that the information was presented in an engaging way, at an appropriate level and to link in with the National Curriculum’s Science Programme.

Zoe is also a STEM Ambassador and through this scheme has delivered her virtual activities for school students around the UK, from remote and rural schools in Scotland to inner-city schools in London. She has recently accepted the role of ‘Enterprise Advisor’ for New Anglia Careers Hub, offering an opportunity for her to develop her science communication events for secondary school children and to inspire students to consider jobs within Pathology when thinking about their career options.

In 2019, Zoe wrote an article for the RCPath’s Bulletin about one of her teaching sessions. The article inspired colleagues to host teaching sessions for local schools. Zoe supported these colleagues by giving advice and loaning them resources for their events.

‘I am delighted to have been selected as this year’s winner in the trainee category of the RCPath Science Communication Prize. I entered the competition in the hope of showing colleagues the difference they can make to young people’s education by volunteering a few hours of their time to local schools.’  Dr Zoe Rivers.

Read an interview with Zoe and find out more about the competition here

Dr Charlotte Woodward

Dr Charlotte Woodward is a Year Two Foundation Doctor working at St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospital. She has used her passion for art and digital illustration to make learning Neuroanatomy more accessible for public audiences, by using visually appealing images rather than traditional mainstream anatomy images.

While at medical school at the University of Southampton, Charlotte began to collaborate with Dr Scott Border who advocates for staff student partnerships within medical training and is the founder of ‘Soton Brain Hub’. This is a multi-media neuroanatomy and neuroscience teaching platform that provides free educational YouTube videos and Instagram images aimed at medical students and junior doctors.

'I think it is so important to raise awareness and celebrate the scale and diversity of work that is being done in science communication by undergraduates and trainees in the UK.' Dr Charlotte Woodward

Charlotte continues to cover more diverse topics on the Brain Hub including Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease. In June 2022, Charlotte was the featured artist of the week on the American Association of Clinical Anatomists’ Twitter account, which helped to boost the global reach of ‘Soton Brain Hub’. Charlotte works in partnership with new students at the University of Southampton who provide content to accompany Charlotte’s illustrations. 

Since 2020, Charlotte has juggled her work on the Soton Brain Hub with first medical school, then with her Foundation Training. 

On being selected as the winner in the undergraduate and Foundation doctor category, Charlotte said: ‘I was delighted to be selected as the recipient for this year’s Science Communication Prize. I think it is so important to raise awareness and celebrate the scale and diversity of work that is being done in science communication by undergraduates and trainees in the UK.’

The RCPath Science Communication Prize will open again for nominations in 2024.

Read more from both our winners and find out more about the competition at www.rcpath.org/scicommprize.