PPIE Award Winner 2023: Jo Pennock

by | Feb 27, 2024 | PPIE Award Winners, PPIE Celebration | 0 comments

In this blog series we will be featuring our award winners and highly commended recipients from the Faculty’s ‘Outstanding Contribution to PPIE’ awards. Showcasing the inspirational and outstanding commitment to PPIE that has made a positive difference to our community and highlighting the amazing events, activities, people and groups from across the Faculty.   

Our next blog in this series will feature Dr Jo Pennock, Senior Lecturer in the Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation. Jo is a member of the Faculty’s PPIE Forum who has involved Public Contributors in teaching activities for several years, helping students understand the critical importance of engaging patients. Jo was the winner of the Individual (staff) category at the 2023 awards.   

For years, Jo has involved public contributors (PC) in teaching sessions, including lay language, introduction to PPIE, difficult conversations, and writing lay abstracts and patient information leaflets. Her ‘From me to you’ event matched students with PC related to their research who discussed their patient experiences and gave feedback on the students’ presentation. These activities allowed the students to develop the skills, attitude and understanding they need to embed PPIE in their future practices. 

One of the main sessions she involves PC in is regarding lay language. The Daily Definition Challenge, accompanied with a series of animated videos, is an online public engagement activity where PC were asked what they understood certain words to mean. The activity received 11,000 responses overall and resulted in 97% of the students changing their perception of their own research and the language they use when talking to patients. 

She has also involved PC in developing a suite of resources to help postgraduate students develop their skills. These resources have been evaluated with more than 400 students to date. Jo has co-produced these resources with PC, providing a unique perspective on both written and verbal communication between clinical scientists, basic scientists and the public. 

She has also contributed to several public engagement events, often alongside a PC, including; Manchester Science Festival, The Big Bang, Cheltenham Science Festival and the University’s Community Festival, engaging with thousands of members of the public and raising the profile of PPIE. 

A member of the Faculty’s PPIE Forum, Jo aims to embed PPIE more widely across teaching in the Faculty by changing minds and culture. She has recently submitted a proposal to the Faculty’s Leadership Team to increase PPIE in teaching across all staff/student activities. Her commitment to PPIE has been widely recognised having also won a 2019 Immunology Teaching Excellence Award and won the prestigious JoVE (Journal of Visualised Experiments) Educator Innovation Award in October 2022. 

Jo is a critical friend and is supportive of staff, students and Public Contributors. Her contribution to PPIE has been invaluable. 

Find out more:  

Follow Jo on twitter – @immunoJo 

To find out more about PPIE: watch our short film, sign up to the monthly Public Engagement Digest, visit the PPIE blog, or contact srbmh@manchester.ac.uk.   

To read more about other PPIE Award winners visit our blogsite.