2018 marked the inaugural year for the first student and early to mid-career researcher (EMCR) run conference for CBNS members. Frontiers in Bio-Nano Science (FBNS) 2018, a one-day, co-badged event organised by members of the CBNS and BLiSS, was hosted by Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cossar Hall on 27 September. FBNS is an EMCR focussed event for cross-disciplinary networking and collaboration and serves as an open and safe environment for presenters and attendees to engage others about their research, form new collaborations, and gain insight on how to translate their ideas into innovations.
The program was designed to tackle these issues and challenge participants to become active members of the discussion throughout the day. It comprised of two plenary speakers, five panel members, seven innovators for a discussion forum, 12 oral speakers and 13 poster presenters.
The first plenary, Scientia Professor Justin Gooding (CBNS CI) set the tone of the day with an inspirational talk about the highs and lows of his journey, advice for overcoming setbacks and challenges and motivation to remind everyone why they are worthy and uniquely placed for a career in academic science.
Oral sessions throughout the day were structured for 20 minutes of questions and discussions in order to allow for open discussion and generation of new ideas.
The afternoon plenary featured Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea, the Executive Director of IMINS, co-founder and CEO of Women in STEMM and co-founder of the EMCR Forum. Dr Evans-Galea not only gave her personal story and journey, she painted the difficult reality of what success will mean for postdocs in the modern era of science and copious advice on how to overcome those hurdles.
Closing the day was a panel on “How to take research ideas & collaborate with industry to make successful innovations.” The panel included experts of varying backgrounds and expertise; in academia, industry, and business:
● Professor Stephen Kent (CBNS CI) – University of Melbourne
● Dr. Richard Huysmans – Raven Consulting Group
● Dr. Anna Lavelle – Avatar Brokers
● Professor Darren Martin – University of Queensland
● Professor Jan Tennent – Biomedical Research Victoria
At the end of the formal program, participants had the opportunity to apply their knowledge from the day and network and ask questions to seven innovators.
Overall feedback for the event was highly positive from the participants, plenaries, panellists, innovators and presenters. Most importantly though, the positive response received from the steering committee had the largest impact on success of FBNS 2018 and the future of the event. The goal of FBNS 2018 was not only to put on a thought-provoking and inspiring event for the PhDs and EMCRs of CBNS. It also provided a learning opportunity for those who wanted to learn how to develop a program and event that answered a need and provided a benefit for others to aspire towards scientific and career excellence. The committee was responsible for developing the program, inviting speakers, coordinating a workshop for oral presenters, researching and planning a panel, obtaining sponsorship and managing the operations of the event. It was a large team effort and was a huge success due to its collaborative effort from everyone involved. The event would not have been possible without the following people:
Thank you all speakers, delegates, organisers and volunteers for your support.
If you weren’t able to attend the event, we hope you can join us in October 2019 in Brisbane. If you are interested in serving on the committee for FBNS 2019, please contact Anne Meyer.