Enhance your career with the Analytical Research Forum
The Analytical Research Forum (ARF) is the Analytical Division’s flagship event. This unique event allows PhD students and Early Career Researchers (ECRs) to present their work alongside world-class analytical scientists.
The Analytical Division recognises the challenges faced by ECRs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year they will again be providing a careers panel discussion at the ARF to enable you to design your future in a changing workplace.
President of the Analytical Division and Scientific Organising Committee for the ARF, Diane Turner, explains why she finds the ARF invaluable to attend:
“I so much look forward to ARF each year as the research presented covers such a breadth of topics using a diversity of analytical techniques and of course ECRs from industry and academia present alongside experienced and well-known presenters, which is so great to see.
I’ve been one of the judges for the posters for the past few years and I am always impressed with the quality and the number of posters. It always takes me a lot longer to get around them all than I plan; I get so engrossed in the subject, especially when I start talking with the authors – their enthusiasm for their subject is inspiring!
Another highlight is the careers panel, it's always fascinating to hear the career paths of others, especially as mine was so atypical. Discussions can take very different routes, depending on the questions asked. It's definitely an event not to be missed!”
Participating in the ARF
Zoë Ayres, Senior Scientist at Hach and Honorary Secretary for Analytical Division Council shares her thoughts and experiences from attending the ARF since 2016.
Zoë studied Forensic Science (BSc) at Nottingham Trent University before moving on to complete an MSc in Analytical Science at the University of Warwick. She completed her PhD in the development of novel diamond-based electrochemical sensors for analytical applications in 2017, going on to complete a 12-month Research Fellow position at the University of Warwick, funded by the prestigious Royal Society Innovation Award.
Zoë is also the Editor of Analytical Matters (the quarterly member newsletter of the Analytical Division) and has previously been the chair of the Analytical Science Network (early career) and was the publicity officer for both the Analytical Methods Committee and the Community for Analytical Measurement Science for several years.
How long have you been involved with the ARF?
"I've been involved in the ARF for several years. I attended in person to give a talk as the winner of the Ronald Belcher early career analytical award back in 2016. Since then I've become a member of the Analytical Division Council and have attended as a council member and now serve on the organising committee for the event."
How did you first hear about the ARF?
"I actually first heard about ARF from attending "Emerging Analytical Professionals" the annual conference organised by the Analytical Science Network. I got a flyer in my delegate pack and thought it would be a great opportunity for me to showcase my research, meet more analytical scientists and expand my network (in hindsight it absolutely was!)"
Did your supervisor encourage you to take part or was this an independent decision?
"It was an independent decision - I'm always looking to improve my networking and it was a great opportunity to do so. My supervisor recognised it was a good opportunity so helped support me by covering travel costs, though the Analytical Division do have travel grants for exactly this sort of thing, so bear that in mind for future!"
What did you enjoy most about attending the ARF?
"I really enjoy the mix of talks from people at all career stages – it’s great to see early career researchers get the opportunity to present (perhaps for the first time) alongside people that have been in the analytical field for much longer. The poster sessions are also a great way to really diversify my analytical knowledge and see the amazing work people are doing across the analytical field."
For you, what were the benefits in attending the event?
"Building connections, learning new analytical approaches (and sparking new ideas), and having an opportunity to present my work have all been hugely valuable."
Do you think attending the ARF helped create contacts in the Analytical Community?
"Yes! I've actually had collaborations come out of conversations at ARF."
How do you think the ARF can help Early Career Researchers with the difficulties caused by the pandemic?
"At the moment, the pandemic means we cannot attend conferences in person. But, there are benefits to this too - we can attend ARF from our own home. The online format will enable us to message those in attendance, and have conversations - sometimes starting these conversations with more established members of our community can be a big barrier. Starting a conversation online can help lower this "energy barrier" and make it easier for us to reach out."
Do you have any tips or suggestions for Early Career Researchers?
"Make use of the online format of ARF this year and make it work for you. Reach out to people, share your research and have fun!"
How to get involved with the ARF
If you're a PhD student, Post-Doc or Early Career Researcher in analytical science looking for ways to boost your CV, make new connections, network with others in the field and present your work, then the ARF is for you.
You can submit your abstract (deadline 21 March 22) or register for the event (deadline 31 May 22). This year the hyrbid event will take place online and in-person on 13 June (online) and 14 June (online and in-person) 2022.