Travel Bursary Recipient Reports 2014 - 2015

Report by:  Niall Savage, PhD Student

Attended:  Conference Attended: World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Toronto, Canada, 07-12 June 2015.

As a result of being awarded a doctoral travel bursary I was able to attend a very prestigious international meeting on medical physics and biomedical engineering. I was given the opportunity to give an oral presentation during a special session on medical device instrumentation which was extremely relevant to my PhD subject area. Many of the talks at the conference focused on the area of electrical impedance which allowed me to engage with many fellow researchers working on the topic and further develop my understanding of the technique, which will be extremely beneficial to my future work. This was a great learning experience and I was delighted to have been given the chance to attend and present at such a large international conference.


Report by:  Martina Hayes, PhD Student


Attended:  ConsEuro 2015 Conference, London,14 – 16 May 2015


Thanks to receiving a College of Medicine and Health doctoral student travel bursary, I was able to attend the ConsEuro 2015 Conference in London. This is one of the largest restorative dentistry conferences and is held biannually. Attending this conference gave me valuable experience presenting to an audience of highly respected academics in dental research. This conference also allowed me to see the latest developments and theories in the area of root caries and I met with researchers working in similar areas to my own. As this data will form part of my thesis it also gave me the opportunity to experience some peer review from leading academics in my area of research prior to my viva.

Report by Joy Balta - PhD Student

Attended - Forensic and Crime Science Department at the University of Staffordshire, May 2015.


‘This prestigious travel bursary gave me the opportunity to visit the Forensic and Crime Science Department at the University of Staffordshire which I am collaborating with as part of my research project.


Since part of the experiments are done here in UCC and the rest are done at the University of Staffordshire, it was important to complete this course to gain all the required skills needed to reproduce the experimental work that will be used as part of this project.


Attending this course was essential to help me develop a full understanding of an important aspect of this research project.

Report by Eileen Curran - PhD Student


Attended: Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI), San Francisco, California 25-28 March 2015

Thanks to the College of Medicine and Health doctoral student travel bursary, I was able to attend the Society for Reproductive Investigation (SRI) conference in San Francisco. This is a large conference of over 1,000 attendees, which draws researchers from all fields investigating reproductive and women’s health. I gained experience presenting both with a poster and an oral presentation.  As this was the first time I have presented a poster, I was glad to be able to receive feedback from researchers in a variety of fields, including basic scientists and clinicians in addition to other epidemiologists. This was a benefit to presenting orally as well, as I have previously presented for other epidemiologists, but this is the first time I have presented for clinicians. They asked very different questions and had a unique take on my methods and results, which I found to be very interesting and helpful. I also enjoyed looking at posters or presentations from researchers in other fields to better understand how they might have approached research questions similar to what I have investigated, but using very different methods. These experiences have helped me view my own research from a different perspective, and I feel I understand not only other research, but also my work in a more complete way.

Thanks again for this travel bursary and the wonderful opportunity it provided me with.

Report by: Aileen Barrett –PhD student

Attended: Qualitative Research Analysis Masterclass April 20-24th 2015, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

The opportunity to attend this Qualitative Research Masterclass at the University of Maastricht was extremely important – and timely – in my research work. The importance of qualitative research in medical education is underpinned by the need for systematic and robust research methods in order to translate findings and research outcomes to medical education practice.

This week-long masterclass is hosted by the School of Health Professions Education and led by international experts in qualitative research methods. Participants were from all over the world and the course design facilitated the analysis of our own research in a supportive and often entertaining environment. It even involved homework – a real ‘back-to-school’ experience!

Sincere thanks to the College of Medicine and Health for this bursary.


Report by Andrew O’Leary - PhD student 

Attended: The 19th International Hypoxia Symposium, March 3rd – 8th 2015, Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Thanks to the College of Medicine and Health Doctoral Student Travel Bursary, I was fortunate enough to attend the International Hypoxia Symposium in Canada, a biennial conferencing focusing on the biological effects of hypoxia in both health and disease.

This was a particularly important conference for me to attend given that my own research is aimed at examining the effects of hypoxia on the respiratory muscles, and this conference brings together some of the top researchers in hypoxia internationally.

Presenting my research during the first of two poster sessions was a particular highlight for me. The poster sessions at this conference, in particular, created a highly interactive environment in which my poster received a lot of interest. I was able to discuss my research with many other delegates, allowing me to receive excellent feedback from some of the leading researchers in my field, helping to stimulate new questions and new ideas for future work.

Report by Jamie Madden - PhD Student

Attended - Eastern North America Region (ENAR) International Biometric Society Conference, Miami, Florida, 15/18 March 2015

Thanks to receiving a College of Medicine and Health doctoral student travel bursary I was able to attend the Eastern North America Region (ENAR) International Biometric Society Conference in Miami. This is one of the largest biostatistics conference held annually and presented a great opportunity to expose my current work to experts in the field. This exposure allowed for interesting suggestions from other attendees which will be incorporated into my future work. In addition it gave me an opportunity to meet in person with individuals with whom our department are collaborating with on other projects and will hopefully lead to further collaborations. 


Report by:  Elaine F. Barry, PhD student

Attended:  Experimental Biology, Boston, March 2015

Thanks to the College of Medicine and Health Doctoral Student Bursary, I was given the opportunity to attend Experimental Biology 2015(EB2105) in Boston.  This is a joint annual meeting of all the main life science societies in the USA.  My main area of research is the renin angiotensin system in the kidney and its role in hypertension.  Smaller local conferences tend not to have dedicated renal sections. The American Physiological Society (APS) has a large and very active renal section, which attracts researchers from across the globe.  As a result it was a fantastic opportunity to share my research with a large specialist audience, meet with potential future collaborators or employers and attend invaluable talks.  As I am reaching the end of my PhD programme the exposure to new ongoing research and the chance to discuss and get feedback on my own work was hugely beneficial.


Report by:  Jahangir Sajjad - MD Student

Attended: Pharmacology 2014 meeting, London, UK. 16th -18th December 2014.


I would like to thank College of Medicine & Health for granting me a travel bursary for this meeting, which was organized by British Pharmacological Society. It attracted a huge number of participants from the UK, across Europe and overseas with presentations on wider range of topics from basic and clinical pharmacology.


I had opportunity to present my research work to a large international audience and received very positive feedback and comments. I also attended speeches delivered by renowned scientists, interacted with various researchers and benefitted from attending oral and poster presentation session. Overall, attending this meeting had a very positive impact on my research skills. 


Report by Daniel Nuzum – PhD Student


Attended - The Annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) in San Diego from 3-7 February 2015


Following the award of a Doctoral Student Travel Bursary I attended the Annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) in San Diego from 3-7 February 2015. This important meeting draws a large international participation of maternal-fetal medicine experts. I presented a poster presentation Communication skills in obstetrics: the impact on bereaved parents from my PhD research into the spiritual and pastoral dimensions of stillbirth. This was a great opportunity to share some of our UCC research with an international audience and the subject matter resulted in many engaging conversations with clinicians from many parts of the world. The most common conversation was the acknowledgement by clinicians that they find communication in this area challenging and would welcome greater support in this area.


In addition to attending the conference and networking with experts in the field I was also able to avail of educational opportunities and most significantly for me the opportunity to participate in a Cochrane Review workshop.


I am grateful to the College of Medicine and Health for the opportunity to attend this conference and to share some of my research from our Pregnancy Loss Research Group at UCC/CUMH with international experts.


Photo shows Daniel Nuzum and Dr Keelin O'Donoghue, Senior Lecturer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Report by Siobhan O'Neill - PhD Student

Attended:  Conference attended: Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2014, McCormick Place, Chicago; 30th Nov – 5th Dec

 I am very appreciative of this travel bursary for providing me with the opportunity to attend and present at RSNA 2014. This is the largest international radiology conference and participating allowed me to present my research on the world stage in front of leading experts and showcase UCC. I attended educational and research sessions and workshops on advances in imaging techniques that I can apply to my research and clinical practice. I also networked with international colleagues facilitating my fellowship applications for North America.

 Thank you for this valuable opportunity. 


Report by Marsha Tracey - PhD Student

Attended:  "Analysing Qualitative Interviews" Course, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford

5/6 February 2015

Thanks to receiving a travel bursary from the College of Medicine & Health I had the opportunity to attend the course ‘Analysing Qualitative Interviews’ at University of Oxford.

The major benefit from my attendance at this course was the opportunity to gain practical experience in the various approaches to qualitative data analysis. I now feel more competent and equipped to tackle my own analysis for my doctoral research. Additionally, attending this course provided me with the opportunity to network with other students who were at various stages of their qualitative research. 


Report by David Brinkman MD Student


Attended  “Society of Academic and Research Surgery” meeting in Durham, United Kingdom,

7/8 January 2015


Thanks to the College’s travel bursary, I attended the Society of Academic and Research Surgery’s meeting in Durham, United Kingdom. There I learned a great deal not just about research in my area but also research in other areas of Surgery which were engaging and interesting.

In presenting at a prestigious international conference I gained experience in presenting and some helpful tips were suggested by the audience members in order to further apply my research to the clinical field. In attending other talks I experienced first-hand an array of speakers that also gave me different ideas on how to present my research.

Thanks again to the organisers for such an enabling bursary. I hope many more will benefit from its existence and will find it as useful and helpful as I have.

Report by Aidan Kaar, PhD student

Attended: ''Calcium Signalling: The Next Generation'' (Biochemical Society), London, 9th - 10th October 2014

This conference was focused upon themes which are highly relevant to my area of research, calcium signalling in health and disease. By presenting both orally and in a poster session, my work received maximum exposure and garnered a lot of interest.  This allowed for meaningful networking with highly experienced researchers in the field and helped formulate new hypothesis and experimental approaches. Importantly, this networking also resulted in three potential collaborations and numerous useful contacts. In short, this conference has tangibly enhanced both my current research work as well as my future career prospects.




Report by Megan Straley, Phd Student

Attended: Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Washington DC, 15-19 November 2014

Thanks to the College of Medicine and Health, I was able to attend a very important meeting- the society of neuroscience (SFN).  This conference is brings in the top international researchers -totaling upwards of 30,000 or more participants- and is the most renowned neuroscience conference globally.  I am very grateful to have received the bursary as I would not have been able to attend an international conference without it. 

At the conference I was able to attend symposia which taught me about other neuroscience niches, as well as mini-symposia which were highly relevant to my PhD topic and extremely intriguing. Furthermore, I was able to interact with many researchers during the poster sessions.  It was great to see other people with research interests related to mine because we were able to have in depth discussions about our research and provide each other with feedback, questions and new ideas.  From the poster sessions I was able to gain new insights on my research, as well as network with others who are in my field.  I am hopeful that some of the contacts I made during SFN may turn into future career connections.  Thanks again for this amazing opportunity. 

‌Report by Ciara Harty, PhD student

Attended: AASLD (The American Association for Liver Diseases), the Liver Meeting 2014, Boston, 7 - 11 November 2014

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the AASLD Liver Meeting 2014.

Attending this meeting gave me the opportunity to network with other basic scientists and also with established researchers in my area. I also benefited from presentations, both oral and poster, delivered by others in areas of research not directly related to my topic of interest. I have been exposed to a number of techniques which I can adapt to use in my own research. Through attending workshops, I was exposed to discussion between prominent researchers in areas directly related to my work. This will be valuable to my on-going research.

While presenting my poster I had interesting conversations regarding my results and how I can best use these results in further research. This feedback gave me new insight into my work and potential new directions to follow.


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