One of the highlights of my graduate school experience was presenting my research at conferences and workshops in beautiful cities across the UK as well as the USA and Europe. Scientific conferences offer a great opportunity to learn about the state of the art in your field, interact with other researchers, hone your communication skills and escape from the daily routine of experiments.
Over the course of my PhD journey, I was fortunate to have given poster and oral presentations at summer schools, workshops and conferences in the USA (Philadelphia), UK (Brighton, London, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bath and Nottingham), the Netherlands (Maastricht) and Germany (Dresden).
European Society for Biomaterials 2018 Conference – Maastricht, Netherlands (left), UK Society for Biomaterials 2019 Conference – Nottingham, UK (centre) and European Society for Biomaterials 2019 Conference – Dresden, Germany (right)
Some useful tips…
If you intend to present your research, I recommend the following tips.
1. Prep your poster or slides in advance. It’s never too early to start preparing for your presentation. This gives you enough time to give mock presentations and get feedback from your supervisors and lab mates. It also minimises risk of tension associated with last minute hiccups and tech challenges.
2. Practice, practice, practice. This can’t be stressed enough.
3. Work in time to enjoy, if you can. Because all work and no play makes research life boring?
4. Explore the city in the evenings.
5. Book ahead to secure best deals and save early especially if you are on a fixed budget or limited award.
6. Attend side meetings.
7. Volunteer to co-chair sessions, if the opportunity comes up.
8. Attend with a friend, if you can.
That’s it from me! I know this sounds like a cliché but when things get tough, it is really helpful to remember that the PhD is a journey which will definitely end. Try to enjoy the process.
Are you currently pursuing a PhD? How is it coming along? I would to like to know.