Leeds University welcomes ESRs

This year annual GenoMEL scientific meeting was held in Leeds, UK in April and 17 MELGEN Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) who are spread across Europe joined 60 other delegates to find out about the latest melanoma research. During the meeting PhD students presented their projects and preliminary data during a poster session, while some ESRs delivered presentations for a bigger audience. It was a great opportunity to meet current members of the GenoMEL consortium and get useful tips and suggestions how to carry on with the projects. Taking part in a scientific meeting was a great experience but our time in Leeds did not end there and afterwards we attended a training course.

MELGEN in "presentation" mode .... and after the poster session
MELGEN in “presentation” mode …. and after the poster session


After the meeting, Profs Julia and Tim Bishop kindly invited ESRs to their house for a dinner. We were all told before that Julia was a great cook, but honestly, everything we tried and tasted was indescribably delicious. Everyone sinned massively that evening!

Full and happy students at Bishops house
Full and happy students at Bishops house

We all gathered in Leeds to obtain some useful skills and knowledge, so on the 14th of April a training course began for the second time this year and it was hosted by the University of Leeds.

As ESRs are in the beginning of their PhD projects, the first module was intended to help get the successful start to the research degrees. Dr. Jennifer Rivas Perez gave an insight how to develop effective training plans and good working relationship.

Another part of the training was designed to teach ESRs to prepare effective poster and conference presentations and give an effective seminar. These sessions were led by Dr. Liz Watkins and Dr. Ged Hall. ESRs could evaluate, comment and provide some constructive criticism on each other’s posters and presentation styles. This feedback was very much appreciated as it allowed to review and reflect on own performance. Considering all the remarks, improvements will follow the next time.

Representatives from Leeds’ company Digitronix led a training on digital communication skills for scientists. It was a great introduction on how effectively use digital media in order to promote scientific content and reach wide audiences.

A very interactive and entertaining module, delivered by Dr. Jim Baxter, showed how difficult yet crucial is a good communication as any type of team work depends on it. Finally, Dr. Helen Morley defined principles relevant to data protection, discussed what ethical research behaviour is and why it is important to adhere to ethical norms in research.

So that was all for this round of MELGEN training, impatiently waiting for another one next year!