Keeping it simple: communicating our research to a wider audience

Two of our researchers, Dr Bao Nguyen and Janet Chan, recently attended the inaugural Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS) Early Career Researcher (ECR) Network Symposium at the University of Melbourne on 24th November, 2015.

The MDHS ECR network was established approximately one year ago to create a community amongst researchers who are considered ‘early’ in their career and who are located in the University of Melbourne’s largest and most diverse faculty, MDHS. In fact, MDHS takes up half of the University of Melbourne and is even bigger than the entirety of some other universities in Australia! Within MDHS, approximately half of the academic research staff are at the ‘early career’ level. So, we early career researchers are a significant portion of the workforce and have been recognised as an important asset to invest in.

Networking is an important part of a researcher’s life, and what better way to meet new people than to attend a (free) conference! The MDHS ECR Network Symposium featured oral and poster presentations from a diverse range of research topics, from nasty bugs in the gut, to grafting human cancer cells into mice, to swimming mice in a bath with rubber duckies (!). Dr Bao Nguyen was the only presenter waving the flag for Optometry and Vision Sciences with her poster: “Perceptual surround suppression in the parafovea: What can this tell us about normal ageing?” (see photo below) This work had been presented earlier this year at the Experimental Psychology conference, but the difference this time was that the work had to be explained using simple terms and without discipline-specific jargon, e.g. “…what you ‘see’ is not fixed and can be affected by the things around it.” It’s important that we can explain our research to a wider audience – we hope you agree!

MDHS ECR network symposium 2015.jpg

Dr Bao Nguyen presents her poster at the inaugural MDHS ECR Network Symposium 2015, trying to ‘keep things simple’

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