How the Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant Helped My Career
Each month we’re proud to award a $500 grant to an early career life scientist to help support their career development. Since we launched the scheme in 2021, we’ve awarded over $15,000 to more than 30 life science PhDs and postdocs who’ve used the money to help fund conference trips, pay for publishing fees or buy essential lab supplies for their experiments.
We caught up with four of our previous winners to find out how they used their grant money, and how the experience helped to shape the next stages of their career development…
I am currently a third-year postdoc working at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Germany with Prof. Dr. Claudia Steinem. My goal is to pursue an academic career, and it was a great pleasure to find out that I’d been awarded a Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant in March 2023.
The grant helped me to “kill two birds with one stone”: I used it to fund a trip to a conference in France where I obtained my PhD in biotechnology and biophysics, as well as a research visit to give a seminar in the research group of Prof. Dr. Sandrine Morandat at the University of Technology of Compiegne. At the 22nd French Membrane group (GEM) meeting, I did an oral presentation to present my work with photo-lipids and membranes. I feel like my talk was well received by the audience. Renowned researchers such as Prof. Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Milhiet showed interest in my results and several scientists came to me afterwards to discuss it further.
Overall, the conference was beneficial in terms of exposure and networking, and the exchanges with former professors during my seminar visit allowed me to gauge and appreciate my evolution since obtaining my PhD.
I was a fortunate recipient of the Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant which was awarded to me in September 2021. Thanks to this grant, I had the opportunity to virtually participate in the 49th Meeting of the European Brain and Behavior Society (EBBS), where I presented a poster featuring the initial findings from my PhD research. Throughout the conference, I was able to attend very interesting talks from pioneering people in the behavior field. Despite the virtual format, meaningful interactions thrived during the panel discussions and I received very interesting feedback about my research.
Today I am about to finish my thesis and I am very grateful for all the help I have received along the way to become the scientist I am today. I consider the pathway to achieving a PhD to be a complicated but also rewarding, exciting and very enriching one. However, accessing conferences aligned with our interests is not always seamless, due to the limited funding provided by the universities, so it is here that I find the Hello Bio grant to be a beacon of positivity, fostering the growth of budding researchers like myself.
Thanks to the Hello Bio Early Career Scientist Grant awarded to me in September 2022, I was able to attend the CNIO-Caixa Research Frontiers Meeting in Madrid, Spain, October 24-26, 2022. At this prestigious meeting, I was able to present our results through a poster and a short oral presentation. The constructive feedback and suggestions I received during the conference were both stimulating and valuable. Interactions with experts in the field provided memorable opportunities for thoughtful discussions and new insights into the relationships between diet, nutrition, and cancer.
The collaborative atmosphere of the conference enabled expanding my perspective and connecting with peers in the field. The experience enhanced my confidence and deepened my understanding of the intricate aspects of this evolving field.
As I reflect on this event, I am convinced that the learnings and interactions will have a significant impact on my career path. Speaking at a leading cancer conference in front of an international audience underscores the impact this experience has had on my career and highlights my commitment to making a significant contribution to cancer research and its important interface with nutrition.
I was awarded the $500 Early Career Research Grant by Hello Bio in October 2022 to help fund my attendance at the Keystone Symposium for Ubiquitin Biology and Targeted Protein Degradation in Vancouver in November 2022. I was accepted for a poster presentation and was keen to attend in person so that I would have the opportunity to discuss my research with others in a similar field, to collate ideas and research methods, as well as networking with other researchers. The award from Hello Bio assisted me in benefitting from an in-person conference and allowed me to make connections both in academia and industry, many of which I am still in contact with today.
My PhD research focuses on characterising novel compounds for the inhibition of an E3 ubiquitin ligase, HUWE1, carried out at Queen’s University Belfast, and funded by a local charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Northern Ireland. My research aims to identify successful candidate inhibitors for the treatment of multiple myeloma: a haematological malignancy that is currently incurable.
I am now in the final stages of writing up my thesis and I am excited to continue research in the field of targeted protein degradation at the University of Cambridge in September. It's great to hear what an amazing impact Hello Bio is having on our young researchers, and I'm grateful to be one!
Apply for our next Early Career Scientist Grant!
If you’re a life science PhD or postdoc, you could be eligible to apply for one of our $500 grants. Like the winners above, you could use the grant to attend a conference that might just open a door to the next stage in your life science career!
Click here to apply for our next grant - it’s quick and easy!
Read more about all of our previous winners in our interview archive.
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