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Knowledge sharing and networking at the NIHR SPCR Trainees' Annual Event are discussed by Doctoral student Josie Messina and non-Clinical Fellow Kate Button

Josie Messina

At the start of my second year as PhD student at Manchester University, I found the trainee event incredibly useful. The two-day event was perfectly executed with warm welcomes, expert advice, knowledge sharing, networking, and open forum discussions in small groups. I have always felt very fortunate to be part of the NIHR SPCR community, and after attending the event I left feeling like I was part of something special. The key speakers were not only motivational, they also provided the context and experiences behind their journeys, and this was particularly beneficial for me.

The event provided information on how the NIHR would support me through my career, enabling me to become a future leader in primary care research. The event allowed for peer networking and research sharing, but also provided an opportunity for trainees to speak with the more senior members from across each of the member universities. I learned that the SPCR Showcase will be merged with the Trainees' Event in 2014, and this is an opportunity I definitely look forward to. After attending the trainee event, I would highly recommend it to other SPCR trainees- it was two days well spent! 

Kate Button

This year’s annual NIHR School for Primary Care Research trainees’ event was held in the beautiful setting of Balliol College, Oxford. After meeting other delegates over a delicious lunch, proceedings kicked off with a series of presentations outlining the school’s ethos, NIHR funding schemes, career progression and training events.

Break-out poster sessions interspersed the talks and offered an informal and informative opportunity for trainees at all stages to present and take questions about their research. The small groups facilitated discussion and familiarity.

The keynote speaker, Dr David Cox from the Department of Health was entertaining. After a self-acknowledged dubious start discussing the problems of East Stafford Hospital, he finished by discussing future public funding for primary care research, which with the increasing emphasis on community management is looking promising.

As a new fellow I found the school faculty welcoming and supportive.  It was a pleasure to meet both the other trainees and the senior researchers, and I look forward to being reunited with many these new acquaintances at next year’s event.