Here at the IFR, the student forum realizes that internationalism is an important part of each students’ personal and professional development. For this reason the ISF funds a yearly student knowledge exchange during which students are given the opportunity to present their work at an international location; this year, that location was Dublin, Ireland.
The exchange ran over the course of two full days and was split between three of Ireland’s most renowned academic establishments; Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and the pub.
On the first day, students were welcomed by Professor of Translational Immunology, Padraic Fallon of Trinity College. Professor Fallon introduced the students to all the members of his team, including the parasitic helminth larvae which are the focus of much of his work – it’s safe to say no-one got too close!
On the second day, the students visited University College Dublin where they met with Professor of nutrigenomics Helen Roche, Professor of food safety Seamus Fanning, Professor of food science Niamh Harbourne and Professor or metabolomics, Lorraine Brennan. All groups were extremely welcoming, with presentations delivered from their respective PhD students and post-docs over coffee and a catered lunch. “It went really well; it was like a small conference” reports ISF Events Officer and knowledge exchange attendee Britt Blokker, who was principle organiser of the trip.
As well as learning about the research interests of the host groups, each IFR student gave an oral presentation at one of the two locations depending on their field of research. “Everyone gave really good talks and I think some nice collaboration will come out of the trip” says ISF Chair and trip attendee Sophie Prosolek “some students have already been invited back to Ireland with their research group to set the wheels in motion!”
After a long and tiring day of presentations, the students experienced part of the Irish culture first-hand by participating in a ‘Musical Pub Tour’. Over a pint (or two) of Guinness, the students learned about Irish culture from folk artists who taught their audience about the country’s history through traditional Irish music and dance.
The knowledge exchange drew to its conclusion and the students returned to Norwich feeling exhausted, but with a non-the –less invigorated enthusiasm for their research and a strengthened sense of student community. The ISF hope that a similar knowledge exchange will be run in 2017.
The academic profiles of all groups the knowledge exchange visited can be found by following the links below:
Written by Sophie Prosolek, 2nd year PhD student studying in the Mithen group