If you read my last blog post, I talked about how important it is facilitate conversations between bright minds. It could always be the first step to the next breakthrough. Well in that spirit, and of course in the spirit of Men United, I’m very excited to report that we've just held our first ever networking event for all the PhD students and Fellows that we fund and support.
The day was a great opportunity for our young researchers – to bring everyone together to start forming the networks and collaborations that are so important for a scientific career. It was also an exciting day for us for two main reasons. Firstly, it’s the first time that we’ve funded enough early career researchers for them to be able to network with each other. As our Director of Research, Iain Frame said, "in previous years, we could have held this event in a phone box. The fact that we’ve got around twenty young researchers here today is a great testament to how far we’ve come as a research funding charity in the last few years, thanks to our partnership with The Movember Foundation." And secondly, it was great to finally meet our researchers face to face and tell them just what an important part of our team fighting prostate cancer they are. Carmen, a first year PhD student at Queen Mary’s University of London said, "It was great to get to know the organisation – the different departments and how they work. I liked the feeling of being part of a big family!" On top of this, the day was a chance for us to tell the researchers we work with about all the other work going on within Prostate Cancer UK and The Movember Foundation - and ways they can get involved. One of the most popular parts of the day was a short talk from one of our volunteers, who agreed to share his personal experience of prostate cancer. James, who’s studying at Newcastle University said, "the talk from Trevor, one of Prostate Cancer UK’s volunteers, was really inspirational and motivational and really put my research into context." Throughout the day, it was great to hear so many different perspectives and approaches to tackling prostate cancer, as well as some useful career advice for the younger researchers from those with more experience. It certainly made us realise the value of bringing our team of researchers together to start learning about other work going on in their field and hopefully sparking new ideas. I’m already looking forward to the next such opportunity and can’t wait to hear what these early career scientists will have accomplished in that time!