2007 to 2012: Breast Cancer Campaign Scientific Fellowship

Report
Achieving a Research Fellowship
Breast Cancer Campaign
Scientific Fellowship
Overview
1. My Scientific Fellowship
2.Pros and Cons
3.Responsibilities
4.Application Process
UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION
1992-1996: UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER
- BSc (Hons) Chemistry with French
1994-1995: YEAR IN FRANCE
- Strasbourg and Marseilles
POSTGRADUATE EDUCATION
1997-2000: QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST
- PhD in Molecular Oncology (Breast Cancer Research)
2000-2010: QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST
- Certificate in Marketing, Advertising & PR (QUB 2003/4)
- Certificate in Management Studies (QUB 2006/7)
CAREER TO DATE AT QUB
-
2001-2007:
Six years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow
20 publications: 4 first authorships
Co-applicant on 2 grants
Co-supervised 3 PhD students (informally)
(2005/6: Six months maternity leave)
- 2007 to 2012:
Breast Cancer Campaign Scientific Fellowship
(2008: Seven months maternity leave)
BCC Scientific Fellowship
- Main
Objectives:
-Successfully obtained £420,000 funding (5 years)
- Development Program from Postdoc to PI
- Establish my own breast cancer research group
- Official mentorship for five years
BCC Scientific Fellowship
- Main
Issue:
- To avoid being ‘thrown in at the deep end’ as a PI
- To gain experience as a PI before becoming a PI
- To become a PI with necessary skills already in place
- To have last author publications & 1st author grants
in the pipeline when commencing lectureship
BCC Scientific Fellowship
- Personal
Objectives:
- Ensure Scientific Fellowships are recognised within QUB
- Clarify the role of a Scientific fellow for future fellows
- Ensure future fellows will be invited to PI meetings
- Promote Scientific Fellowships to other postdocs
RESPONSIBILITIES/ NEW SKILLS
1. Project/ People Management
- Managing 4 projects/ supervising 1st PhD student
- Planning to recruit 1st Postdoc/ interview training
- Managing grant budget/ administration
2. Development of Paper/ Grant writing skills
- 4 papers/ Co-applicant on 4 grants
- Lead applicant grants & last author papers in the pipeline
3. Manage Own Career Development (Leadership skills)
- Attended Leadership Course for women at QUB (2009- one week)
- Clinical trials degree level module at QUB (2010- online 4 months)
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SKILLS
4. Now Attend Several PI meetings
- Gain further insight into the role of a PI
- 1st External Examinership (London 2010)
5. Responsibilities as a BCC Scientific Fellow
- Conference organising committee
- Promote charity locally and nationally
- Fundraising (Wear It Pink Day/Marathon relays)
6. Further Teaching Experience
- PG Certificate in Higher Education Teaching (QUB-2009/11)
BREAST CANCER CAMPAIGN SCIENTIFIC FELLOWSHIP
Development of Own Research Group
while remaining part of larger research group
1. BCC PhD Student: £98,000 for 3 years (2008-2011)
- 2nd Year PhD Student
2. Masters Studentship (MPhil): 17,000 for 1 year (2010-2011)
- Commencing Summer 2010
3. Clinical Academic Research Fellow (6 mths in 2010)
- Commencing PhD in August 2011
Advantages
1. Major step forward in terms of Career Progression
2. Mentored PI development program **
2. Gaining further experience & developing more skills
3. More independence and responsibility
4. Proper insight into role of PI/ academia
5. Better equipped for future lectureship OR
a career outside academia !!!!!!!
Disadvantages
1. BCC fellowship did not come with any staff
2. Hindered progress to an extent
3. Not a Postdoc/ not a PI (in limbo !!!!)
4. How you are perceived by other postdocs/ PIs
5. Few other scientific fellows in QUB
6. Fellowship did not come with any written
confirmation of lectureship at the endstill have to deal with this !!!!!!!!!
Application Process
1.Identify Potential Scientific Fellowships
2. Write a five year research proposal
3. Identify a supportive mentor
4. Presentation and interview for fellowship
Tips & Hints
1. Aim to have at least 4-5 years postdoc experience
with at least 3 first author publications & several others.
2. Have some evidence of grant income (co-applicant)
3. Identify a research area you can develop as your own
4. Plan project & write well in advance of submission
5. Identify a supportive mentor/ grant reviewers
Tips & Hints
6. Apply for fellowships that provides a postdoc/ tech
so you can ‘hit the ground running’
7. Have a commitment from University of a lectureship
afterwards as part of the grant application
8. Develop your CV as a postdoc
A PROJECT MANAGEMENT COURSE
COULD SET YOU APART FROM THE REST !!!!!!
Tips & Hints
9. REALLY prepare for the interview (mock interviews)
10. CHANCE FAVOURS
THE PREPARED MIND !!!
Future of Scientific Fellowships
1. Obtaining a Scientific Fellowship now appears to be
the only way of getting a lectureship in QUB(esp. if your postdocs have been in QUB).
2. BCC and certain funding bodies are forward thinking
in terms of fellowships- not enough fellowships though!!!
3. Perhaps QUB postdoc societies need to RAISE AWARENESS
to other funding bodies & charities of the MAJOR need
for more of these types of fellowships.
Good Luck
in Your Application for a
Scientific Fellowship

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