I am excited to be starting my new role as PhD student representative for the AMR Centre! As a final year PhD student looking at horizontal gene transfer of antimicrobial resistance, my project is interdisciplinary, as it includes both laboratory and mathematical modelling methods. I believe that interdisciplinary work is essential in AMR research, but it comes at a cost. Due to the wide range of methods and questions, I still find that AMR research can sometimes be overwhelming, making it difficult to keep track of all the relevant ongoing work. Yet, this is an essential task, to understand the place of your own research in the field, come up with new ideas, build relationships with other AMR researchers… So, today I want to share two groups which can help early-career researchers (ECRs - ranging from undergraduate students to post-docs) to navigate the AMR research world: the Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Program, and the Microbiology society.
The Medical Research Foundation National PhD Training Program is specifically for PhD students, and includes both a core funded cohort, and a wider cohort which is open to any PhD students in the UK working on AMR, from all disciplines (life sciences, social sciences, clinical research…). They organise an annual conference where they invite all members to present a talk or a poster, which is perfect if you’re looking for a friendly environment to present your work for the first time. Their next recruitment round for the wider cohort should be in spring – keep an eye on our AMR Centre newsletter, as we will surely advertise this! In the meantime, you can find plenty of resources and recordings on their website.
The second group is the Microbiology society, which is a much wider organisation, but with a strong AMR component. They organise many events for ECRs specifically, and their annual conference is also very accessible, again providing you with a good platform to discover other researchers’ work and share your own. In addition, they offer many resources, small grants you can apply to, and news in various formats (blogs, videos, podcasts…) to help you stay up to date on the latest AMR research. Finally, it’s worth noting that they offer fee-free open access publication in their journals for many universities (including LSHTM), which is great as funding for publications can be difficult to obtain for ECRs.
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