Obesity Network StudentsThursday, June 5, 2008
Last night I presented a talk on Developing Research Careers in Obesity to the over 150 attendees of the 1st National Obesity Student, Meeting held at Laval University, Quebec. This meeting is co-organized by the CIHR/Merck-Frosst Chair for Obesity at Laval University, Ste.-Foy, Quebec and the Canadian Obesity Network. The students who come from universities across Canada are currently working on their Masters or PhDs in areas ranging from cell biology to city building.
The meeting is not only intended for students but is also entirely organized by CON students and new professionals (CON-SNPs): they chose the abstracts, chair the sessions, decide on the awards and everything else that goes into running a meeting.
Not only is this an opportunity for the next generation of obesity researchers in Canada to present their data but also an opportunity for them to gain first-hand experience in chairing and moderating sessions and interacting with their peers.
As I emphasized in my talk, developing a career in any field not only depends on doing good original work but also often depends on who you know and (sometimes more importantly) who knows you. The student meeting provides ample opportunity for students to practice their social skills in getting to know their peers but also to build relationships that will serve them in the future.
Needless to say, the senior faculty present at this event are happy to take a back seat and watch the future generation of Canadian obesity researchers and practitioners take the stage and run this event.
I, for my part, am happy to be part of this and to meet all these young attendees and watch them do their thing.
By the looks of it, obesity research in Canada is alive and kicking.
Quebec City, Quebec