Post-doc'ing for Success - Early Career Researchers Workshop

Training and development

Description of the workshop

This workshop aimed to help VALIDATE Early Career Researchers (Associate and post-graduate student Affiliate members) widen and improve non-technical skills necessary to progress their careers. This is a small, informal workshop, providedopportunity to get to know fellow VALIDATE post-docs/post-grads from around the world. The workshop was run as part of the VALIDATE Network 2018 Annual Meeting.


More details will be posted here as they are confirmed, but here is the current (preliminary) agenda:

0930   Welcome and introductions - Samantha Vermaak, VALIDATE Network Manager

1000   Managing yourself for success - Samantha Vermaak, VALIDATE Network Manager/Business and Personal Coach

As a Business and Personal Coach, Sam will be talking about how to make the most of your career, be successful – and feel fulfilled and enjoy life while doing so. She’ll be discussing the fears and limiting beliefs that can hold us back, how to take charge of your career, and how to make the most of yourself and have a successful and satisfying career.

1045   Coffee/tea break

1115   How to win funds and influence panels - Dr Martin Broadstock, Programme Manager for Immunology, MRC

Martin’s talk will give guidance on how to come up with your grant idea, together with hints and tips for what funders’ are looking for in a grant application, why grant applications fail and how to maximise the chances of your application receiving funding.

1200   Exploring Leadership as Ethical Practice: The Role of Imagination and Wonder - Prof Max Stephenson Jr, Professor of Public and International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Policy and Governance, Virginia Tech

This talk examines the apparent contradictions between Westerners’ cultural willingness to demand that leaders “take charge” and their simultaneous assumption that great leaders shape historical events, and the fact that leadership scholars have argued that leaders do not alone commonly determine outcomes in the contexts in which they work. It will also treat the paradox that most leadership scholars call on leaders to behave with humility, trustworthiness and selflessness while many in practice behave in exactly the opposite ways and are often popularly rewarded for doing so. I contend that ethical leadership is indeed shaped by specific attributes and these must be enlivened by imagination, empathy and wonder to maximize the potential for the emergence of shared purpose and individual personal and professional growth.

1300   Lunch

1400   Career planning for success - Panel talks and Q&A: 

                    Associate Prof Helen Fletcher, Director TB Centre, LSHTM

                    Assistant Prof Narisara Chantratita, Mahidol University

                    Dr Bernardo Villarreal- Ramos, Senior Research Scientist, APHA

                    Dr Martin Broadstock, Programme Manager for Immunology, MRC

Senior members of VALIDATE from different walks of the post post-doc career trajectory will give short talks about their careers, tips and advice for our ECRs, and then answer questions from our audience about having a successful career in science.

1500   Impressing your peers: asking intelligent questions at conferences and seminars - Dr Rebecca Powell Doherty, University of Oxford

Rebecca will be discussing tips and tricks for maintaining confidence and formulating questions in an intimidating conference environment.

1515   Coffee/tea break

1545   Turbo talk presentations from selected ECRs to build collaborations & practice asking questions

            Dr Olayinka Osuolale, Dr Amanda Gibson, Dr Rachel Tanner, Dr Jomien Mouton, Dr Eduardo Ramos Milton Sanchez, Francis Nongley

This session aims to give our Early Career Researchers the opportunity to practise giving a talk and practise asking questions in a safe environment with their peers, as well as facilitating networking and building collaborations. The short talks are about each member's VALIDATE-related research, with plenty of time for questions after each talk. 

1700   End of day

1800   We will book a local restaurant for delegates to eat together if you would like us to (meal at delegate's own cost).


What our ECRs said about our 2018 "Post-doc'ing for Success" workshop:

"The ECR workshop was excellent"

"[the careers panel] was a great session. I loved how truthful everyone was"

"10/10. It was useful to get to know other ECRs, share our experiences and ideas"

[re the careers panel] "It was good to know that other researchers go through similar challenges and manage to succeed"

"All topics in the workshop were helpful for my career advancement. I love all of them"

To read about our 1st ECR "Post-doc'ing for Success" workshop, you can read the agenda here and the report here.