ECR Career Development Network

ECR Career Development Network (ECDN)

VALIDATE recognises the challenges faced by post-doctoral and early PI researchers trying to progress their careers. As part of VALIDATE’s aim to encourage and support career progression amongst members, especially Early Career Researchers (ECRs), and to help address inequality in scientific career progression, we created a two-year long ECR Career Development Network (ECDN) programme for members identifying as female.This call closed on 12 December 2021, with the ECDN kick off meeting held on 21 February 2022.


This programme brings together 13 VALIDATE scientists into an engaged sub-group of VALIDATE, and provides:

  • An engaged, connected network of Early Career Researchers, all wanting to develop their careers
  • Extra support to accelerate their research career including:
    • Opportunities to network and form new collaborations with each other
    • Peer-support via accountability groups and programme events
    • Monthly talks and workshops on topics helpful to their career progression
    • Individual career coaching by a qualified coach
    • Group mentoring by a senior scientist
    • Attendance at the 2022 Global Forum on TB Vaccines 2022 (with registration funded by VALIDATE)


Huge congratulations to the following VALIDATE members for joining this ECDN:

  • Dr Luciana Balboa, IMEX-CONICET, Argentina
  • Dr Naomi Daniels, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Dr Fatoumatta Darboe, MRC Unit at The Gambia at LSHTM, The Gambia (now at UCSF, USA)
  • Dr Lahari Das, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY, USA
  • Dr Chelsea Davis, Aberystwyth University, UK
  • Dr Chyntia Diaz Acosta, National University of Asuncion, Paraguay
  • Dr Nancy Hilda, National Institute for Research in TB, India
  • Dr Nargis Khan, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Dr Nastassja Kriel, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Dr Zaynab Mousavian, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
  • Dr Paula Niewold, LUMC, The Netherlands
  • Dr Margaret Nolan, Stellenbosch University, South Africa (now at Deltamune, South Africa)
  • Dr Laura Sibley, UK Health Security Agency, UK (now at MRC, UK)

Programme Events

(All times below are GMT; all events online)

21 Feb 2022  12:00-14:00  ECDN Kick-off meeting

2 Mar 2022  15:00-17:00  Writing Research Grants Proposal workshop - Prof Rajko Reljic, SGUL, UK

27 Apr 2022 11:00-12:00  Inspiring Careers seminar - Prof Andrea Cooper, University of Leicester, UK

4-5 May 2022 12:00-17:00  Flow Cytometry workshop - Scottish Society of Cytomics

6 Jun 2022 11:00-12:00  Inspiring Careers seminar - Prof Samantha Sampson, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

6 Jul 2022  13:00-15:00  Storytelling for Scientists (communicating your science) workshop - First Create the Media

15 Aug 2022 12:00-13:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Prof Helen McShane, University of Oxford, UK

20 Sep 2022 12:00-13:00 How to Say No and Manage Your Time Better - Dr Ruth Gotian, Weill Cornell Medicine, USA

25 Oct 2022 14:00-15:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Prof Walderez Dutra, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

30 Nov 2022 14:00-15:00 NIH Grants 101 - Dr Katrin Eichelberg, NIH Program Officer, USA

13 Dec 2022 18:00-19:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Affil Prof Rhea Coler, Seattle Children's Research Institute, USA

27 Jan 2023 12:00-13:00 Goal Setting for 2023 workshop - Samantha Vermaak, University of Oxford, UK

17 Feb 2023 10:00-11:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Asst Prof Ganjana Lertmemongkolchai, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

6 Mar 2023 10:00-17:00 Showcasing Your Science workshop - First Create the Media (in-person at the VALIDATE Annual Meeting)

20 Apr 2023 15:00-16:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Assoc Prof Marcela Henao-Tamayo, Colorado State University, USA

31 May 2023 15:00-17:00 Nature Masterclasses Study Group

28 Jun 2023 13:00-14:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Dr Maria Adelaida Gomez, CIDEIM, Colombia

26 July 2023 14:00-16:00 Resources & Strategies for Improving English - University of Oxford's Language Centre

30 Aug 2023 14:00-15:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Dr Ann Ginsberg, BMGF, USA

25 Sep 2023 12:30-14:00 12 ways to effectively take charge of your career by Ellie Rich-Poole

25 Oct 2023 14:00-15:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Prof Petro Terblanche, Afrigen Biologics Pty Ltd, South Africa

12 Dec 2023 14:00-15:00 Inspiring Careers seminar - Dr Jelle Thole, BioFabri PLU, Spain

16 Jan 2024 16:00-17:00 Surprising strategies for becoming a leader, creating the life you want, and succeeding at work, based on science - Dr Olivia Remes, University of Cambridge, UK