Online community


The winner of the 2017 NIHR Let’s Get Digital competition online community category is BashTheBug, an initiative funded by the NIHR Oxford BRC.

BashTheBug launched in early April 2017 and relies on volunteers from all over the world interacting. As a community it brings together people through enabling them to take part in a research study online. The blog is engaging and creative in design and demonstrates how you can keep the public and participants regularly up to date with a research study.

Expert judge Verity Cardenas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Programme Manager at Google, said:

"I really like the active engagement of users on the website with a step by step understanding of what is required of a volunteer. This gives me a feel for what it is like to be involved in clinical research".

Dr Philip Fowler, Senior Researcher at the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre who leads BashTheBug, said:

“Thank you NIHR! This award recognises all the hard work done by our 6,000+ Citizen Scientists through the Zooniverse online community. In five months they’ve classified almost 350,000 images of M. tuberculosis growing on a range of antibiotics which help us improve the diagnosis of TB.”

BashTheBug was one of five shortlisted entries, all of which were reviewed by an expert judging panel and subject to a public vote.


(Picture: Dr Philip Fowler and the BashTheBug site)