Early career researchers (ECRs) constitute the majority of the network’s membership and the network strongly believes in nurturing them and enabling them to use it as a platform to advance their careers. To address this need, the network’s Young Scientist Representatives, Dr Bilal Tahir (Sheffield), Katjana Ehrlich (Harriot-Watt) and Brice Thurin (University College London) co-organised the first dedicated IGT ECR workshop which was held on 28 June 2018 at King’s College London.

The program commenced with an opening address by Dr Tahir, welcoming attendees, emphasising the important role that ECRs play in the network and highlighting the Young Scientist Representatives’ achievements to date.

One of the highlights of the workshop was a special education session. This included presentations from:

  • Dr Candace Hassal from the Wellcome Trust who gave an insight into the funding landscape for ECRs wanting to apply for nationally competitive fellowships.
  • Dr Pablo Lamata who has been the recipient of several prestigious fellowship awards. He spoke about how to succeed in academia by having an entrepreneurial skill set.
  • Dr Dan Stoyanov, an associate journal editor of IJCARS, who gave expert advice on writing academic papers in the IGT field.
  • Dr Mark Gooding, Chief Scientific Officer at Mirada Medical, who discussed the challenges and successes of commercialising new technologies and systems within the healthcare sector by citing his company’s deep learning solution for radiation oncological applications as an example.

The plenary session was delivered by an internationally renowned academic leader in the IGT field, the network director, Professor Sebastien Ourselin, who spoke about his lab’s ground-breaking research in Image-guided Neurosurgery.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the workshop was that it offered ECRs the opportunity to showcase their latest research findings to the IGT academic community. An abstract call was released earlier this year and numerous abstracts were received. The program included 16 rapid fire presentations from 10 PhD students and 6 Postdocs. We are currently on the hunt for another Young Scientist Rep to join the team – read about how to apply here and get involved in activities such as this and more.

The second half of the full day event continued with our regular tri-annual network meeting, on this occasion hosted by Prof K Rhode, Kings College London. The talks covered some of the latest research into cardiac ablation therapy, MR guided interventions and remote reconstructive surgery in addition to a talk from our most recent Proof of Concept awardees, Dr Danail Stoyanov & Dr Raymond Bond, who presented their plans to develop research into Smart Theatre Data Science.

Both sessions were extremely successful with 67 people registering, exceeding the initial upper limit of 60, and 22 organisations represented from across academia, industry and research funders. Our next event will be held at the University of Dundee on 1st of November.