Early career researchers working on health related topics in the southwest of England were all invited to submit a scientific poster which was judged by a panel of academy fellows for presentation quality, scientific quality and an overall impact. In total 45 entries were received from the southwest but only 4 applicants were chosen to give a presentation. Other applicants who weren’t successful like me were invited to bring along their posters to the event at the Pavilion, Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath. The audience was also given an opportunity to score their favourite speakers who possessed these five attributes which included Clear exposition of results, overall impact of research, quality of slides, time keeping and effective answers to questions.
My favourite talk was on plain cigarette packaging and health warnings from a cognitive neuroscience approach. The research found out that smokers tended to avoid health warnings on the packages of cigarette as they found no significant difference in the visual attention of smokers in the branded, plain branded and no branded packages of cigarette. However, they proposed that changing the content of health warnings on the packages of cigarette for example, showing smokers the reasons for quitting smoking than the negative consequences would be the best approach. Also, having a content that is less severe for teenagers an example would be smoking damages your teeth and gum would be more suitable as teenagers don’t necessarily think about their future as much.
Following the presentations, the head of grants and programmes Dr Racheal McDonald gave a talk on how the academy of medical sciences could help support careers of biomedical research through grant funding, mentoring and skill development. I learnt a great deal about the grants and schemes available ranging from the springboard scheme for research fellowships to the Newton advanced international fellowships comprising overseas development assistance. These grants scheme were mainly targeted to senior research fellows who were in stages transitioning towards becoming a principal investigator. The meeting was ended with a reception with wine and cheese enabling networking of researchers from different universities.