SHIP PhD students at the virtual 2020 MRF National PhD Training Programme in AMR annual conference

The Medical Research Foundation’s national PhD training programme in AMR is in its 3rd year. This programme was set up to train the future generation of researchers to address the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The programme funds a core cohort of PhD students studying AMR in universities across the UK. In addition, the programme provides training and networking opportunities for a wider cohort of PhD students studying AMR in various universities across the UK. Membership of the wider cohort entitles PhD students to attendance at an annual conference in Bristol, UK, participation in a residential training programme once during their PhD and access to an online training platform.

SHIP PhD students have been members of the wider cohort since its inception- Lauren Blane, Elaine Cutajar, Sally Stewart and Ayodeji Matuluko.

SHIP PhD students (from left to right)- Sally, Ellie, Lauren and Ayodeji – at last year’s annual conference in Bristol (2019)

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 3rd annual conference held virtually on the 10th and 11th of August 2020. The conference was student-led and opened to a wider audience, in addition to the core and wider cohort. There were 5 keynote speakers from across the world working in the field of AMR.

The conference was well attended this year, and SHIP PhD students (Sally Stewart, Ayodeji Matuluko and Laura Fregonese) participated in the virtual sessions. The talks over the two days of the conference focused on the following areas:

Day 1, Session 1. ‘Everyday lives, everyday antibiotics: a global and cross-sector perspective on use, stewardship, and policy at home and in primary care’

Day 1, Session 2 Part A. ‘Novel antimicrobials, vaccines, diagnostics and antimicrobial materials’

Day 2, Session 2 Part B. ‘Novel antimicrobials, vaccines, diagnostics and antimicrobial materials’ (continued from day 1)

Day 2, Session 4. ‘Drivers and vectors of antimicrobial resistance’

As members of the wider cohort Sally and Ayodeji each had 3-minute narrated PowerPoint presentations on their research as part of showreel presentations, on days 1 and 2. The showreel presentations from students in the network ran during the lunch break on both days of the conference. In addition, Ayodeji was invited to give a talk on day 1, during session 1- ‘Everyday lives, everyday antibiotics: a global and cross-sector perspective on use, stewardship, and policy at home and in primary care’. She presented a talk entitled ‘Applying implementation science principles to the design and evaluation of an antimicrobial stewardship intervention’.

Overall, the virtual conference was a great opportunity to gain insights into the wide breadth of multi-disciplinary research in AMR being conducted across the UK and beyond. It was a very different experience as it was delivered online, and our SHIP PhD students left feeling more informed and enthusiastic about their own research.

You can read tweets from this year’s conference here: https://bit.ly/2QkgJ1P

To find out how last year’s conference went, you can read our past blog on it here: https://www.caledonianblogs.net/ship/2019/08/14/ship-phd-students-attend-medical-research-foundation-amr-training-conference/


To find out more about the SHIP team, head on to the GCU website, read the rest of our blogs and follow us on Twitter @SHIPGCU

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