The University recently hosted the 2nd Universitas 21 Early Career Researcher workshop on the theme of Healthy Living in December 2011.
The event was organized and led by Dr Anna Phillips, Senior Research Fellow from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences with the support of her team of graduate students, Gemma Marakas from the U21 Secretariat and Matt Clulee, the International Relations Universitas 21 Officer. The majority of the conference was hosted in the School of Sport & Exercise Sciences building. The main goals of the workshop were to provide opportunities for networking and research communication with global peers, and to gain valuable skills and training in critical aspects of research career development.
Topics for invited speakers and the keynote address were selected from the key issues comprising the theme of healthy living, namely: nutrition and ageing, exercise, sleep, and stress. These were presented by mid-late career academics and included advice and tips for early career researchers as well as coverage of their topic and latest cutting-edge research. Training sessions included: editing academic journals, interacting with the media, licensing and spin-offs, personal wellbeing, networking and communication, grant writing, collaborative design of research proposals, and career development.
Forty-one participants from 10 countries attended, from Australia, New Zealand, North America, China, Sweden, Ireland, Mexico, Sigapore and the UK, and 16 U21 member universities: Auckland, Connecticut, Dublin, Edinburgh, Fudan, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Lund, McGill, Melbourne, Monterrey, New South Wales, Nottingham, Queensland, Singapore and Birmingham. Given the theme, researchers were from a wide variety of backgrounds including biosciences, medicine, mechanical engineering, sociology, biostatistics, primary care, psychology, and sport and exercise sciences.
The workshop received very positive feedback throughout in regard to its goals of international networking opportunities and advanced training for researchers. Invited speakers and trainers alike were rated highly by the delegates, who also appreciated the opportunity to meet international colleagues at similar career stages in related fields.