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Daisy Henesy

Daisy is the Public Engagement Officer at The Institute of Cancer Research, working with researchers to communicate about our science far and wide.

Talk us through your typical day

The great thing about my job is that every day is different – it really depends what projects I'm working on. I could be developing hands-on public engagement activities for a science fair, organising an event at the ICR, or developing resources for staff and students. At the moment a lot of my time is spent preparing for a busy summer of public engagement events.

Daisy Henesy - Public Engagement OfficerI work closely with our partners, particularly Cancer Research UK (CRUK), to help them engage the public about the ICR research they fund. I'll be organising a joint engagement event with CRUK later on in the year, which is really exciting.

I also keep on track of all the ICR's public engagement activities. I log the details of events our staff and students have been involved in for our annual public engagement report and for our commitments to Athena SWAN and other stakeholders.

How does your work contribute to our mission?

Engaging with the public about our research is an important part of our work. It supports the development of staff and students, and fulfils funders' requirements. It builds support for the ICR locally and beyond, raising our profile.

We also engage a lot with young people, in the hope that we will inspire the next generation of cancer researchers, who may join the ICR in future and contribute to our mission.

What big projects are you working on?

At the moment I am working on a few different events, both at the ICR and elsewhere. Next week we have the Family Day in Sutton, where ICR staff members and students are invited to bring their families along to see our labs and get involved in some hands-on science activities. I'm working with our Facilities staff and a lovely team of volunteers from the ICR to make this event happen, and it should be a great day.

We are going to the Great Exhibition Road Festival in South Kensington, where we'll be engaging with the public about a joint project with Imperial College London, which is instigating exciting new technology to detect cervical cancer. In July, we have the Big Bang Fair in Sutton and the Lambeth Country Show.

I work with researchers to develop activities for these events, which is a really fun part of my job. At the moment, a lot of my time is spent organising the logistics of these events and making sure they run smoothly.

I'm also working on a really exciting project developing a video about drug discovery and development for schools.

What are you most proud of?

Recently, I developed and delivered public engagement training sessions to ICR staff members and students. This was my first time delivering training, so it was a professional achievement for me and I hope to do more of it in future.

I was so pleased to see so many enthusiastic researchers at the training sessions. I am very proud to work with them and excited to deliver some high quality engagement with them soon.

Who do you collaborate with?

One of my favourite things about my job is that I get to work with so many different people at the ICR.

Aside from the Communications Directorate, who I work with a lot, I collaborate with lots of different researchers and corporate colleagues to co-design and deliver public engagement events and activities. The work I do just wouldn't be possible without them!

I get a lot of support from Facilities when I'm planning events at the ICR. They are always willing to lend a hand and give advice, which is extremely helpful.

What makes you want to work for the ICR?

Before joining the ICR last year, I wanted to work here because I was inspired by its incredible, world-leading cancer research. Now that I work for the ICR, I am still inspired by our research but I also love being part of the team here.

Everyone I've met so far has been friendly and welcoming, passionate about their work and lovely to work with.

What's your favourite part of your job?

I really enjoy working at events and festivals because I get to see ICR staff and students interacting with the public about our research.

It's fantastic to see the public being inspired by our work, and seeing our researchers bring it to life for public audiences. I find that aspect of my job very rewarding.

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