Just before Christmas the ICECReam was involved in organising the first (of many hopefully) get-together for research students and early career researchers in the musculoskeletal pain field in Sydney and Newcastle. The organising committee of James McAuley (NEURA), Steve Kamper (George Institute), Chris Williams (Hunter New England Health/Uni Newcastle) and Claire Hiller (Uni Sydney, Faculty of Health Sciences) were extremely happy when we had nearly 60 people register their interest in coming along.
After the event we sent around a short survey to which about 75% of the people responded, a bit of a summary of the results are below. We also asked Bruno Saragiotto (PhD student George Institute) to write a few words about his impression of the day. Feel free to write something in the comments section below if you were there and have something to say or have some advice for what we might do better next time around.
Q1. Who was there?
|Research Masters students||11%|
|Looking to start research degree||8%|
Q2. I think there is a need for SPR:NG in Sydney/NSW
|Strongly disagree||Disagree||Neither agree nor disagree||Agree||Strongly agree|
Q3. Overall, I found the SPR:NG symposium
|Not useful||Somewhat useful||Very useful|
Q4. How likely is it that you would recommend the SPR:NG symposium to a friend or colleague?
Q5. I think a SPR:ING event (symposium or other) should be held
|Every 6 months||26%|
|Once a year||71%|
|Every 2 years||3%|
Q6. As well as the current research focus SPR:NG should be open to students involved in…
|Basic research, animal models etc in MSK pain||28%|
|Basic research, animal models in any pain||19%|
|Research into all pain conditons e.g. cancer pain, neuropathic pain etc||53%|
|Pharmacological research into pain including genetics, molecular biology||19%|
|Pain research beyond Sydney and Newcastle||61%|
|Don’t change the research focus||14%|
Q7. SPR:NG is useful for (ranking)
Q8. How could future events be improved? Select all that apply.
|Make the events more interactive||22%|
|Take more breaks during the event||13%|
|Have more speakers||38%|
|More convenient location||0|
|Add a social event||47%|
|Increase networking opportunities||53%|
Q9. Do you have any other comments, questions, or concerns?
Sydney Pain Researchers: introducing the next generation (SPR:ING)
The SPR:ING symposium was held in December last year and brought together about 50 early career researchers involved in MSK pain research in Sydney (and Newcastle). The major aim of the symposium was to promote collaboration and networking among different research groups. The event was composed by a few lectures about the academic career path and a poster/networking session, so everyone could be able to share their work in a poster and talk with different people from other research institutes.
Overall, it was a very successful event. The lectures were fantastic and very helpful. I really enjoyed the poster session, I had the chance to meet other PhD students and researchers, sharing experiences and worries about the research pathway. I remember some students reporting the same concerns that I had in the beginning of my PhD (What’s the story of my thesis? What am I going to do after?), and how that makes everyone feel more comfortable.
One of the main lessons I learnt during my PhD is that we need to share and exchange ideas. It will definitely make you a better researcher. That’s why we need this sort of event. Cheers to the organising team. Well done.
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