Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Mark&FranThe Early Careers Network (ECN) is aimed to inspire and support researchers from across the Oxford ARUK Network who are in the early stages of their career. The ECN was launched in July 2015 at the 2015 Oxford Dementia Research Day. The ECN representatives Mark Dallas and Francesca Nicholls run professional development workshops and social events to provide early careers researchers the opportunity to meet their peers, to share ideas and experiences, and initiate collaborations.

To join the mailing list for alerts about these events or if you have ideas on events we should share or what we could be doing please contact


Oxford University Medical Sciences Careers Day

Friday, 23 September 2016, 9-6

Medical Sciences Teaching Centre - South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PL

Workshop on life after PhD: academia, writing, consultancy, media, outreach & more.

Career talks from guest speakers including:

•       Hannah Kerr, Director of Communication & Government Affairs, GSK

•       Claudio Nunes-Alves, Senior Editor, Nature Reviews Microbiology

•       Namir Hassan, Director of Translational R&D, Immunocore

•       Penny Palmer, Producer, BBC Horizon

•       Mike Tallis, Associate Consultant, IMS Consulting Group

•       Said Hasnaoui, Director, Oxfordshire Science Festival

•       Rachel Bray, Careers Adviser for Researchers, Careers Service

•       Panel discussion “How to handle the transition from PhD to postdoc”

Networking with speakers and recruiters

Open to those in Oxford University. Book your free place via


RSC Joliot-Curie Conference 2016, 6 - 7 September 2016, York

Joliot Curie Conference 2016

Are you in your first or second job as a Postdoc? Shape your future academic career in chemistry research.

The Joliot-Curie Conference is the annual must-attend event dedicated to supporting the aspirations of early career researchers, particularly women and those who are underrepresented in academia. 

This conference explores career topics that are relevant to everyone, and encourages open discussions on issues that can promote an inclusive culture and diversity in the workplace.

For more information visit

Standing up for Science Media Workshop


Stand up for Science

Past Events

Please note, due to the weather forecast for later the ARUK EC Network social is being moved to the Duke of Cambridge on Little Clarendon St, for Happy Hour from 5pm.

ECN Social Summer 2016

Pint of Science Festival

The Pint of Science Festival brings some of the most brilliant scientists to your local pub to discuss their latest research and findings. 

This year, the ARUK is sponsoring a special Early Careers Network evening in Oxford to support members of the network to promote their work to the public. 

Oxford ARUK Network members Cecilia Lee and Jackie Robbins will be speaking at the Pint of Science on 23rd May at the SLUG AND LETTUCE, OXFORD, 1 Oxford Castle, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1AY.


The brain is an amazing and wondrous organ - we will hear about what happens when it becomes damaged in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. Pint of Science pint glasses and t-shirts to be won! (Please note: ground floor event, easily accessible)


  1. Cecilia Lee: CHANGING GENETIC INFORMATION TO FIGHT PARKINSON'S DISEASE. Cecilia Lee is a third year DPhil student at University of Oxford. Her research uses stem cells to investigate the role of Parkinson's disease-associated genes in the immune system.
    Jacqueline Robbins is a final year PhD student at King's College London and the University of Oxford. Her research uses brain cells made from stem cells to study Alzheimer's disease.

 Please support Cecilia and Jackie by booking tickets for this event - book here. 

Pint of science - cecilia and jackie

The Physiological Society Early Career Networking Event

On Thursday 9th June, The Physiological Society is hosting an early career networking event to support Affiliates wishing to meet each other and senior Members of The Society. As part of the event, they will also provide an introduction to important skills including public engagement and networking.

For further information please visit their event webpage.

Physoc ECN event

Young Life Scientists' Symposium 

YLS 2016

Alzheimer's research UK research conference 2016

Oxford ARUK Early Careers Network members are encouraged to attend the Alzheimer's Research UK Research Conference 2016, to be held at Manchester Town Hall on the 8th and 9th March 2016. 

Please note that a number of prizes will be awarded during the conference - more details can be found here.  

ARUK Conference Prize Image

we are also planning a Speed Networking Event & TED Talk Event in 2016 - more details to follow


The Oxford ARUK Early Careers Network is hosting its first careers event called 'The Art of Grant Writing' on Friday 29th January, 2016 from 12:25 – 2 PM, including free pizza for lunch.

We all know the importance of finding your own funding to become an independent and successful researcher, but where do you start? How do you make your application stand apart in the competition? What aspects of your proposal should you highlight? Several successful Oxford ARUK grantees will serve on a panel to answer some of your burning questions and provide some inside tips into writing successful grants. All graduate students, postdocs, and those early in their career are welcome!

The Art of Grant Writing
Date: Friday Jan. 29, 2016
Time: 12:25 - 2 PM, free pizza lunch provided
Sherrington Room,
Sherrington Building
Dept of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (DPAG),
Sherrington Rd.
Oxford OX1 3PT

PLEASE RSVP no later than TUES. Jan. 26th through this e-vite


So you want to stay in science?

Dr Ruth Faram, an Early Career Researcher within our Network recently attended the ARUK supported Career Development Session in London. Here’s why she went and what she thought of the course…….

“I am a post-doctoral research scientist in the Wade-Martins laboratory, University of Oxford. I completed my PhD in Anatomical  Neuropharmacology in 2013, after which I completed a short post doc in the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, and then moved to my current position in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics where I am investigating the molecular interaction between Amyloid Beta and Tau proteins in Alzheimer’s Disease.

The natural progression from PhD to a post-doctoral position seemed like an obvious transition at the time, owing to my passion for scientific research. However – knowing that I may not want to be a group leader myself – I have always remained in touch with career and outreach events. I am currently funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, and was invited to a special ‘careers’ workshop that was held in collaboration with the Society of Biology.  I attended the course hoping that it was an opportunity to network and to discuss career prospects with other research scientists, and it was exactly that. The course gave us personalised advice on our research experiences and how they might be applied as translational skills, with great advice on CV construction from the course leader who was an ambassador for the Society of Biology. Most importantly for me personally as an academic, the workshop covered how our scientific personality might influence the role we take in a laboratory environment, and how we should focus on the skills that we have acquired, reminding every participant of their important role in the scientific field no matter what their background. This was an eye opener as an early career researcher – not only because it’s easy to get bogged down in the minor experiment detail – but it also highlighted a few problems that some participants had, such as looking at the ‘bigger picture’ and how each post-doctoral position can enhance the translational skillset rather than just being another job. The transient nature of most academic research positions is, and may remain to be, a problem for early career scientists, but this career workshop was reassuring and gave the rare opportunity to dissect your own personal career ladder based on experiences. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who might be curious about other scientific career options, or who may be unsure what their next career step may be. I found it reassuring to see that most people have similar concerns, and by discussing alternative career options I actually realised that I am currently in the perfect job for me!”

Grants & careers


The Oxford ARUK Early Careers Network have put together this helpful table that shows upcoming grant deadlines. 

  Grant deadlines 2016 website

In addition, here are some helpful videos filmed at an ARUK Grant Writing Course:

royal society pairing scheme

Each year 30 research scientists are paired with UK parliamentarians and civil servants. They learn about each other's work by spending time together in Westminster and the researcher's institutions.

Those taking part gain an insight into how research findings can help inform policy making, and come away with a better understanding of how they can get involved.

How does the scheme work?

The scheme takes place annually, beginning with a 'Week in Westminster' in which the pairs first meet. Over the week the scientists take part in workshops, hear from invited speakers and spend two days shadowing their pair.

After the 'Week in Westminster', it is the turn of the parliamentarians and civil servants to get an insight into the world of research, undertaking reciprocal visits with their pairs.

The scheme is now open for applications from scientists until Wednesday 9 March. Click here for more information.

Last year, ECN member Jessica Ash was successful in applying and visited MP George Freeman, the life sciences minister, at the House of Commons for a week in Westminster. Read about Jess's visit in this 'From lab bench to green bench' article.

In the news

more investment is needed to keep young scientists in dementia research

"Scientists shun dementia research over funds", Tuesday 22nd September 2015, The Times.

ECN representative, Mark Dallas, has commented on the difficulties that dementia scientists face in obtaining funding to carry out basic research into the causes of dementia. In order for the scientific community to gain potential leading lights of dementia research, more investment is required to convince young researchers that they can make a career in dementia research.

ECN representative Mark Dallas comments in The Times on the difficulty of limited funding in dementia research.

Early careers network representatives

Mark Dallas and Jess Ash

Join the early careers network

If you are an early careers researcher (post-doc, PhD or undergraduate level) in neurodegeneration or dementia, or have an interest in these research themes, then you can join the Early Careers Network. To join, email the Early Career Representatives (Mark Dallas or Jessica Ash) stating your career stage and research interest.

The Physiological Society is hosting an early career networking event to support Affiliates wishing to meet each other and senior Members of The Society. As part of the event, we will also provide an introduction to important skills including public engagement and networking.