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Issue 129 Autumn 2018

Endocrinologist > Autumn 2018 > Society News

Hot out of the incubator: research ideas ripe for advancement

| Society News

p22 Jeremy Tomlinson.jpg

The Society’s seven Endocrine Networks enable clinicians and scientists with common interests to come together and enhance progress in endocrinology.

During last year’s Society for Endocrinology BES conference in Harrogate, the Adrenal and Cardiovascular Network took the opportunity to run a Research Incubator Meeting. We had issued a call for abstracts for research proposals, which had attracted two excellent presentations that concisely outlined specific plans and projects. The amassed expertise that gathered in the room for the session included some who had been specifically invited to provide all the knowledge and experience needed to facilitate proposal development. This meant we were able to ask all the relevant questions of the speakers and to offer constructive advice during the event.

As a Network Convenor, I felt that the session was a great success:

  • Despite the early hour, it was well attended, attracting more than 50 people.
  • We achieved our aim of a friendly, constructive and unintimidating atmosphere to help, not hinder, research. (The last thing we wanted was for enthusiastic young researchers to be shot down!)
  • The session was bursting with relevant and helpful conversation.
  • Plans were made and follow-up discussions held with key individuals, with the aim of submitting fellowship and grant applications to try and secure funding for the proposals.

Progress since has seen applications submitted which will hopefully be successful. Decisions are currently awaited. Certainly, I would like to think that the session at SfE BES 2017 helped to refine and improve the research ideas that were presented and to bring key people together.

Building on that success, we plan to run a similar session this year at SfE BES in Glasgow. We encourage as many people as possible to submit their research ideas for the Adrenal and Cardiovascular Network Research Incubator Meeting.

Jeremy Tomlinson, Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism



Amy Ronaldson is a Clinical Research Facilitator at the Centre for Endocrinology, Queen Mary University of London. She presented a research proposal at the Adrenal and Cardiovascular Network’s Research Incubator Meeting during SfE BES 2017, which she was developing for post-doctoral fellowship applications. The proposal involves characterising the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in cardiovascular disease. So far, it has reached the second round of applications for the Sir Henry Wellcome Post-Doctoral Fellowship scheme. It is currently under review by the British Heart Foundation and will also be submitted to the MRC.

Amy reflects on her experience at the Research Incubator Meeting: ‘I got to present the idea to a number of senior academics and clinicians in the field who provided really useful feedback. They were able to see the areas in the proposal that reviewers would potentially find problematic, and they suggested ways in which I could improve these problematic areas. The session was really helpful. It was a nice, casual environment where the feedback was more conversational than formal. I would recommend people to attend in Glasgow in order to support junior researchers and to get a chance to share expertise’.

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