VALIDATE ECR Workshop "Post-doc'ing for Success 2", Sept 2019

VALIDATE "Post-doc'ing for Success 2" Early Career Researchers Workshop

Training and development


Date: 30 September 2019,

Venue: Boardrooms 3&4, The Drum at Wembley, London, UK


Description of the workshop


This workshop aims to help VALIDATE Early Career Researchers (Associate and post-graduate student Affiliate members) widen and improve non-technical skills necessary to progress their careers. This is a small, informal workshop, which will provide lots of opportunity to get to know fellow VALIDATE post-docs/post-grads from around the world. The workshop will be run as part of the VALIDATE Network 2019 Annual Meeting and is a follow-on workshop to our 2018 ECR workshop, and so will contain different information to 2018.



This one day workshop will include sessions about career planning for success, how to communicate your research effectively, grant writing, and leadership, as well as our highly successful career panel Q&A of senior members of VALIDATE:


0900-0930  Registration and tea/coffee

Samantha Vermaak

0930   Welcome and introductions - Samantha Vermaak, VALIDATE Network Manager

1000   Career planning for success - Samantha Vermaak, VALIDATE Network Manager/Business and Personal Coach

Sam is a Business and Personal Coach and in this session she will discuss how to plan effectively for career success, and guide you through some exercises and questions to get you thinking and planning your next career steps.

1100   Coffee/tea break

1130   Managing yourself: great leadership - Samantha Vermaak, VALIDATE Network Manager/Business and Personal Coach

As you step up in your career into roles requiring management, particularly as a Group Leader, how can you be a Leader who inspires, motivates and supports your team to success?

Sara Dada

1200   How to communicate well around vaccine research - Sara Dada, Communications Officer of the Vaccine Confidence Project, LSHTM

With extensive experience in communications around vaccines, particularly the Ebola vaccine trials in Africa, Sara will discuss best practice in communicating your research, the risks and pitfalls that can occur with vaccines, and how to deal well with these.


1300   Lunch

1400   Career planning for success - Panel talks and Q&A

Senior members of VALIDATE from different walks of the post post-doc career trajectory will give short talks about their careers, tips and advice for our ECRs, and then answer questions from our audience about having a successful career in science:

Mitali Chatterjee

Prof Mitali Chatterjee


Mitali is Professor of Pharmacology at the Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in India and works on leishmaniasis.


Tracy Hussell

Prof Tracy Hussell

University of Manchester, UK

Tracy is a Professor of Inflammatory Disease at University of Manchester, and Director of The Lydia Becker Institute of Immunology and Inflammation and the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research.


Stephen Lockhart

Dr Stephen Lockhart

Pfizer, UK

Steve is Vice-President and Head of Europe and Asia-Pacific Vaccine Clinical Research and Development (VCRD) at Pfizer.


Ann Rawkins

Dr Ann Rawkins

Public Health England (PHE), UK

Ann is Scientific Leader at Public Health England, providing scientific direction to the TB research programme.


1515   Coffee/tea break

Andrea Cooper

1545   Planning and writing a great grant application - Prof Andrea Cooper, University of Leicester

As a senior and successful academic researcher, Andrea will talk us through how to plan and write a great grant application – from finding your initial scientific idea and finding collaborators, through to what funders are looking for, how to write well, tips for success, and insights from the various review panels she’s sat on. Andrea’s talk will be around one hour, leaving plenty of time for all your questions on this wide topic.

1700   End of day

1830+ We will book a local restaurant for delegates to eat together if you would like us to (meal at delegate's own cost).



What our ECRs said about our 2018 "Post-doc'ing for Success" workshop:

"The ECR workshop was excellent"

"[the careers panel] was a great session. I loved how truthful everyone was"

"10/10. It was useful to get to know other ECRs, share our experiences and ideas"

[re the careers panel] "It was good to know that other researchers go through similar challenges and manage to succeed"

"All topics in the workshop were helpful for my career advancement. I love all of them"


To read about our 1st ECR "Post-doc'ing for Success" workshop, you can read the agenda here and the report here.


How to attend the 2019 ECR workshop


To register to attend this workshop, please register via the VALIDATE 2019 Annual Meeting page. 


Please contact our Network Management team at with any queries about this workshop.