Annual Meeting & Conference


The VALIDATE Network has held an Annual Meetings since 2017 to give all its members a chance to connect, network, build new collaborations and hear about great science in our field. These meetings are open to all VALIDATE members; members from Academia, Industry, Government Bodies and Non-governmental Agencies are all welcome. Attendance at the Annual Meeting is free.

You can hear what our members think about attending VALIDATE's meetings on our You Tube Channel.

VALIDATE 5th Annual Meeting: 6-8 March 2023

The 5th VALIDATE Annual Meeting was held on 7-8 March 2023 at the historic BMA House in London, UK. As always, our Annual Meeting gave our members talks from world-leading scientists in our research field, updates from our funded projects on their cutting-edge research, and the chance to meet members from across the globe.

2023 was the first in-person VALIDATE event since 2019, and it was a pleasure to meet members in person. The Annual Meeting is open to all VALIDATE members, with members from academia, industry, government bodies, and non-governmental agencies all welcome.


VALIDATE 4th Annual Meeting, Online 15 September, 14 October, and 16 November 2021

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The 4th VALIDATE Annual Meeting was held on 15 September, 14 October, and 16 November 2021. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it took place online via Zoom. Although it was online, members got a chance to connect, network, build new collaborations and hear about some of the great research that our network has supported.

You can read a full event report online.

You can also find a video of the opening session on our Youtube Channel.




To see the meeting programme, visit:

VALIDATE 3rd Annual Meeting & VALIDATE-BSI Conference, 1-3 Oct 2019

2019 Group Photo



Venue: The Drum at Wembley, London

Date: 1-3 October 2019


Meeting Report

Read the meeting report here.


VALIDATE Annual Meeting - Programme Summary


ECR workshop "Post-doc'ing for Success 2"

Monday 30 September (full day)

For more details click here.



3rd VALIDATE Annual Meeting (VALIDATE members only)

Tuesday 1 October (full day) and Wednesday 2 October (morning)

View the Annual Meeting Programme here.



VALIDATE-BSI 2019 Conference: Vaccine Development for Neglected Intracellular Pathogens (open to all)

Wednesday 2 October (afternoon) and Thursday 3 October (full day)       

BSI logo

We were delighted to co-host this conference with the British Society for Immunology (BSI).

View the Conference Programme here.


As part of our remit to build vaccine research capacity in LMICs and to increase collaborations across continents, VALIDATE provides around seven travel grants each year to enable LMIC Investigator and Associate Network members to attend the Annual Meeting (including the ECR workshop and VALIDATE-BSI Conference in 2019).


Up to £3000 per person is available via competitive application to the Network Management Board (NMB). We particularly welcome applications from Early Career Researcher Associate VALIDATE members who do not have their own funding available. If you have received a VALIDATE travel grant previously, you are still eligible to apply in 2019.


Applications for the Travel Grants closed on 17 July 2019 - congratulations to the following successful recipients:


  • Asst Prof Vijay Prajapati, Central University of Rajasthan, India
  • Asst Prof Lok Bahadur Shrestha, BPKIHS, Nepal
  • Dr Olayinka Osuolale, Elizade University, Nigeria
  • Dr Federico Carlos Blanco, National Institute of Agricultural Technology, Argentina
  • Assoc Prof Narisara Chantratita, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Dr Panjaporn Chaichana, Mahidol University, Thailand
  • Asst Prof Kiran Afshan, Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan
  • Dr Abhishek Mandal, ICMR-Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, India
  • Dr Chidchamai Kewcharoenwong, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
  • Dr Fatoumatta Darboe, MRC The Gambia Unit at LSHTM, The Gambia
  • Asst Prof Tufária Mussá, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique
  • Dr Eduardo Milton Ramos Sanchez, USP, Brazil
  • Dr Suwarti, EOCRU, Indonesia
  • Dr Anthony Afum-Adjei Awuah, KCCR, Ghana

VALIDATE 2nd Annual Meeting: 5-7 Nov 2018

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group photo


Venue: The Principal York Hotel, York, UK

Date: 9am Tuesday 6th Nov to 1pm on Wednesday 7th Nov 2018


Meeting Report

Read the meeting report here.



Watch clips taken at the 2nd Annual Meeting and ECR Workshop along with some comments from delegates.


2nd validate annual meeting

VALIDATE offers around ~7 travel grants each year for LMIC Investigator/Associate members to attend our Annual Meeting.

In 2018 VALDATE awarded 9 travel grants to members from Thailand, Nepal, Nigeria, Brazil, and Mozambique.




VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting: 5&6 Sept 2017, Oxford

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St Hilda's College


Venue: Jacqueline du Pre Music Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford OX4 1DY, UK

Date:  12 noon on Tuesday 5th Sept to 2pm on Wed 6th Sept


Meeting Report

The British ‘summer’ was in full raining force on the 5th September 2017, but no one allowed this to dampen their spirits for the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, UK. This was a fantastic opportunity for our members all to meet face-to-face, many of us for the first time, and we were all going to take advantage of this useful and interesting opportunity! With 38 delegates from five countries present (UK, India, Brazil, Thailand, and Uganda) there were plenty of people from a wide range of research areas and institutes to meet, which was a great representation from across the Network for our first meeting.


VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting


The Annual Meeting started with the chance to catch up with other members of the Network over a buffet lunch before Prof Helen McShane, the VALIDATE Network Director (University of Oxford), kicked off the meeting in the main Auditorium, with a brief welcome to our members. She went on to explain VALIDATE in detail – our focus, expected outputs, and vision – giving everyone a chance to more fully understand what VALIDATE aims to do over its initial MRC-funded three years. An overview of our membership numbers and names revealed that we have already grown by 18 members, 3 institutes, and 1 LMIC country since our original MRC application, which was great news in such a short time. Helen highlighted that the Network is currently slightly TB-researcher dominant, something that perhaps reflects disease burden and the funding available for each pathogen worldwide. This is something that we would like to remedy as VALIDATE grows, and members were asked to mention VALIDATE to their collaborators and research group members (especially post-docs and students) and encourage them to join the Network.

Prof Helen McShane opens the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting

Prof Helen McShane opens the VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting


Dr Martin Broadstock next gave a brief introduction to VALIDATE from the MRC's perspective, putting the GCRF Networks into context and clarifying the Research Council expectations. This was followed by a 15 minute overview of each pathogen, the partners involved in that area, and the challenges and opportunities in each field, with the aim of sparking new collaboration and cross-pathogen synergy ideas within the Network members. Prof Jo Prior from dstl kicked off with Burkholderia pseudomallei, Prof Mitali Chatterjee from IPGMER next covered Leishmania, and Prof Helen McShane followed with TB. Prof Tracy Hussell from University of Manchester presented cross-pathogen members and research, and Associate Prof Helen Fletcher from LSHTM went through ideas from our Social Scientists. These ‘introductions’ formed a great foundation for members to find out about the VALIDATE pathogens outside their normal research area and gave rise to animated cross-pathogen and cross-discipline discussions across the next two days.


Dr Martin Broadstock, MRC

Dr Martin Broadstock, MRC

Prof Jo Prior, dstl

Prof Jo Prior, dstl

Prof Mitali Chatterjee, IPGMER

Prof Mitali Chatterjee, IPGMER

Prof Tracy Hussell, University of Manchester

Prof Tracy Hussell, University of Manchester

Assoc Prof Helen Fletcher, LSHTM

Assoc Prof Helen Fletcher, LSHTM


















A highly efficient group photo and quick caffeine refill later, and we were into the first Networking session. The ‘speed dating’ statement in the agenda had had some members worried, but the session proved very successful. Everyone was up on their feet, running around to each station to introduce themselves to different people, and everyone got to meet everyone else and hear a brief tantalising one minute snippet about their research and career path. This event very nicely broke the ice and led to easy discussions over drinks and dinner later on as we all now felt we knew each other and could easily find mutual topics and ideas to talk about and deliberate over. It also sowed the seeds of several new collaborations, which was very exciting.




Fully energised from meeting everybody, it was back to our seats for our three industry partners, Prof Andrzej Kierzek from Certara, Dr Ian Durrant from Oxford Immunotec Ltd, and Prof Mark Coles of SimOmics, to give a short overview of what they bring to the Network, and what they hope to get from being part of VALIDATE. Then Network Manager, Samantha Vermaak, gave a detailed overview of all the opportunities for VALIDATE members, clarifying the various funding calls, the upcoming mentoring scheme, and highlighting VALIDATE’s numerous communication channels. Finally, Associate Prof Helen Fletcher closed the day with a call to arms for Workshop ideas – and then we all headed over to the drinks reception and dinner, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and filled with buzzing conversation.


Annual Meeting Dinner


Day 2 saw Associate Prof Helen Fletcher, Prof Susie Dunachie and Dr Karin Seifert each presenting an exemplar Pump-Priming grant project idea to the VALIDATE Dragons’ Den. Dragons Prof Jo Prior, Dr Rajko Reljic (SGUL), and Prof Helen McShane grilled each project, illustrating what the Network Management Board will be looking for in VALIDATE grant calls. The session was fun and interesting, as well as insightful – and a couple of the projects came out with additional collaborators, offered stored samples, and refined ideas as the audience joined in the questioning and suggestions.


Helen Fletcher presents to the Dragons

Assoc Prof Helen Fletcher presents her project to the VALIDATE Dragons


A quick coffee break and we were into the second Networking session – a pump-priming project brainstorming session, first with delegates grouped by pathogen and then with everyone reshuffled for cross-pathogen and cross-discipline discussions. Some great ideas came out of this session, so we look forward to lots of exciting Pump-Priming grant applications when the call opens later this month!


Networking at the Annual Meeting


A final wrap up was followed by a last opportunity to exchange ideas and contact details over lunch before delegates headed home. The Annual Meeting was a fantastic opportunity to meet and network with other VALIDATE members, form new collaborations, spark new research ideas, and have animated discussions about the research field we’re all interested in throughout the two days. There was an energetic buzz throughout the event, so a huge thank you to all our members who joined the VALIDATE first annual meeting and made it a fantastic kick-off to our work together.


“Just wanted to say a big thank you for the conference last week, was genuinely really interesting and inspiring”

“Pleased to be involved - feels like a very positive/exciting network to be part of”


VALIDATE Annual Meeting


Report by Samantha Vermaak

Professional photos by John Cairns



VALIDATE provides around ~7 travel grants each year for LMIC members to attend our Annual Meeting. 

In 2017, three grants were awarded, to members from Uganda, Brazil and Thailand. 


For any queries regarding our Annual Meetings, please contact our VALIDATE Network Management Team on:

  • Email:    
  • Tel:                  +44 (0)1865 611428


annual meeting day 2 photo


2019 Group Photo


VALIDATE members at 2nd Annual Meeting in York 2018


VALIDATE 1st Annual Meeting