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Early career researchers visit the Alzheimer’s Research UK head office for Connect Day 2022

Twenty early career researchers visited the Alzheimer’s Research UK head office for a day of networking, talks and workshops.

On 18 October 2022, we invited a group of early career researchers to our head office in Cambridge – they included Alzheimer’s Research UK-funded PhD students and Fellows, Race Against Dementia (RAD) Fellows, and British Neuroscience Association (BNA) Scholars.

Early career researchers are the future leaders in dementia research. We are making a strategic effort to provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and flourish in their careers. The Connect Day is designed to provide tailored training and networking opportunities for our early career researchers.

A sneak peek of the Connect Day:

  • Welcome
  • Introduction to ARUK Tim Parry, Director of Communications and Engagement, Brand and Digital, ARUK
  • Career development talk – Dr Francis Wiseman, ARUK Senior Research Fellow, UKDRI, UCL
  • Fundraising James Francis, Sporting Events Officer, ARUK
  • Policy – David Thomas, Head of Policy
  • Meet other ECRs
  • ARUK Supporter talk – Katie Thomas
  • Office tour
  • Workshop – mock Grant Review Board
  • Workshop – science communications and public engagement

From the positive feedback we received, we are very glad to hear that everyone who attended enjoyed the contents of the day. We hope to organise similar events next year for our ECRs.

“As a PhD student, this event was a fantastic opportunity to get an insight into grant application reviewing, career progression and development from a senior fellow, and how ARUK works as a charity. I really enjoyed hearing about how passion plays a crucial role in one’s career and feel more prepared now for putting together research ideas into a grant proposal.” Ioana Veteleanu, ARUK PhD student

“It was great to meet the ARUK team and spend the day learning about the charity, career development, the grant review process and the many other wonderful things the charity do. I am back in the lab feeling inspired to keep working towards new breakthroughs!” Natalie Conor-Robson, ARUK Research Fellow

“The mock grant review board was so informative. It’s so helpful to see how easy it is to fall into the trap of writing in heavily technical language and putting the reviewers off, but also great to see how much discussion does go on about the proposals.” Yvonne Couch, ARUK Research Fellow

“The ARUK Connect Day has been an excellent opportunity to meet colleagues funded by similar funding schemes, put together faces and names behind this incredible charity and its fundraising, and get first-hand training on public engagement and grant reviewing. An inspirational day, and a great reminder of how we all are proud of being part of this family!” Maura Malpetti, RAD Fellow

“The ARUK Connect day was a great opportunity to learn, understand and connect with other ECRs. It really educated me on the ways a research charity works, the contributions academia makes to the charity, the many sectors that allow the charity to impact society and the personal effects the charity has on people who are dealing with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis personally or of someone close to then.” Maggie Kadembo, BNA Scholar

“I had a lovely day connecting with a bunch of lovely people ;)” Conceicao Bettencourt, ARUK Research Fellow

“I had a fantastic time on the Connect Day, learning more about ARUK, other researchers and how I can get involved.” Laura Winchester, ARUK Research Fellow

“I really enjoyed exploring what ARUK does from the science communication, policy works and funding scientist to work on the future cure for Alzheimer’s disease.” Iman Muktar, BNA Scholar

“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to meet with other early career researchers and the amazing team behind ARUK!” Christy Hung, RAD Fellow

“I enjoyed meeting other ECRs and learning about the research they are conducting. I also gained a better understanding of the grant review process during the mock GRB!” Emma Garland, PhD student

The BNA published a nice blog about their Scholars’ experience at the Connect day. Give it a read.

About the author

Joyce Yu

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