IVVN Early Career Researcher Event

On 20-24 March 2023, we hosted an in-person training event specifically for early career researchers looking to take their first steps towards research independence.

The aim of the event was to bring together a cohort of early career researchers for a week of training activities and discussion, all of which were focused on different aspects of developing a successful academic career.

20 early career researchers from 11 countries attended the five-day event which was hosted at St Leonard’s Hall, University of Edinburgh.

The first day of the meeting began with short presentations from participants to introduce themselves, their work and the challenges they face as early career researchers. In the afternoon, participants took part in a networking workshop delivered by Electv, which highlighted strategies that can be used by researchers to engage others with their work.

The theme of the second day of the meeting was how to develop an academic career and sessions focused on the key factors to consider when building a research career, perspectives from recent fellowship awardees/new group leaders, and practical tips on applying for fellowships.

Prior to the event, participants had completed online courses on journal article writing and grant writing, both of which were delivered by Scriptoria. On the third day of the meeting, Scriptoria delivered an advanced grant writing course, which allowed participants to utilise the skills they had learned during the online grant writing course, and receive feedback on their draft IVVN pump-priming grant applications in person.

The focus of the fourth day of the event was working with non-academic partners including how to align your research with funder’s strategic priorities and how to work with industry. The last session of the day featured presentations from scientists who communicate their research to non-scientists, including those who deliver IVVN’s African Schools Outreach Programme.

The final day of the meeting began with presentations on the peer review process and how to get your research published. The event then closed with a final group discussion on the challenges faced by early career researchers and ways in which IVVN could facilitate activities across the following areas: mentoring, peer-to-peer support, collaboration, funding, training and capacity building.

In addition to the training and scientific programme, we organised a number of social activities including a tour of Edinburgh’s Haunted Vaults, a game of skittles in Scotland’s oldest public house and a ceilidh with the British Society for Immunology’s Comparative and Veterinary Immunology Group.

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success, particularly the participants for being so engaged and the speakers for their insightful contributions.

All of the tweets from the event can be found at #IVVNECR2023.



Name Organisation Country

Suzie Kushianyan Madaki

Bayero University Kano


Preetham Elumalai

Cochin University of Science & Technology


Tshifhiwa Nefefe

Agricultural Research Council

South Africa

Hussein Molu Abkallo

International Livestock Research Institute


Priscilla Tng

The Pirbright Institute

United Kingdom

Pinpunya Riangrungroj

National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology


Selaelo Ivy Tshilwane

University of Pretoria

South Africa

Jose Manuel Jaramillo-Ortiz

Royal Veterinary College

United Kingdom

Ahmed Adel Seida

Cairo University


Uraisha Magan

University of Pretoria

South Africa

Thao Thu Mai

Biotechnology Center of Ho Chi Minh City


Mahmoud Samir Sayed Ali

Animal Health Research Institute


Sreeja Lakshmi

King Nandhivarman College of Arts and Science


Andressa Fisch

Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing


Arlind Mara 

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College 


Malimba Lisulo 

University of Edinburgh

United Kingdom

Mustapha Oumouna

University of Medea


Esther Kanduma

University of Nairobi


James Nyagwange

KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and The Pirbright Institute 


Afolayan Funmilayo

University of Ibadan